Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) felicitated the winners of Swachhata Start-up Challenge in an award ceremony organised here yesterday. Shri Kaushal Kishore, Minister of State for Housing & Urban Affairs, H.E Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India Shri Manoj Joshi, Secretary, MoHUA and senior officials of Ministry along with representatives of several start-ups working in sanitation and waste management sector graced the occasion.
Speaking at the event, Shri Kaushal Kishore said that the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi of having a clean India has taken the form of a Jan Andolan with launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission- Urban (SBM). Recycling and turning of waste into useful products under this mission, may not just help in moving in direction of Garbage Free Cities but also help in generating employment at large scale.
The Minister informed that out of the 30 shortlisted start-ups shortlisted under the Swachhata Start-up Challenge, each of the top 10 will receive financial support of Rs. 25 lakh from French Tech, the French government’s initiative to promote start-ups. Each of the remaining 20 start-ups will get the financial support of Rs. 20 lakh from Government of India, he announced.
Shri Kaushal Kishore said that the promotion of start-ups through this challenge is a move towards ‘Make in India’.
Drawing attention towards marketing of recycled products, he said that the marketing and creation of awareness about these products is of high significance for the start-ups to further scale up. He advised the start-ups to create awareness about their products in rural areas using local languages.
The Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban being implemented by MoHUA provides special focus to innovation and encouragement for startups in a bid to adopt locally innovated, implementable solutions and business models and promote circularity in waste management. In alignment with this long term approach, MoHUA had launched a Swachhata Startup Challenge under the ambit of the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban, from January 2022 onwards, in partnership with the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the DPIIT (Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade). The Challenge aimed to harness the entrepreneurial potential of the waste management sector in India and promote an enabling environment for enterprise development. Interestingly, a bottoms-up approach had been taken by MoHUA, through a Swachh Technology Challenge introduced in December 2021. The Technology Challenge invited entries and solutions from all stakeholders working in the sanitation sector, including NGOs, CSOs, academic institutions and startups. The winning entries received from startups in the Technology Challenge were allowed to participate in the subsequent Swachhata Startup Challenge in January 2022.
The Startup Challenge had sought entries from organisations in the Sanitation and waste management sector, across four categories, viz. (i)social inclusion, (ii) zero dump, (iii)plastic waste management and (iv) transparency through digital enablement. A total of 244 entries were received from aspiring startups, of which 30 startups were shortlisted by a jury pool of 20 members drawn from leading academic institutions and incubators, industry, and government bodies. These 30 startup covers the full spectrum of the waste value chain, starting from automated solution for waste collection, to segregation, transportation and value addition spreading across diverse sectors (MSW, Textile Waste, Agri & Food waste, Construction & demolition waste). These business models have the potential of generating dignified livelihood at a scale by organising the sector while improving the recycling/upcycling capacity of India at a global level.
Out of the 30, a total of top 10 winners have been identified, each of whom will be receiving seed funding and dedicated incubation support from French Tech, the French government’s initiative to promote start-ups.
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