Rockefeller Foundation awards $250K grant to The/Nudge Foundation
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

The/Nudge Foundation, which is backed by Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, Tata Trusts and other industry heavyweights, has received a grant worth $250,000 (Rs 1.6 crore) from The Rockefeller Foundation to expand its operations across India.

Currently operating only in Karnataka, the firm will use the funds for capacity building across admissions, programme delivery, product research and data management systems, The/Nudge Foundation said in a statement.

“Intervention by The/Nudge Project of End Poverty attacks the root causes of unemployability among India’s youth and the team has an impressive track record in equipping and supporting the underprivileged youth in hard as well as soft skills that allow them to thrive. With this grant, we are confident End Poverty through The/Nudge Project can make a tangible impact that shapes a better and brighter future for many deserving Indian youth,” Ashvin Dayal, associate vice president and managing director, Asia, Rockefeller Foundation, said.

The/Nudge Foundation was started in July 2015 by Atul Satija, who was earlier chief revenue officer at InMobi. The foundation runs two initiatives—Gurukul, a residential school for the underprivileged, and N/Core, an incubator for non-profit startups.

Under the Gurukul programme, underprivileged men and women are taught how to read and write as well as livelihood and life skills. The students are offered specialisations in driving, beauty, plumbing and data entry. They are also provided jobs at the end of the programme. The organisation claims that it has achieved 100% job placements for all its graduates to date.

Over the next year, The/Nudge Foundation plans to expand its Gurukul programme to more states to train over 5,000 students annually.

N/Core, which was launched early this year, is an incubator for non-profit startups working towards poverty alleviation. N/Core offers an innovation grant of Rs 10 lakh to each selected startup, besides mentorship by industry experts.

The first ongoing, six-month batch of the incubation programme has 10 early-stage ventures.

Through N/Core, Nudge will invest more than Rs 50 crore over the next five years to incubate and support over 100 non-profit startups. It will host startups in the areas of education, healthcare, employability, access to finance, agriculture, water, sanitation, energy, gender equality, human rights and disaster management.

New York-based The Rockefeller Foundation, set up in 1913, is one of the largest foundations in the United States, and one of the oldest names in global development philanthropy.

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