Going to School Provides Platform for Disadvantaged Women Entrepreneurs to Address Climate Change Supported by Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan

Business Wire IndiaGoing to School, a not-for-profit education trust, brought together twenty-three women entrepreneurs from marginalised communities in Mumbai and Bengaluru to present startup ideas that can help address climate change.

The initiative, named Pitch It, is akin to the popular show, Shark Tank which involved startups and entrepreneurs pitching their business models before industry veterans to onboard them as investors.

With the guidance of the Youth Venture Fund, the project has J.P. Morgan offering support by creating a pipeline of skilled women entrepreneurs and Deutsche Bank providing access to startup grants. The latter part of the project saw these entrepreneurs showcase their business ideas via in-person pitches to dedicated volunteers from Deutsche Bank, who helped review their business plans and chart out comprehensive roadmaps to convert ideas into tangible businesses.

Leading up to the event, Going to School, conducted experiential programmes for the women entrepreneurs, supported by J.P. Morgan. Focused on learning outside the traditional settings, the programme includes spending time onsite in sustainable enterprises and is aimed at equipping the participants with real-world exposure and vital business skills such as market research, supply chain management, and cash-flow dynamics. After conclusion of training on core entrepreneurial skills, the entrepreneurs researched businesses that offer solutions to climate change challenges and participated in bootcamps to help them develop business plans.

Commenting on the Pitch It! initiative, Ruchi Khemka, Head, Corporate Social Responsibility, India, Deutsche Bank Group said, “Young women in India are brimming with ideas to address critical challenges. What is needed is a platform where they can get the requisite support, counsel, and handholding. Deutsche Banks Made for Good CSR programme provides access to business skills and funding to help drive positive change and contribute to a sustainable future by encouraging innovation and empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Maneesha Chadha, Head of Global Philanthropy, Asia Pacific, J.P. Morgan, said, At J.P. Morgan, we are committed to creating opportunities for disadvantaged women entrepreneurs to succeed and thrive. Through this program, we aim to provide business skills training to help women entrepreneurs turn their innovative ideas into impactful and sustainable businesses. By supporting initiatives like these, we are not only investing in individuals but contributing to a more inclusive and resilient business ecosystem.”

Lisa Heydlauff, Director, Going to School, said, From waste management to clean energy and sustainable alternatives to plastic packaging, these enterprises aim to create job opportunities for the unemployed while positively impacting communities of over 1,000 people. Among the ventures presented were sustainable packaging made of banana leaves, interlocking bricks made from waste materials, solar dryers for organic food preservation, organic mosquito repellent made from waste flowers, vertical urban organic farms, and more.”

Women entrepreneurs who participated at Pitch it! have completed external, onsite enterprise skills experiences, enabling them to understand sustainable enterprise business models in action. To date, 500 aspiring women entrepreneurs in Mumbai and Bengaluru have completed enterprise education experiences across both cities. Post this, entrepreneurs began to research their own enterprise ideas to be able to solve for Climate Change in the city.

Outside, enterprise skills in action are on-going Going to School programmes, creating a pipeline of potential sustainable entrepreneurs for the next Pitch it! series planned for February 2024.