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Call for Applications: Rural Livelihood Capacity Building Program


The Harvard University South Asia Institute and the Tata Trusts are collaborating for a project with the overarching theme of Social Entrepreneurship and Livelihood Creation in India. The Rural Livelihoods component of this project focuses on strengthening the organizations in the handicrafts and handlooms sectors.

Click here for more information about the Rural Livelihoods track.

This track aims to address the current gaps in rural livelihoods in the handicrafts and handloom sectors through sustained interventions in the form of capacity building, networking support, and funding. Harvard SAI will partner with institutions and experts based in India to develop a capacity building curriculum aimed at generating and strengthening national capacity for social enterprises in these sectors.

This project is calling for applications from organizations across India who are interested in participating in the capacity building workshop. The workshop is being provided free of cost to all selected organizations.

The capacity building curriculum will be designed as per the requirements of the participating organizations and will equip them with practical skills, tools, and knowledge that they require to maximize and deepen the impact of their work and the scale of their activities. The organizations will also be eligible to apply for social innovation grants that will be awarded to those who demonstrate potential for innovation and impact.

The following topics would be covered as part of the workshop curriculum:

  1. Outreach to Artisans
  2. Fundraising
  3. Product Design
  4. Process Innovation
  5. Supply Chain and Procurement
  6. Branding and Marketing
  7. Strategic Management, Scale and Growth

Workshop Venue: Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Gandhinagar, Gujarat

Selection Criteria

The participating organization should qualify on all the grounds mentioned below:

  • Legally registered and operating as a social enterprise (nonprofit, for profit, or hybrid model) in India.
  • Should be primarily involved in the handicrafts and/or handlooms sector. If the organization has multiple activities, handicrafts and/or handlooms should be a major focus area.
  • Must have developed an innovative practice or is working on an activity that has resulted in significant impact and has potential to expand activities.

Social Innovation Grants

We want to provide organizations in the handicrafts and handlooms sector that focus on social change and welfare, grants of up to INR 10 lakh. These grants will be available to non-profit organizations and social businesses to fund innovations and learnings from the capacity building workshop.  The grants will also enable them to implement initiatives to create a greater impact by either scaling existing initiatives or piloting new ones. In addition to funding, the grantees will also receive mentoring from experts throughout the course of this project.

Only those organizations that apply for the capacity building workshop are eligible to apply for the social innovation grants.

The amount of funding will depend on the requirements, scale of proposed impact, and the budget provided by the applicant. A budget should also be provided as it will be an important assessment criterion for the selection committee.  Over-budgeting and/or  under-budgeting will be considered a negative. Disbursement of funds will be done on a timeline that is determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the proposed project plan and timeline provided by the organization. The selection committee shall reserve the right to decide the final grant amount for each organization.



The deadline to apply has passed.

If you have further questions please email us at

Application instructions

Kindly read the instructions carefully before you proceed to fill the application.

  • The application consists of two parts:
    • Part-A : Application for the capacity building workshop
    • Part-B : Application for the social innovation grant
  • Applying to the capacity building workshop is a necessary condition for the social innovation grant.
  • Those who wish to apply for the social innovation grant will also have to fill Part-B of the application. Organizations that only wish to apply for the capacity building workshop do not have to fill Part-B of the application.
  • Responses for boxes and questions with a ‘red asterisk’ beside them or explicitly mentioned as ‘Required’ are mandatory, without which the applications would not be accepted.
  • The application for the social innovation grant (Part-B) requires you to make a three minute video pitch to tell us how your organization would benefit from the grant and the kind of impact it will create. Important instructions for the video pitch:
    • The video should be recorded on a mobile phone. A video that has been professionally made or edited will not be considered.
    • All videos longer than 3 minutes will not be considered.
    • The video should be in MP4 format.
    • Maximum file size should be 50 MB. Kindly compress the video if required to achieve a size of under 50 MB. Various offline and online tools are available for compression.
    • The language used in the video should preferably be English.
  • The following are areas that we would like to hear about:
    • The uniqueness of your idea in the context of your larger organization goals
    • Action plan for implementation
    • Proposed impact