Swachhata Start-Up Challenge

Swachhata Start-Up challenge was launched to increase innovation in waste management. It was launched by the Agence Francaise de Developpment, AFD and the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, DPIIT. The AFD is a French public financial institution. It implements the policies of the French Government. The top ten winner of the challenge will receive prize money of 25 lakh rupees. The challenge is to be conducted under the supervision of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

About the challenge

  • The challenge is mainly to bring the light on startups working in the field of waste management and sanitation. The challenge will encourage startups to bring in transformation in the field. Both Indian and French startups can participate in the challenge.
  • The participants have to find solutions in four areas. They are zero dump (solid waste management), social inclusion, plastic waste management and transparency through digital enablement.
  • Vilgro is an implementing partner of the challenge. The winners are to get 50 lakh rupees of follow – on investment from Vilgro.
  • Also, the winners will receive 100,000 USD worth technology support from technology partner Amazon web services.


The challenge is a step towards smart governance under the Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban 2.0. It aims to incentivise the startups to realise the dream of garbage free cities. The SBM – Urban 2.0 aims to achieve Garbage Free Cities in next five years.


The challenge has come up during the time, when France and European Union are working with India to negotiate global treaty on plastic pollution. The treaty aims to make a shift towards circular economy.

Need for the challenge

The startups are evolving rapidly. India is leading the startup world with more than 70 unicorns. Unicorns are startups whose value is more than one billion USD. The startups hold huge potential in the waste management sector of India. The challenge will capitalise the startups in the field of waste management. It will create opportunities for young innovators.



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