Facebook owned WhatsApp announced a ‘Startup India-WhatsApp Grand Challenge’ in partnership with Invest India to enhance the country’s entrepreneurial and small business community growth. Through this challenge, the company will award five winning start-ups a grant of US$50 000 each. The themes for the start-up challenge vary between healthcare, rural economy, financial and digital inclusion, education, and citizen safety. ‘Entrepreneurs with highly innovative ideas, business models that solve for a local India problem, making a large scale socio-economic impact, are invited to apply,’ WhatsApp highlighted in a press release. The last day to register for the challenge is March 10.
The need for people to gain access to ICT resources and narrow the digital divide is crucial, and is especially relevant now in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also important to understand how access to the Internet affects the level of economic and social development in a country.