Urban Ecology Small Grant Program


Is the grant available for individuals with no prior work experience?

We strongly suggest recent graduates gain at least 2-3 years’ of full-time work experience in the social sector before setting up their own organizations. It will help them build personal capacities, forging networks, and better clarity on their long-term interest. However, if someone with limited formal work experience but a degree in Environment/Sustainability or similar fields is part of a team that consists of much more experienced co-founders, such applications may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Is the grant available only for individuals with degrees in Environmental/Sustainability or similar field?

While a degree in Environmental/Sustainability or a similar field is an added advantage,  a formal degree in Environmental/Sustainability or a similar field is not mandatory. We consider sustained interest and commitment as essential elements to be an effective (co-) founder of an organization. Applicants with an educational background in other domains must have at least 2-3 years of prior engagement/experience in this space.

Do all founders have to be from the same background, i.e., say from the same University or Fellowship?

A balanced team is critical for any organization’s growth and sustenance; however, the founders’ backgrounds need not necessarily be the same.



Can the grant be extended beyond one year?

The individuals supported through the grant program are expected to have set up a relatively stable organization by the end of one year of the program period, which could attract organizational or project-based funding from other sources. The continued provision of the stipend would be subject to adherence to the clauses of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the individual and Wipro and satisfactory progress on the plans submitted during the selection stage (including a well-structured organizational development plan); as determined by periodic reviews and discussions; and a detailed annual review. Depending on the progress, outcome of periodic reviews, and detailed annual review, we may further extend organizational support to the teams/organization, after the expiry of the one year term for the grant, on a case-to-case basis.

Can I continue to get the stipend if I have stopped working for my grant organization or work for it only part-time?

The stipend is for working full-time and in a dedicated manner to set up and develop your organization. If you decide not to work for it for any reason whatsoever, you must inform Wipro immediately so that your case is reviewed and an appropriate decision can be taken based on the specifics of the case. Failure to do so would be treated as a breach of trust and may attract penalties.

I co-founded an organization a year back, but that initiative doesn’t seem to be working out. Can I start another organization alone or with other co-founders?

Setting up a stable organization entails serious upheavals – many of which prove temporary in the long run. We thus expect you to have the resilience to achieve what you had set out to do, despite all obstacles. However, if you are determined to stop working for the organization you had agreed to set-up during the selection stage, you must inform us immediately about your decision. If we feel your interest/request is sufficiently justified, in exceptional cases, we may continue the grant and support you in setting up another organization based on your interest.

Can I supplement my grant through personal income from other sources?

The grant is meant to provide you with personal financial flexibility to enable you to work full-time and in a dedicated & focused manner to the cause and task of setting up an effective initiative. We thus expect you to be engrossed in this task. For a (co) founder to expect to do this effectively in a part-time manner, we feel, is unrealistic. Accepting finances from other sources for personal remuneration would generally mean taking out time and effort for something which may not align with the best interest of the organization you are setting up, and hence will not generally be allowed. Please do note, however, that we encourage you to raise funds for the organization. So, in sum, while you are free to raise funds for the organization you have set up to help meet its objectives and plans; you must not take up any paid job which may reduce your attention and effort from the primary task of setting up and developing your organization as an independent entity contributing meaningfully to Water and Waste related issues.

Can I raise funds for my organization from other sources?

Yes, you are encouraged to raise funds from other sources for your organization, provided such funding does not significantly change the original plans that you have shared with us. If you are in doubt, please contact us.

Is the grant amount taxable?

Yes, all appropriate government taxes will apply.

What if my organization or I do not meet the targets?

We understand the difficulties involved while working on Urban Ecology related issues, and the periodic reviews will take this into account fully. However, if we notice a lack of sincere commitment and effort, we may terminate all support.

How will my and the organization’s work be reviewed?

We have informal reviews once every quarter – this could be through a visit, phone calls, or other means. There will be a detailed formal review once every year.