Wednesday, August 15, 2012

DBS ties up with TISS to fund social entrepreneurship graduates

Financial services group, DBS, has signed an agreement with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai to provide seed funding and incremental funding to its social entrepreneurship graduates. The social sciences institute has been providing a two-year Masters programme in social entrepreneurship since 2007.

DBS said it would fund start-up enterprises of select graduates for at least two years after graduation. Thereafter, based on the scalability of individual enterprises, it would provide additional funding. “We really needed support…DBS has come in at the right time,” Prof. S. Parasuraman, Director of the institute, said.

DBS did not disclose the total outlay for the funding programme, saying that the details are “confidential.” The funding will be a mix of both capital grants and debt funding. DBS Bank, India CEO, Sanjiv Bhasin said, “The interest rate on debt funding will be project specific. Till the venture fund breaks even, the interest rate might be low; thereafter it may rise.” Besides providing financial assistance, the Singapore-based financial group will also assist students with venture plans and ideation.

DBS Bank India, which has applied for four more branch licenses, said it is not averse to 40 per cent priority sector guidelines. The bank has 12 branches in India. “We will abide by the laws of the land. As of now we do not have to worry as there are less than 20 branches,” Bhasin said.

The central bank had said foreign banks with more than 20 branches will have to increase their priority sector lending (PSL) targets to 40 per cent from April 1, 2018. PSL targets now stand at 32 per cent for foreign banks.

Source: The Hindu Business Line, August 15, 2012

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