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Wadhwani Foundation

Launched in 2000, the Wadhwani Foundation is a not-for-profit organization founded by Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, an IT entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, California.


Our Mission

To help individuals achieve their full potential, regardless of background.


We believe entrepreneurship is a powerful tool for individuals to realize their potential. Entrepreneurship is more than starting a business; it is a way of thinking, and a critical drive of growth in any economy. Entreneurship bring to market new products and services, and devise better and more efficient ways to operate. In doing so, they create valuable, productive new jobs. Successful entrepreneurs create wealth for themselves, their families, their communities and society.


Our Strategy

We employ a two-pronged strategy to fulfill our mission:


To inspire, educate and nature new entrepreneurs, we develop and fund not-for-profit programs and organizations that create entrepreneurial education, build networks, raise awareness, perform research and help develop a supportive policy environment.


In addition, certain sections of the population need extra support – individuals who due to physical and economic constraints often do not have the opportunity to explore, let alone reach, their full potential. We therefore fund not-for-profit efforts to empower the disadvantaged, with a focus on helping disabled gain productive employment.


For more details on individual activities, please see Programs. For information on the organizations that we have funded please go to Portfolio.


The Foundation does not invest in for-profit business opportunities.



It’s clear: India, like many emerging countries, needs more valuable jobs, in 2000, unemployment among youth with some technical education hovered at almost 24%. And while overall unemployment was 7%, at the same time 26% of India’s population lived below the national poverty line. In other words, many people, while they are working, earn barely enough to sustain themselves And every year increasing numbers enter the job market (Figures above from Planning Commission Report, 2001).


We believe that successful entrepreneurs can help create much-needed productive jobs. But to choose entrepreneurship, and to succeed, individuals need confidence, skills and other forms of support. Entrepreneurs also require a conducive policy environment – one that eliminates unnecessary barriers before them; and encourages their success.


Other individuals, particularly the disabled, require specialized help to succeed, because they have to overcome extraordinary odds before being able to support themselves.


Our programs are designed to provide solutions across this spectrum :

  1. Entrepreneurship Programs
  2. Programs to Empoer the Disabled


Grant Program

The Wadhwani Grant Program funds non-profit organizations with innovative, effective approaches to helping differently-able individuals achieve their potential.



The Wadhwani Foundation Grant Program was developed and launched in 2003 with the first grant cycle starting in August 2003.


The Grant Committee approved grants to the following 4 organizations:

> Mitra Jyothi – Bangalore.

> The Association of People with Disability- Bangalore.

> Spastics Society of Kamataka – Bangalore.

Medical Research Foundation – Chennai.



The Wadhwani Grant Program aims to help thousands of differently-abled people (disabled persons) gain productive employment over the next 10 years, both directly, or indirectly through successful advocacy efforts.



To do this. we are funding a group of non-profit organizations that will offer a full set of mutually reinforcing programs that provide the differently-abled people opportunity to start their own enterprises or to have opportunities to be gainfully employed. The members of this network will be able to leverage each other’s knowledge and resources to increase effectiveness.


We invest in projects or activities where an infusion of funds will make a significant difference, either by increasing scale or quality, or by launching a new effort.


If you are part of an non-profit organization that shares our vision, please contact us and if you are a non profit organization seeking funds please see our ‘Grant Process’ and ‘Proposal Format’ sections.


How to Apply

Each proposal should contain three parts :

  1. Summary Cover Sheet
  2. Description of organization and proposed activity

III.  Budget


  1. Summary Cover Sheet

> Name of organization

> Date accredited

> Contact Information

> Name and title of primary contact

> Address    > Phone  > Fax > Email


Program/Project Summary Information

> Name of project or program seeking funding

> Total organization annual budget, total project budget

> Amount being requested

> Project timing/period – period proposed funding would cover

> Executive summary of proposed program or project, (Please do not exceed 2 paragraphs)


  1. Description of Organization and proposed program or project

Please do not exceed 5 pages. Please cover the following :

> Organizational Information

> Its mission

> The need it is addressing, or the problem it is trying to solve

> Impact to date

> Key activities or programs currently running (in brief)

> Leadership who heads the organization ? Board members ?

> Size of team

> Total annual budget

> Key funders, and other revenue sources (e.g. services or products)

> Program or project for funding requested in this proposal

> The economic, social or health need or problem to be addressed

> The goal, and how impact will be measured (please quantify or describe specifically)

> Target audience – the participants and communities that will benefit

> Project or Program Activity to achieve goals (if this is a new activity for your organizations, please also explain how it fits in with or supports your current activities)

> Background information on the leader and team members for this program or project


III. Budget for the project or program


Eligibility and Criteria

To qualify for a Wadhwani Grant, the applicant must be.

> A legally registered (under 80 G and FCRA) NGO in India.

> Non-religious, non-political, non-biased.


The Foundation funds non-profit organizations who:

> Provide health care; design, manufacture or distribute prosthetics

> Develop and deliver education and skills training to the disabled

> Provide job placements to the disabled or

> Provide advocacy for disabled rights and policy implementation


We fund programs where the grant will significantly increase scale, quality or launch a new effort. In addition to fitting the above mentioned categories, the other important factors are demonstrated management strength, clarity in strategy, ability to scale, and track records of innovation and effectiveness.


Grant Sizes

Grant amounts are flexible. Organizations will be considered for one grant per year, but successful applicants can reapply in following years for additional grants.


Selection and Review process

Selection will be made by a group of advisors and experts from the field, based on the merit of submitted proposals, combined with due diligence performed by the Foundation.


Applicants will be notified of their status within 6 weeks of the meeting of the Grant Committee.


Grant Submission Process

In submission of your proposal please follow the ‘Proposal Format’


* Please submit the proposals (or any enquiries) in English Via email, fax, courier or post to the address given at the end.


Programs to Empower the Disabled

Differently-abled individuals need special help to achieve their full potential. In India, for variety of reasons, including physical and economic constraints, it is often difficult for them to become employed. With the right enablement and support, these individuals can not only achieve the potential but also contribute more value to society.


We seek to help the differently – abled gain productive employment through the following programs.

> The Wadhwani Grant Program (WGP)

> The Wadhwani-Ashoka Fellowships (WAF)


Wadhwani Ashoka Fellowship

The Wadhwani Ashoka Fellowship identifies and supports leading social entrepreneurs who are building non-profit organizations with innovative approaches to solving problems faced by the different-abled.



To empower differently-abled individuals to live independent lives.



Ashoka searches the world for extraordinary individuals with unprecedented ideas for change in their communities. Ashoka invests in these “social entrepreneurs” when no one else will, through stipends and professional services that allow “Ashok Fellows” to focus full time on their ideas for leading social change in education and youth development, health care, human rights, access to technology and economic development.


We are partnering with Ashoka, a global non-profit organization, to support social entrepreneurs working with the differently-abled people. In addition to the support provided by Ashoka, Wadhwani Ashoka Fellows will have access to all our entrepreneurial development programs and resources.



The Foundation’s offices are located in India and USA

> Wadhwani Foundation, Divya Singh Gurbuxani, 2, Bina Apartments, Ground Floor, Guru Gangeshwar Marg, 6th Road, Khar (W), Mumbai400 052, India, Tel: +91 22 26006158

> For any queries please mail us at: [email protected]. or [email protected]

> Wadhwani Foundation, 4015 Miranda Ave, 2nd Floor, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA

> Website: