Laying the foundation for a kinder world: HSI/India gears up for 2nd edition of Humane Entrepreneurship Program

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Is our food cruelty-free? Is our favourite make-up line animal-friendly? What goes behind the creation of our clothes?

These are questions we must routinely ask manufacturers. It is no secret that the ethical and environmental challenges associated with the consumption of animal-based

products like meat, dairy, eggs, leather, fur and silk have caused great devastation to our planet and health. Take the example of animal agriculture; it is not only one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions, it is also associated with polluting the local land and water, causing habitat destruction and contributing significantly to climate change. Additionally due to indiscriminate use of hormones and antibiotics in the industry, it is also responsible for alarming increase in antibiotic resistance.

As India is estimated to add more than 270 million people to its global population by 2050, the need for significant shifts in our food habits, material usage and testing systems has become critical. We need to steer away from resource-intensive, inhumane animal dependent practices and move towards sustainable, new-age alternatives.

Bridging the gap

Today, more and more Indians are aware of the repercussions of consumption of animal products. Businesses are beginning to steer clear of products built on exploitation and opting for animal-friendly or plant-based alternatives. The fibre industry has been successfully creating materials that look and feel like fur and leather, but without use of fur or skin from animals, offering us fashion without cruelty. However, a gap in the availability of high quality plant-based products in the food, materials and non-animal testing sectors still remains.

In their continued efforts to promote and encourage entrepreneurs who are focused on creating animal-friendly products, HSI/India has launched the second edition of the Humane Entrepreneurship Program (HEP) in India. The program guides Indian entrepreneurs, giving them access to global leaders as mentors and advisors.

The aim of this program is to help impactful humane businesses grow and to foster innovations that do better for the animals and for the environment.

Humane Entrepreneurship Program Season 2

In the past few years, HSI/India has fostered multiple start-up and corporate engagements to promote humane alternatives in the Indian ecosystem, and their Humane Entrepreneurship Program is harnessing innovation to address the most crucial challenges through a collective effort.

The first edition of the Humane Entrepreneurship Program in 2020 saw entrepreneurs make significant leaps through countless new connections, strategic advancements and upskilling. The cohort had the opportunity to meet over a dozen investors and venture capitalists, propelling them further towards meeting their fundraising goals. Speaking about the event, HEP 2020 Entrepreneur, Jasmine Bharucha, Founder, Katharos Foods, says, "Under the HEP Program, I have hired food scientists, scaled my production and now I am focusing on sales and marketing. It has put me in a much more competitive space. Earlier I was working in silos, now I am working within a network of experts."

Another HEP 2020 Entrepreneur Ravali Amba, Founder, Brew 51 also explains how the access to mentors has helped her. She says, “My two key takeaways from the program are understanding and articulating my business plan, and being able to substantially accelerate my prototype development. All of this was possible through valuable inputs from my mentoring sessions.”

This year too, the program will continue to focus on plant-based food, next-generation materials replacing animals and non-animal testing methodologies. Additionally, it will:

  • Bring onboard a human centered design thinking framework to help entrepreneurs design and innovate sustainable business models.
  • Provide entrepreneurs a stipend of 5 lakh and upward.
  • Enable focussed mentorship to each of the chosen start-ups through one-on-one mentoring sessions.
  • Facilitate networking opportunities among the extensive HEP Group.
  • Conclude with a pitch day where the participants will get an opportunity to pitch to leading investors to try and secure funds for their venture.

Achieving goals together

Since its inception, the Humane Entrepreneurship Program has worked with startups to help them upskill and develop a solid network through mentorship, coaching, workshops and networking opportunities. Their dynamic ecosystem of expert advisors and investors aims to empower eligible entrepreneurs to scale their business ideas.

Why should you choose to partner with the Humane Entrepreneurship Program?

- It helps entrepreneurs learn the foundations of building businesses.

- Together, teams can find innovative solutions to challenges in the ecosystem.

- It helps build resilient agile teams.

- It helps to meet fundraising goals.

- The program is customised based on your startup stage and the key issues you wish to resolve.

If you are an innovator for a humane startup and wish to redefine your business models and strategy with the help of industry experts,


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