(Photo: WhatsApp/Twitter)
(Photo: WhatsApp/Twitter)

New Delhi: In a bid to encourage entrepreneurs and small businesses in India, Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp on Thursday announced it will grant top five start-ups $250,000 (nearly Rs 1.75 crore) that can make a change in the country.Called the “Startup India-Grand Challenge,” the programme will invite entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and business models that can solve a local India problem and make a large-scale socio-economic impact.

WhatsApp has also announced a partnership with “Invest India” to fuel the growth of India’s entrepreneurial and small business community. The messaging app, with 1.3 billion global users and over 200 million users in India, has been working closely on its business platform for a year now.

In 2018, WhatsApp launched the first of its business products — the WhatsApp Business app and WhatsApp Business API. WhatsApp last week announced that over 5 million businesses are now on its platform. The platform is used by businesses to support customers, grow their businesses and serve their communities all over the world.

In India, 84 per cent of small and midsize business (SMBs) think that WhatsApp helps them communicate with customers, and 80 per cent of SMBs think that WhatsApp helps them grow their business. The “Startup India-Grand Challenge” is open till March 10.

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