HSBC-Sustainability Grant

With HSBC’s support, the Sustainability Grant provides sustainability-related startups with up to $25,000 in seed money. The funding can be used to accelerate the startups in their journey towards integrating sustainable practices and business models.

The grant is up to $25,000 and will be disbursed in two tranches.

Eligibility Criteria

Non-incubated startups can apply but will have to accept incubation by IIE and accept mentoring upon the award of the grant.

Selection Criteria

  • Clear Problem Definition - Teams has to provide a clear articulation of the problem or pain situation they are targeting. Potential market opportunity - The team is required to conduct a research on the potential market numbers of demand for product or service. This will include an explanation on the general market and the initial target (beachhead) market.
  • Market-Product Fit: The team is required to state the target market-product fit and clearly articulate the input and data collected from potential customers/buyers and businesses.
  • Differentiation of product, service or technology: Applicants/team are required to illustrate and explain the differentiated features of their existing product, service or platform vis-à-vis the competitor analysis.
  • Social impact: the team is required to have a clear theory of change on how they business model delivers sustainability-related social impact.
  • Scalability: Applicants/teams have to explain their plans to acquire customers illustrate some projection on revenue and profits which the teams can present in graphs and charts.
  • Well-thought business model /customer acquisition initiatives: A detailed explanation on the revenue model and the customer acquisition strategy.
  • Quality of Founding team: Founders are required to share their domain knowledge and demonstrate a strong understanding of the industry and market. Teams are also required to provide the commitment to their startup.
  • Social impact: The team is required to have a clear theory of change on how they business model delivers sustainability-related social impact.


Recipients of the Sustainability Grant will be required to achieve milestones agreed upon with IIE’s Entrepreneur in Residence. Upon completion of milestones, they must submit a report showing how the seed money was used to accelerate their business.

Recipients will have access to sustainability masterclasses that cover topics in the intersection of sustainability and entrepreneurship, including life cycle analysis, sustainability reporting, and branding & marketing for sustainability start-ups.


The next round of applications will be an open call in the 3rd Quarter of 2019.


Stay up to date with the latest happenings in the social stratosphere.