The Buddha Fellowship Program

The Buddha Fellowship is a social responsibility initiative by The Buddha Institute. Extended over a period of 24 months, it is a mentoring program for the Buddha Fellows. Six Buddha Entrepreneurship Clinics (BECs) are organised during this period to support them.

Connect with us

By clicking 'Submit', you agree to receive communications via email/call from The Buddha Institute about this programme and other relevant programmes.

The Buddha Fellowship is a social responsibility initiative by The Buddha Institute. Extended over a period of 24 months, it is a mentoring program for the Buddha Fellows. Six Buddha Entrepreneurship Clinics (BECs) are organised during this period to support them.

Program Offering

The Program builds capacity of Buddha Fellows by linking them with rural community, unlocking grants and private capital, providing mentoring by leading experts and by enabling access to labs and facilities.

Support Offered

  • Connect with rural communities
  • Access to labs and facilities for research and development
  • Expert guidance on aspects like business strategy, operations, technology integration and marketing
  • On-going mentoring both at the grassroot level and in specially designed Buddha Entrepreneurship Clinics.
  • Linkages with funding opportunities (Support up to INR 25,00,000 or USD 35,000)
  • A growing network of experienced and mature Buddha Fellows who are traversing a similar journey

Our commitment to you

Geographic Expansion - We will enable you to test your idea in a new geography or market. Experts will guide you to think deeper and perfect your solution. You can lean on the Buddha Entrepreneurship Network to rapidly gain traction.

NGOs in our network will help you garner trust within the community. These communities can help you source raw materials for your business.

Product Diversification - Mentors will guide you in conducting feasibility study to diversify the portfolio of your products and services, including finding a niche in a crowded marketplace. Diversifying may require adopting technologies to process and store.

Similarly, sourcing from scattered geographies and supplying to a distant market requires large amount of working capital. We will help you on all such fronts.

Stabilization and Growth - We will support you in creating a long-term strategic plan for your development enterprise. With a view on operational success, we will also assist you in gaining ess to the required human and financial resources towards realising your vision.

Our team will actively help you secure grants or subsidies under relevant government schemes.

Buddha Entrepreneurship Clinic

Every quarter Buddha Fellows come to attend this offsite problem-solving workshop, which are called Buddha Entrepreneurship Clinic, where they meet with subject experts and mentors and come up with their own solutions. Buddha Fellows learn from Each Other's experience as well in these quarterly clinics.

Mentors and Experts


People & Culture

Business Planning



Community connect

Legal matters



Health & Nutrition

Apply Now for the 2022-2024 cohort

Buddha Fellows are progressive in their thinking, passionate about creating an equitable society, and resilient in realising their dream. They take risks, have a problem-solving attitude, are innovative, and can deal with ambiguity.

Tangibly, we are looking for individuals who meet the following criteria

Individual Attributes:

  • Desire to address issues like inequality, poverty, and dignity of life
  • Ability to build consensus among different stakeholders
  • Grit and determination
  • Track record of execution

Organisational Features:

  • For-profit enterprise, in operation for at least two years
  • Directly impacts the lives of vulnerable groups
  • Preferred sectors: Agriculture, Livelihoods, Health and Environment
  • May be incubated elsewhere

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Who is eligible?

Development entrepreneurs in operation for at least two years are eligible to apply. The organisation must be registered as a for-profit organisation and should have direct impact on vulnerable communities. Preference will be given to women, dalit, and tribal entrepreneurs.

2) How much money can I expect as part of the program?

Maximum up to INR 25 lakhs

3) What is the duration of the program?

There’s a basic 10-month program that every accepted Fellow must go through. Following a review, the most promising Buddha Fellows will have an opportunity to go through an advanced 14-month program to scale their operations.

4) Which sectors do you provide mentoring for?

Agriculture, Livelihoods, Health, and Environment

5) Is it a residential program?

The program is not residential however Fellows may have to come for rural immersion as well as Buddha Entrepreneurship Clinics, which will be hosted six times in 24 months

6) Is there an application or program fee?


7) Is there an age limit?

We prefer our Buddha Fellows to be in the age range of 22-30 years. Exceptional candidates of any age may apply.

8) How many Fellows are accepted per year?

Between 15-20 every year

9) Can NRI candidates apply?

Yes, NRIs who are directly impacting vulnerable communities in India are eligible to apply


Buddha Fellows In Limelight

Preeti Singh, IIT Kharagpur

Project Name: Swarambh, ( Buddha Fellow since May 2018 )

My Motivation
"I wanted to be a job creator. My mission is to empower the youth in Tier 2 and Tier 3 regions by bridging the gap towards gig economy and freelancing"

Preeti Singh along with her mentor Byomkesh Mishra pioneered “Swarambh”, an outreach program for gig inspired youth from tier 2 and tier 3 towns of Uttar Pradesh. After graduating with a Masters degree from IIT Kharagpur, Preeti joined Schlumberger, USA. But the zeal of becoming a development entrepreneur was always there. With this mission she started her exploration journey with Buddha Fellowship.

Here she was exposed to various projects of non profits. Fellowship gave her access to a network of eminent mentors which helped her succeed in this exploration journey.

Swarambh has raised INR 3.6 crore (USD 400,000) from Axis Bank Foundation, helping her outreach thousands of youth.

Kolli Madhu, IIM Ahmedabad

Organisation Name: MLAND, ( Buddha Fellow since May 2018 )

IIM Ahmedabad, Organisation Name: MLAND

An IIM Ahmedabad 2018 graduate, Madhu has beaten all odds to make his dream of becoming a development entrepreneur come true.

Madhu is using precision agricultural practices like Greenhouse and Shadenet Cultivation for maximizing income per unit area for farmers of Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh.

Starting with 1.25 acres, Madhu initially invested INR 60 lakhs (USD 80,000) to grow exotic flower variety Dutch Rose. Madhu is not just bringing a new mode of cultivation to Guntur farmers but also increasing their income 5X. Through the INR 1.5 crores (USD 200,000) he has raised so far, he aims to scale his enterprise to more greenhouses, and diversifying to grow chilli seedlings.

Madhu’s biggest motivation comes from the time he spends in the fields cultivating flowers with the help of farmers.

Buddha Fellowship provided Madhu the right platform to learn different development entrepreneurship models, gain practical experience, learn from the expertise of mentors and arrange finance. He successfully marketed custard apple pulp in Hyderabad during Buddha Fellowship, which boosted his confidence to pursue his own project of growing Dutch Rose in a greenhouse.

Buddha Fellow Voices

Copyright © 2022 Buddha Fellowship Program. All Rights Reserved.