The COVID pandemic resulted in the shutting down of a lot of businesses and beauty salons were one of them. The extended lockdowns resulted in low to absolutely nil customer footfall. 

The beauty and personal care market is expected to touch $10 billion by 2021, growing at an annual rate of 5-6%, according to a report by the Indian Beauty & Hygiene Association. However, the majority of beauty and wellness businesses, including salons, spas, and barbershops, fall either in the small and medium enterprise or the unorganised category. This sector employs approximately seven million skill-based professionals, mostly from the weaker sections of society, according to industry estimates. Two out of three employees in the industry are women or migrant workers who have been the worst hit by the extended lockdowns.

When the lockdown was lifted, the entrepreneurs showed a desire to adapt their businesses to the new reality but did not have the resources to do so. Innovative financing in the form of a returnable grant was the solution here. Under the Salon-I program, Godrej became the mentor of these businesses and funded this particular initiative. The entrepreneurs were provided with small ticket sized grants ranging from INR 5000 to INR 20000 which was to be used as working capital to restart and build the resilience of their respective businesses. 

The entrepreneurs had only a moral obligation to repay the grant given to them with the vision that if the money comes back, it will be used to aid more such entrepreneurs in the network. A total of INR 55 lakhs has been disbursed among 472 beautypreneurs so far.