Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Jan 06, 2005
Industry & Economy
Nurturing entrepreneurial talent among rural youth
Pune , Jan. 5
TWENTY-five-year-old Vikas Kumbharkar, a resident of Sasawad in Maharashtra, always dreamt of becoming an entrepreneur but without the seed capital, he simply did not know how to go about it.
A chance meeting with the Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust changed all that. Within months of his meeting with the non-profit organisation, Kumbharkar was in business, processing cashewnut and distributing it in the State.
"I was determined to work hard, fulfil my dream but what helped me get there is the fact that the trust believed in my entrepreneurial idea, trusted me with the Rs 10,000 that I needed and guided me every step of the way," says Kumbharkar, who currently employs a handful of rural youth for the business which has crossed the Rs 40,000 mark in sales.
Kumbharkar's life and that of hundreds of youth like him across parts of rural India in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana among others, changed thanks to the trust's innovative `Best business idea for rural youth' through which they promote micro-entrepreneurs by a combination of seed capital, business mentorship and support in the form of training, networking, marketing support, monitoring and counselling.
"When we launched the project in Tamil Nadu we got a thousand business ideas from applicants and it is the same in every centre we go to," says Ms Lakshmi Venkatesan, Founding Trustee and Executive Vice-President.
The trust has, till date, supported over a thousand such ventures with Rs 3.46 crore in loans, which in turn have created over four thousand jobs, created at least fifty millionaires and achieved what the banks are struggling hard to do - a success rate of 95 per cent!
"Our aim is now to create at least 40,000 jobs in the next 3-4 years," says Mr Subhod Bhargava, a member of the Board of Trustees, who was in Pune for the launch of its first `best business idea' contest for urban Pune where official figures with the employment exchange show 2.88 lakh youngsters are looking for employment in the organised sector alone.
BYST has already supported 200 micro-enterprises in the State, which has created 700 more jobs and, says Ms Venkatesan, the Pune leg of the contest is expected to throw up a huge basket of viable business idea since the city is known for its innovation.
"Rural Maharashtra has shown a higher entrepreneurial growth than the urban centres and actually have youngsters making footwear and the ordinary chikki going up to the level of Rs 15-35 lakh in sales in just under two years."
BYST's best idea contest invites viable business ideas from people in the age group of 15-35 years, which are then judged by a panel of experts from Government, industry and educational institutions. In addition to cash awards and certificates, the winners also get the chance to implement their business ideas with hand-holding by the trust which has corporate support from the likes of CII, Tatas, Godrej, Essar, the Keep Walking Trust and AIG-USA.
"We are a country with a huge amount of entrepreneurial spirit but what we lack is the infrastructure and the sensitivity to help these blossom," says Ms Venkatesan who points out that the country's banking system and its regulations make it impossible for banks to lend without collateral, thus cutting out a huge chunk of prospective entrepreneurs who could create wealth at the grass roots level.
Stories in this Section
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |
Copyright © 2005, The
Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of
The Hindu Business Line