November 17, 2018

Village Enterprises = Lucrative Futures

Idrish Joshi started his own successful enterprise, despite losing both his arms, after studying at SEDI.
Entrepreneurship is giving young men, women and the disabled from rural communities, lucrative, flexible careers, and status in the community - thanks to the work of SEDI who actively promotes the establishment of new businesses among trainees.

With trades such as Beautician, Automobile and Mobile Phone Repairing well suited to entrepreneurship, small shops are popping up across villages due to the low cost of investment.  Poor salaries offered in these trades, along with long working hours, provide added incentive!  With family obligations and a desire to remain in their home communities to save on commuting time and costs, students are opting to start their own businesses - and are prospering as a result.

➢      Rural Entrepreneurs are Thriving!

Omprakash Panwar is one such successful entrepreneur.  Born and raised in Barmer, Rajasthan, he only studied to grade 6 due to the family's financial difficulties and the lack of opportunity in the remote community.  He started working in the steel trade as a daily wage labourer and faced several failures before he heard of SEDI and decided to study Automobile Repair.  In 2015 he started his business, 'Panwar Auto Parts, Repairing & Service Centre'in Barmer, which soon expanded into 2 centres.   Today he supports his wife and 5 daughters by earning 1-1.2lakh per month from the 4-year-old enterprise - and provides employment to 2 others in the community.

It's a similar story for Kala Tak.  Once a housewife with zero income, Kala Tak realized her dream of opening her own beauty parlour having studied beautician course at ACF's SEDI in Nagaur Rajasthan.  Today, her successful unisex salon in Jodhpur turns over
Rs 1.5 lakh per month in peak wedding season, and she earns a regular Rs50,000 per month in down season whilst providing employment to 6 other SEDI graduates.

SEDI also encourages entrepreneurship among the disabled and has launched an initiative across 2 locations where over 213 differently-abled students have graduated from SEDI with 169 earning via their own businesses.  Idrish Joshi, who lost both his arms in an accident at the age of six, has developed a standing in the community and his own independence thanks to his small shop, where he helps community members with computer work and documentation - dreaming of expanding into photocopying soon to take his profits from Rs. 3000 per month to Rs. 8000!

➢      Secrets to Fostering Rural Entrepreneurship

So what is the secret recipe for success in nurturing entrepreneurs?  ACF's Prashant Ranga, SEDI in-charge, Marwar Mundwa, Rajasthan, believes that a key component is found in selecting the right student for entrepreneurship, and of course, supporting them on their journey as an entrepreneur.

'When we promote entrepreneurship, we are looking for a mix of ingredients in a person - the right family condition, the thinking of the student, their motivation … ' Prashant Ranga said.

"We encourage them to do research on the competition in the area, the need within the community, and to of course do a cost analysis to identify break even points after investment.  But most importantly, we try to ignite the spark within potential entrepreneurs.  We get them to imagine the name of their shop or parlour, envision their shop banner and signage, to feel what it would be like running their own enterprise and helping the community. It works!" Said Prashant.

"And of course, a key requirement we help our students with is how to source 'start-up capital' - we teach them to develop a proposal for a bank loan, how to access grants from the Government, or how to motivate their family and friends to support them - asking them to invest between 15,000-20,000Rs." Prashant said.

"At the end of the day, entrepreneurship is a journey.  We have found that if we give them too much technical knowledge at first, students find it very difficult.  After they have started their businesses in a small way, SEDI nurtures them to grow - guiding them on things like book keeping - simple expenditure, income and profit analysis.  We share success stories and we provide training on how to acquire customers.  For some trades, such as Automobile we encourage students to start with a toolkit - servicing customers from their homes, which helps build confidence to start their own business and grow from there." He said.

"In this trade, most students find it difficult to retain their jobs due to long hours and poor salary.  Automobile sector graduates are only getting 5000-6000Rs whilst working 8-10hours, however, if a student services clients on their own they can earn much more, for less hours committed. Additionally, the commute time and costs go down to save time in the day - giving them more time at home to help and support their families."

"Many successful students have old parents at home and after starting their own businesses, they have more time to support them." Mr Ranga explained.

"Lastly, entrepreneurs provide a great service to the community - helping reduce unemployment, providing valuable services and acting as role models to other youth. They see the practical experience of our graduates - growing from SEDI, starting their businesses and developing financial status in the community, which helps change perceptions of skilling and develop more interest in pursuing skill training."

➢      Impact to Date

SEDIs Entrepreneurship Program has helped more than 11,000 graduates start enterprises in rural communities - helping curb urban migration and support young people in building prosperity in rural India.

Prashant Ranga - SEDI In Charge, Marwar Mundwa, Rajasthan

November 17, 2018

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