Impact. We know it when we see it. We know all about how companies like Apple and Facebook have “put a dent in the universe”. Through its aim of creating 10 million Mass Entrepreneurs and 50 million jobs, GAME is working to leave its own impact on an entire generation of India. I began my 6-week internship at GAME a month ago, inspired by their mission and energized by the opportunity to contribute to its success. During my time at GAME, I have primarily been focused on our AntarPrerna initiative, which will shepherd youth through the journey to becoming a mass entrepreneur. It was certainly overwhelming to be thrown into something that those around me had been living and breathing for months. Looking back though, it was being thrown into the deep end that gave me a chance to contribute; in collaboration with the team, I helped crystalize the initiative’s overall vision, develop the specific programs that would enable entrepreneurs, and articulate how best we can implement our vision. Indeed, rare is the organization where a 6-week intern is given the chance to work side by side a director and help shape a major pillar of their work.
Working at GAME has been a true, holistic learning experience; however, perhaps the most valuable lesson has been about how to operationalize a vision. Just like any other world-changing organization, the team at GAME has taken their ambitious goals, broken it down into smaller objectives, and crafted bespoke strategies to target each objective to achieve the larger goal— like stacking Lego bricks to build a larger model. Creating 10 million mass entrepreneurs and 50 million jobs will certainly allow GAME to put its own dent in the universe. Impact. We know it when we see it.
We are delighted to have S Baskar Reddy, Country Director, Syngenta Foundation India and Director, AE Growth Foundation share some compelling insights in this month’s Guest Column.
S Baskar Reddy,
Country Director, Syngenta Foundation India
Director, AE Growth Foundation
SEEDING ENTREPRENEURS TO GROW FARM INCOMES
The Syngenta Foundation turns unemployed youth into service providers.
Akshay Kumar Manjhi is a marginal farmer from Kalahandi, Odisha. He has one acre of land and limited access to water. He grows vegetables on 0.1 acre, and works as a daily wage laborer. Manjhi finds it very difficult to make ends meet.
The Indian agriculture sector has millions of stories like this. The tale is similar in many other countries. So what ails the agriculture sector? Is it lack of innovations, technologies and services? The answer is definitely ‘No’. The challenge lies in their efficient delivery.
In the health sector, ASHA workers play an important role in delivering services. They connect millions of clients to healthcare systems. In the automobile sector, middle-layer mechanics help drivers with essential services and keep the engines running. Without this cadre of service providers, such sectors would collapse. That is the biggest gap in our agriculture: there is no middle layer of “farmer relationship managers”.
Syngenta Foundation India aims to change this. Since 2014, we have been developing a sustainable and efficient delivery model called the Agri-entrepreneurship Program. The idea is simple: we activate the underused potential of rural youth, and create rural enterprises to help thousands of farmers like Manjhi. We select unemployed young villagers, train them on key aspects of agriculture and entrepreneurship, and then anchor them as local agri- entrepreneurs. They become a ‘one-stop solution’ for 150-200 neighboring smallholders. The agri-entrepreneurs provide advice, sell farm inputs, facilitate credit and link farmers to markets. For the first two years, they receive technical guidance from well-trained agri- entrepreneur mentors, who are salaried employees of our Foundation…. Read More
On 24th June and 1st July, GAME conducted 2 sector-focused co-creation design thinking workshops, to identify and detail business opportunities for urban women entrepreneurs in the Food and Education sectors. The workshops were facilitated by McKinsey and the output will feed into a study, the objective of which is to identify market access opportunities and drive growth for women in the Urban Homepreneur segment.
The intent of the workshop was to collaborate with policy makers, sector experts, real entrepreneurs and funding partners to re-imagine possibilities and opportunities. Design thinking was used as a human-centred approach to innovation that integrated the needs of entrepreneurs, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements of business success.
Using this approach, the participants immersed themselves in co-creating user personas and user journeys for lighthouse ideas in food retail, food services, day-care and skilling, and together prioritized opportunities where GAME can play a role to catalyse mass entrepreneurship along with its partners and other enablers.
Experts who attended the food sector workshop included Rashmi Daga (Founder, Freshmenu), Rachna Rao (Founder, FoodyBuddy), Seshu Kumar ( Head, Buying & Merchandising, Big Basket), Ajay Macaden (Executive Director, Nielsen), Pradnya Godbole (CEO, deAsra Foundation), Saumya Dubey (Product Manager, Swiggy), Pavandeep Singh (Co-founder, Tasty Tales), Dilraj Kadavithara (Head, Facility management centre, Kudumbashree), Hrishihesk Thakur (Kudumbashree), Swaroopa (Govt of Karnataka, MSME), Idi Srinivas Murthy (Marketer), to name a few.
Experts who attended the education sector workshop Priya Krishnan (KLAY), Pooja Dubey (Working mother), Vaijayanthi (YLG), Ramya Venkataraman (CENTA), Anju Cherian (The Alchemy Nursery), Bimaljeet Bhasin (NIIT), Anand Sudarshan (Sylvant Advisors), Neelu Kapur (First Steps Pre-Primary School and Day Care) Sunitha Viswanathan (Unitus Ventures), Pavithra K. L. (Dream-a-dream), Saumil Majumdar (Sportzvillage), Shraddha Deo (Sneh Foundation), Brinda Kathrani (Preschool Curriculum Consultant), Priyansha Rawat (NSDC), Prapulla Sandeep (Hippocampus)
One of our key partners in our journey to catalyze Mass Entrepreneurship, Facebook, has played an important role in enabling entrepreneurial journeys. Stories of entrepreneurs we believe must be told not just to celebrate their spirit and success, but also to inspire so many young men and women that entrepreneurship is a path they too can consider.
Shashi Bagchi wanted to revive the dying tradition of Terracotta Pottery when she established Maati in 2006. When her husband Anin left his corporate career to help her expand the business enterprise, what began was a journey of hope, freedom and fulfilment.
Watch this video to see how Shashi and Anin revived the traditional terracotta art and used Facebook to make it reach far and wide.
Avanee – Upaj Farms
Avanee Jain, an Architect turned Organic Farmer, established Upaj Farms with the objective to make people aware about the importance of organic food. Not being from a business or marketing background, the biggest challenge that Avanee faced was to take the concept of organic farming to people.
Watch this video to see how Avanee overcame her limitations and used Facebook to reach out to people and expand Upaj not just in her hometown, but all over the country.
Aspiring Young Women to Become Leaders of Tomorrow
“My parents want me to get married this year. But if I had my way, I’d want to be a nurse first before getting married. However, our financial conditions do not allow me to continue my studies,” laments Rinki. But with the new digital classes as part of Digital Empowerment Foundation’s digital literacy programme, she now aspires to dream big.
Not just a dreamer, young women are getting aspired and further going to be trained in entrepreneurial skills through the DEF-Facebook initiative GOAL (Going Online As Leaders). The initiative that is institutionally supported by the NITI Aayog and their WEP programme, aims at linking urban women leaders, all experts in their respective fields, to five tribal or rural girls each who will be trained in digital literacy by our ground staff and mentored by the women leaders to become village-level women entrepreneurs and agents of change.
During the six-month training, women leaders, with expertise in their respective domains — from business, education and health to politics, arts and entrepreneurship—inspire, guide and encourage at least five tribal girls each to become village-level digital young leaders. The programme is now in its first phase and will be rolled out in five states: West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Maharashtra with 50 mentors and 200 mentees.
IN THE NEWS
The Delhi Government’s Entrepreneurship Mindset Curriculum (EMC)
Delhi CM Kejriwal to add entrepreneurship lessons from Class 9, will give Rs 1,000 as Seed money
Steamy samosas, endless queues & tax troubles: Kachori-seller Mukesh earns over Rs 60 lakh every year
Maharashtra flagship scheme for MSME’s to generate 10 Lakh jobs
Jharkhand’s Livelihood Society Is Empowering Lakhs Of Women In The State
To spur rural development, India must make agriculture economically viable
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