Creating Pathways To Entrepreneurial Ventures

NGO Salaam Bombay Foundation to launch 'Entrepreneurship Incubator for Grassroot Adolescents’ on this World Youth Skills Day

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a far-reaching impact on the Indian economy which has contracted 7.3 per cent for FY 2021-22, with more than 230 million people falling below the national daily minimum wage threshold of ₹375 and 7.35 million people losing jobs in the first month of this financial year alone. 

Despite the battering impact of the pandemic on India’s economy, it has surprisingly not stopped the spirit of innovation in the country, instead acting like a catalyst and disrupting business. Beginning last year itself (FY 2020-21) a whole new wave of ‘Covid Entrepreneurs’ accelerated by the digital penetration in the country have been setting up businesses even in tier 2 and 3 cities. A report by TiE indicates that these ventures will witness a compounded annual growth rate of 8-9 per centover the next five years.

Having worked within the municipal and government school system since 2002, with a focus on ‘at-risk’ grassroots adolescents, Salaam Bombay Foundation (SBF) identified this gap and ventured on a mission to bridge it.  Having deployed vocational skilling programmes for adolescents aged 14 – 18 years since 2014, SBF understood that early exposure to problem-solving through innovation increases an appetite for risk and develops their entrepreneurial mindset from a young age. The team found that there is a pressing need to adopt such implementation through a structured mechanism. While most of its alumni pursue income generation opportunities post-learning a skill, certain alumni showcased a prowess for setting up businesses with a long-term goal and vision of scaling their business, creating lucrative income opportunities and also providing employment to those in their community. For these alumni, SBF sought to provide the necessary support and knowledge so that their ideas may take flight and land on their feet. 

On the occasion of World Youth Skills Day 2021 (15th July), SBF will launch ‘The Entrepreneurship Incubator for Grassroot Adolescents’ in an attempt to support budding adolescent entrepreneurs aged 16-20 years. An entrepreneurship training module such as this would empower alumni to still earn part-time even in the time of an emergency like COVID-19 or a market recession, besides encouraging them to become self-starters, while also opening their minds up to a world filled with innovation, income generation opportunities and self-dependence.

SBF’s ‘Entrepreneurship Incubator for Grassroot Adolescents’ seeks to give a head start to building a strong foundation in entrepreneurship for adolescents in the age group of 16-20 years. While entrepreneurship plays a critical role in boosting economic growth, development, adolescents present a pool of untapped talent. 

SBF is proud to share that 17-year-old Divya Periyaswami who with her keen interest in the field of Beauty, enrolled herself in SBF’s skills@school Beauty & Wellness training programme and soon went on to open her own home-run beauty parlour. Divya was part of the pilot batch and her success is a testament to the need for such a programme. Upon enrolling in Salaam Bombay Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Incubator programme she was introduced to new business concepts and learnt useful skills such as budgeting, customer approach, maintaining records of products purchased and services provided. She also started using Instagram to showcase her work. She now wants to pursue her dream of becoming a full-time beautician and set up her own studio in the future.

Divya’s story among countless other grassroots adolescents, makes SBF believe that it is important to recognise entrepreneurship as a necessary ingredient in promoting self-employment, reducing unemployment and also being able to generate job opportunities for others at a state and national level. With SBF’s 7+ years of experience in providing vocational skill training to more than 22,500 resource-challenged adolescents, the Foundation brings to the table a talent pool of adolescents, who, if nurtured properly, can be groomed into budding entrepreneurs for tomorrow.  

Event Details

Date: Thursday, 15th July 2021

Time: 2.30 pm onwards

Platform: Virtual 

The programme will be launched on the occasion of World Youth Skills Day in the presence of Chintan Bakshi, Partner-Incubation at CIIE.CO, IIM-A (Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad), Harshal Shah, CEO, AIC-NMIMS Incubation Centre, Sobins Kuriakos, Head, State Government & Citizen Engagement (South) at National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), Sijo Varghese, Manager- Innovation & Start-up, MSInS, Department of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of Maharashtra, Preeti Telang, Former CEO, Swadhaar FinAccess, currently Consultant to Suryoday Foundation, CSR to Suryoday Small Finance Bank.   

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