According to studies, one out of three Indians (nearly 1.2 billion people) lacks necessities like nutrition, sanitation, and healthcare. Lack of education is another significant aspect that results in high illiteracy and unemployment rate.
Social enterprises play a significant role to alleviate poverty by generating employment for the less fortunate. Several foundations in India take such initiatives to empower lives and improving living standards.
How promoting entrepreneurship can reduce poverty in India?
Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime ~ Lao Tzu.
As the proverb suggests, helping someone become self-sufficient can help them sustain a living instead of offering one meal. Social enterprises take the initiative to make people self-reliant. Some contribute by providing free education and building careers, while some teach skills to help people earn a living.
From big brands like Amul to social entrepreneurs like Sumita Ghose, plenty of organizations and entrepreneurs are working towards economic development and eradicating one of the biggest problems in India – unemployment.
Foundations in India working towards poverty alleviation
Social enterprises are changing the lives of millions with innovative and sustainable solutions. The traditional form of charity has been challenged with such ideas to create a livelihood for the poor. These initiatives empower lives, improve lifestyles, offer job opportunities, and retain traditions. Here are some companies doing their bit to alleviate poverty in India:
Enterprises working towards inclusive development help generate income for the economically marginalized. One such example is Amul.
Amul is an organization that has been helping to eradicate poverty in rural India for decades. The dairy cooperative focuses on improving socio-economic conditions for rural India. They generate massive employment, contribute toward farmer welfare, and also levy cooperative schemes for their benefits.
Currently, more than three million small farmers of Gujarat own Amul. Their cooperative schemes have contributed towards women’s empowerment, making them financially contributive in their families.
SEWA means services in Hindi, and the name stands as the Self-Employed Women’s Association. It is a trade union from Ahmedabad that promotes women’s rights and finds ways to employ women with low income and opportunities.
Around 800 homes in rural Gujarat partnered with Airbnb to raise an average income of $500 per month. The initiative was taken by SEWA that helped these homes to have an official connection. Additionally, they made way for tourism operators, culinary services, transportation services, which benefit the local Airbnb homes.
3. Bihar Self Help Groups
Kiran Devi received help from Self Help Groups (SHGs) in Bihar that led her to become the director of Aranyak Producer Company. It was an initiative established by her father, which was aided by technological solutions.
The company aggregates maize from over 6000 small farmers and offers better prices to increase their standard of living. The Purnia district-based company generates employment for small-scale women producers by helping them create producer groups in every village. These women aggregate produce, train farmers, and monitor quality. They also connect with sellers in the market to gain maximum profits instead of selling their produce to intermediaries.
4. Women Entrepreneurs India (WEI)
WEI is an independent initiative that helps small-scale women entrepreneurs to develop skills through training programs. They offer financial education and supportive marketing techniques.
WEI suggests home-based business options like retail consulting, food delivery, writing, translation, jewelry designing, and more.
Rangsutra bridges the gap between Indian rural artisans and consumers across the globe. Led by Sumita Ghose, this company works towards improving the lifestyle of rural India but also helps them retain their craftsmanship.
India is rich in culture and tradition, and traditional artisans hold onto history. Rangsutra paved a path for more than 2000 artisans to exhibit their talent and make a living through their craftsmanship.
6. Digital Green
After working as an aeronautical engineer in a space program in the United States, Rikin Gandhi returned to India. His next goal was to empower farmers through the Digital Green project. Sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the initiative produces and distributes relevant videos promoting good agricultural practices. It is a community-centric foundation that uses technology to promote farmer empowerment by sharing information through audio-visuals.
Vijay Mahajan established Bhartiya Samruddhi Investments and Consulting Services or BASIX. He started the first-ever microfinance project in India to lend money to the poor and promote financial independence.
Microfinance or microcredit is a banking facility for low-income families or unemployed people. The ultimate goal is to make rural Indians self-sufficient and help them have enough money to create a microbusiness.
RuralShores is a social enterprise that works towards assimilating rural India by providing knowledge. They establish BPO and IT companies in rural areas and target rural youth to create job opportunities. They explore untapped talent to analyze the skills they are good at or can develop. Further, they nurture those talents and promote employment.
Along with social enterprises promoting employment, there are also many working towards eradicating illiteracy. These initiatives work towards educational empowerment for children to help them grow into knowledgeable individuals who can shape India for a better tomorrow.