Supporting social entrepreneurship in India’s youth


There is nothing more impressive than nurturing young minds in encouragement of social entrepreneurship. And that’s what the Jagriti Yatra, started by the not-for-profit organisation Jagriti Sewa Sansthan, is all about. This initiative is a 15 day journey across the length and breadth of India that culminates in the 450 entrepreneurs applying the lessons they have learnt in the Biz Gyan Tree initiative in the Deoria district of Uttar Pradesh.

Through their travels so far these entrepreneurs have had the opportunity to understand the business model behind Karnataka’s Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya which is powered through solar energy, been trained in brand building at Chennai’s Royal Enfield Factory and taught operations and scalability at Akshaya Patra’s kitchen in Visakhapatnam, amongst others. Akshaya Patra was extremely proud to have contributed to the education of these eager entrepreneurs.

Explaining what is expected of these young ‘yatris’ Shashank Mani, Chairman of Jagriti Sewa Sansthan says, “This initiative allows hands-on experience of starting your own business with Deoria district as a setting. Now that the students have got a macro picture of India’s local businesses, it is time to work on-field, understand the problems of the villagers and come up with solutions.”

After these educational tours the participants will spend time in eight villages of Deoria speaking with local farmers, owners of small businesses and schools to devise business proposals. From these 20 proposals will be selected for a four month residential exercise in the month of March. Based on the best innovation, achievability and local relevance, the four best groups will be chosen and awarded a Rs. 1 lakh grant to help them start their business.

These creative initiatives coupled with young inventive minds are certain to bring about a positive change in the lives of citizens all over India. Akshaya Patra is honoured to have been chosen as an example of innovation for this programme, and looks forward to future involvement in this worthy cause.

The author arjun

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