Let’s activate the Startup- ecosystem beyond the border

As Indian, or for that matter, as a global- citizen, we should feel proud of the fact that participation of Youth in business has increased significantly during past few years. And for India, as mentioned by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor India Report 2021-22, as high as 86% of youth in India are ready to start a business and they perceive it as the most suitable option for them. The same spirit needs to reciprocated to ensure optimum utilization of the ‘Demographic Dividend’ in India.

We need to create an enabling environment for youth in India to enter and successfully prosper in the field of business and create opportunities for others.

It goes without saying that, much commendable efforts are already made at the government, private and philanthropic level to upskilling the youth and perform better in the job market or do business in a better way. An inclusive approach to help young women and men from socio- economic or geographically excluded areas.

‘Language’ also plays a critical role in reaching out to youth who normally remain outside the coverage of school- college- university based programmes. Most of the youth from this category work in unorganized sector and/ or lack the capacity to overcome communications barriers. I am also considering the vast section of new internet users, who belong to rural, semi- urban and excluded areas.

My experiences of working with young entrepreneurs or micro entrepreneurs from different states of India made me realize the fact that Educating and equipping young entrepreneurs, can never be based on a ‘straight jacket for all’ approach. It requires slight coordination among the stakeholders of the entrepreneurial ecosystem that’s already boosted with the spirit of ‘Startup India Mission’, ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, which is further strengthened by contributions from CSR and philanthropic sectors.

India is fortunate to have a very progressive policy regarding expansion of coverage of training and finance support for Startup entrepreneurs. Youth from urban or semi- urban areas are naturally the best recipient of that support. Youth from rural and excluded areas and communities need to be brought under the coverage of information and support services. And that is possible only through an inclusive approach towards young entrepreneurs.

‘Use of local language’ can become a real accelerator to ensure effective dissemination of any information among the excluded group of population. At this age of AI and Machine learning, it’ll take little more effort to translate existing information into local language and ensure accuracy of information.

Digital innovations could be termed as the ‘great equalizer’, once the access to information and services are concerned. With around 70% of populating accessing internet in India, the use of internet through smartphone is higher among youth, even from the excluded areas and communities.

Above all, focused attention need to be given to the Youth today, just in order to secure a better tomorrow for all of us. Blending Digital Innovations with the power of youth can really do wonder.

Suprio Chatterjee

Founder & Team Lead- Markzin

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