August 25, 2021 - Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME) and YuWaah! - Generation Unlimited India hosted the Youth Entrepreneurship (YE) Summit, a convening of major players in the space, on the 21st of August, coinciding with World Entrepreneurs' Day. With this convening, the aim is to build collaborations and partnerships to fuel youth entrepreneurship as a viable and aspirational career path.
The convening featured panel discussions which explored nuances of making Youth Entrepreneurship a movement. The sessions included a discussion with young entrepreneurs and potential opportunities for collaboration and for building a robust ecosystem. There were also discussions on GAME’s initiatives in this space and how collaborations with partners can provide the right ecosystem for the next generation of entrepreneurs to thrive.This event also marked the official launch of the joint taskforce’s Youth Entrepreneurship program - ‘Yuvoudhyami’. Industry leaders, Policymakers, and Young Entrepreneurs from different parts of the nation marked the occasion with their presence and valuable insights.
Over 100 million people have declared themselves as “not in the labor force, education, and training”. Unemployment among youth has reached 18%, tripling from 2012-2018. India is currently witnessing an unemployment crisis and the largest job-creating sector remains unstimulated. In most countries, like China, Bangladesh, and Nigeria, the Medium, Small, and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) create 50 – 80% of jobs. India’s MSME sector creates only 24% of total jobs. Meanwhile, 7 million people in India (on average) requires jobs every year.
To overcome the job crisis and tackle the economic challenges of the future, India needs to exponentially increase the number of job creators in the coming years. This entails boosting the MSME sector by motivating the next generation to pursue it as a viable career path. As Madan Padaki, co-founder, GAME, said, “Entrepreneurship and especially youth entrepreneurship is a complex adaptive system. For YE initiatives to make a tangible difference, it is critical for all stakeholders to learn from each other and collaborate to achieve economies of scale. To unlock the potential of youth entrepreneurship, we need to nurture an entrepreneurial mindset, map career pathways based on skills, passion, and opportunities, design structured internship models with local entrepreneurs, enable access to financing, build structured mentoring programs, among other initiatives. We can create impact at scale only when there is a collaborative, structured, and consistent effort.”
The GAME-YuWaah task force will facilitate this entrepreneurial wave by exploring a gamut of activities to create a scalable model for Youth Entrepreneurship with its alliance of partners.
The plan is to collaborate with several Institutions working in the areas of entrepreneurship and youth empowerment to pilot variations of YE models that would aid in amplifying existing solutions. Currently, GAME has partnered with Head Held High (HHH) Foundation to work with rural young women in Karnataka, providing them training in key skill areas, and nurturing opportunities for them to explore entrepreneurial ideas at the village/taluk level. “Establishing this model is an important milestone in creating economic pathways for women and change at scale. The first cohort has been launched at Wadi Karnataka and we see a lot of potential to drive the creation of women led enterprises catering towards local community needs,” says Pankaj Singh Thakur, CEO of Head Held High Foundation.
GAME has partnered with SHINE Foundation to work with students from multiple colleges across Karnataka to develop their entrepreneurial abilities culminating in the creation of viable business ideas through their Inunity program. This will also pave the way towards creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem in colleges for the growth of entrepreneurial mindset among students. “Inunity is a 6 month program that works with entrepreneurial young minds to address pressing challenges of the region and co-create sustainable solutions with relevant entrepreneurial ecosystems that positively impact communities," says Johnson Tellis, Director, Sahyadri.
The next step is to create a place-based model, with plans to deploy the entire gamut of Youth-focused Entrepreneurship models available in the ecosystem with a consortium of alliance partners at a district level in its lighthouse States. This presents an opportunity to impact one district through franchise / clean energy / sales / service / data / agriculture-based enterprises sourced locally. The creation of an ideal / model district involving all broader and local ecosystem stakeholders can best highlight the impact of Youth Entrepreneurship on the economy of a district. This would provide young entrepreneurs an opportunity to pursue their ventures through a well-supported process; access to networking, guidance, digital literacy and mentorship.
As an ecosystem facilitator, GAME plans to expand knowledge and learning through increased collaboration amongst individuals /institutions in the YE space. By organizing convenings, webinars, summits that can serve as a platform for participants to share knowledge from industry veterans, GAME aims to enrich the level of ideas in the ecosystem.
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