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Empowering Entrepreneurs: Notes From A Visit To Masoom

In the last month, I had the opportunity to meet Masoom - Rang De’s Impact Partner organization - over a one-day visit to Mumbai.

I met with the management and the team at Masoom and we discussed the challenges of the communities around entrepreneurship, future scope and the impact until now. 

One of the flagship initiatives of Masoom is the Night School Transformation Programme (NSTP), which enhances the learning experience by improving physical infrastructure, providing digital learning tools, and training teachers to handle the unique challenges faced by night school students.

Masoom's efforts have yielded remarkable results:

  • 95 night schools transformed across Maharashtra, directly affecting 25000+ students.

  • Improved pass rates: The focused approach has significantly increased exam pass rates among students, contributing to their academic success and future opportunities.

  • Community engagement: By involving parents and local communities, Masoom has fostered a supportive ecosystem that enhances student attendance and engagement.

I was excited to see the impact of Rang De Loans in the lives of students-turned-entrepreneurs who were backed by Masoom.

We were enroute to meet a few Rang De Investees.

First, I met Rohit, a young entrepreneur who operates a pop-up apparel store every evening in Kurla. During the day, he manages online orders and handles deliveries personally. 

Rohit financed his initial inventory with a loan of ₹1,00,000 from Rang De which was fulfilled by 52 Rang De Social Investors. He has started repaying the loan amount in monthly instalments .

His goal is to secure a permanent retail space soon to establish his shop more formally.

Then I met Avni.

She runs a nearby eatery where she serves staple dishes like misal pav and puri bhaji. Avni, with support from her husband, also manages sizable catering orders for local events. 32 Rang De Social Investors invested in her loan of ₹ 1,00,000 which was required to set up her stall. 

Currently she is considering expanding the menu to include non-vegetarian options to grow their business.

I had the delightful opportunity to sample her cuisine during my visit which indeed was delicious. 

Lastly, I met Anisha, who runs a beauty parlour and also teaches a beautician course from a modest rented space near her home. Many local women frequent her parlour. Having initially funded her parlour with a loan of ₹95,000 funded by 47 Rang De Social investors , Anisha is now planning to expand into a larger shop that can accommodate more stock, and equipment. She’ll also be able to provide more services to her customers which is now limited due to space constraints.

As I wrapped up my visit with the inspiring entrepreneurs, I couldn't help but reflect on the power of such initiatives and the transformative impact of affordable credit. Each story, from Rohit's pop-up store to Avni's bustling eatery, and Anisha's beauty parlour, showcased the resilience and ambition that thrives when given the right encouragement.

Rang De Social Investors have played a pivotal role in their journeys, helping to bridge the gap between dreams and reality. To date, 866 Rang De Social Investors have supported 24 entrepreneurs from Masoom with 22 lakhs in affordable credit, enabling them to establish and grow their businesses.

My visit left me inspired and hopeful, reaffirming the belief that with the right support, every dream can find its way to success.

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