The lights aren’t shining bright – A surge in unemployment
With 62.5% of India’s population between the ages of 21-59, India has a gigantic percentage of youth who are of the employable age. However, numerous snags, including gaps in the education system, lack of opportunities, and economic hurdles brought about by the pandemic have been contributing to the increase in the unemployment rate in the country. While government aid and daily wage opportunities have been in practice to help tide the unemployed and provide them with a basic income, the issue of earning a sustainable livelihood and providing for their families continues to be a challenge. The data provided by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy show the unemployment rate in April 2022 was 7.60 percent. The unemployment rate in urban areas was higher at 9.22 per as compared to the rural unemployment rate which stood at 7.18 percent. This number is still very high for a country like India, depicting that more than 42 million people across the country still remain unemployed. Increasing jobs, migrating labor, and providing aid have done only so much to address this problem over the years. With migrant laborers returning to their hometowns during the pandemic, this problem has only been augmented.
Entrepreneurship as a solution to Unemployment:
Our Impact Partners have often talked about government jobs being created in different parts of the country to provide employment to the people of that region. However, there are either too many people filling up the same post or very few posts for a large number of unemployed people. A solution that has been often suggested is to provide income-generating opportunities for self-employment or micro-entrepreneurship in developing countries. However, if not done right, setting up micro-enterprises might not just affect the capacity for income generation but also push the communities deeper into poverty due to loss of capital and multiple borrowing. Here is how entrepreneurship, with the right guidance and resources, helps combat the issue of unemployment:
Smaller Investments and quicker returns: Micro Enterprises, when starting off, require a smaller investment, often being set up with the help of a few thousand Rupees. In rural parts of the country, small grocery shops, tailoring units, condiments, and apparel stores often require an investment of Rs 30000- Rs 50000, while larger establishments like a restaurant, weaving or food processing would require an investment of a few lakhs. With a proper need assessment conducted in the community before setting up the enterprise, the entrepreneur can not only pad themselves against loss but also make up for the capital investment in no time.
Easily accessible to all: More than 95% of the MSMEs in India are run by rural women in the country with little to no education. These women are trained in skill development and business management and often end up with immensely successful businesses. Micro enterprises are therefore accessible and adaptable making them a sustainable option for unemployed people.
Provides for alternative sources of income: Microenterprises set up in conjunction with already existing businesses, especially agri-based businesses, help entrepreneurs have a continuous source of income even after the harvest season. These enterprises provide an additional source of income to the household and protect against any risks of loss of in provides support against the risks brought about by the uncertainty of an agricultural business.
Rang De’s impact partners have been working with communities closely to help map their needs, develop entrepreneurial skills, handhold them in setting up small businesses, and provide alternative solutions to agri-dependent households. The micro-enterprise model has been especially successful in addressing the issue of unemployment in the communities that we work with, in Nagaland and Maharashtra. Interventions like this replicate responsible borrowers and give ways to new opportunities. You can start investing in local ventures to create employment at https://rangde.in/