19th January ’23, Mumbai: To commemorate National Startup Day 2023, a unique app was launched by India’s leading non-profit, Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust. An Android-iOS mobile application, the platform aims to bring grassroots entrepreneurs from across India together on a single platform. Entrepreneurs who were extended a loan and mentored, as well as those who had been counselled only, would be part of this platform. The inclusion of this latter group, of aspiring and potential entrepreneurs across the country, is a unique feature of this app whereby these underserved youth can join this ecosystem that would help them follow and nurture their entrepreneurial dreams.
The app was carefully conceived, keeping in mind the diversity and needs of rural entrepreneurs, such as language, geography, demography and digital maturity. Learning, through various formats, is a critical component of the platform, which is the need of the hour for the youth of the country. Apart from fundamentals of Digital Marketing, Business Development, Finance, HR, Soft Skills, Sales and Operations, special focus has been given to make them aware about environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns that impact businesses and ways in which they can adopt green processes and practices.
While launching the BYST Entrepreneur Android-iOS mobile application (app) along with other co-panellists, Mr. Ashish Kundra, IAS, Principal Secretary, Govt. of NCT Delhi said, “This is a timely initiative. It can help to bring millions of grassroots entrepreneurs on a single platform to help them network, share business knowledge, attend digital events, and access a pool of industry mentors across the country.”
“I find it a very unique and thoughtful feature that this app is designed to on board youth from underserved communities to access self-employment and banking services,” Mr. Kundra further added.
A daylong event organized by Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust and attended by industry leaders across sectors, spotlighted key issues to empower Grassroots Startups. Highly credible experts from business, government, banks, and the development sector discussed the challenges and solutions to make the ESG movement in India inclusive for rural entrepreneurs to ensure their digital readiness, especially after the pandemic.
Ms. Anna Shotbolt, Deputy Trade Commissioner for South Asia, British High Commission New Delhi highlighted the strong partnership between the Government of India and the UK in enterprise development, as laid out in the UK-India Roadmap 2030. She welcomed the inspiring entrepreneurial stories and expressed her congratulations on the results achieved under the BYST programmes.
BYST Business Idea Contest winners, Ms. Chandni Khandelwal from Bhubaneswar (Odisha state) and Mr. Vikram Kumar from Ranchi (Jharkhand state) were awarded by Mr. Sumesh Girhotra, Investment Lead, British High Commission New Delhi.
“Indian start-ups have captured global attention, attracted venture capital, and achieved notable success in recent years. Such an effort if replicated at scale for grassroots entrepreneurs from lesser privileged backgrounds will have a multiplier effect on the country’s economy and help achieve its vision of Atmanirbharta or self-reliance. Our sole focus is to empower Grampreneurs® to become job creators rather than job seekers,” Lakshmi Venkataraman Venkatesan, Founding & Managing Trustee, of BYST, said in a statement.
To enhance entrepreneurial skills and provide the right technical and financial know-how to grassroots entrepreneurs, BYST also signed MoUs with key public and private partners like SIDBI and CISCO.
“I am happy that SIDBI and BYST have signed an MoU to support and mentor micro-entrepreneurs to become digitally ready and adopt ESG good practices, to unleash a green business revolution in the country,” said Sivasubramanian Ramann, CMD, SIDBI.