Development Alternatives & La Caixa Banking Foundation, Spain Join Hands To Create “Jobs We Want” - GADGETS INNOVATIONS


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Development Alternatives & La Caixa Banking Foundation, Spain Join Hands To Create “Jobs We Want”

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“From the busiest streets of Mumbai to the remotest villages of poverty stricken regions in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, people have a strong desire to do more with their capabilities and the resources at their disposal and set up their own ventures. Yet very few are able to set up entrepreneurial ventures. Their inability to do so, in turn, means that no new jobs are created.  Obstacles such as the lack of information, poor access to technology, credit and markets along with severely limited risk taking ability become insurmountable. There is a need to develop new approaches to entrepreneurship in the face of jobless growth driven by social innovation, connectivity and empowerment”, says Kanika Verma, lead – sustainable enterprise program, Development Alternatives.

Overcoming these challenges could potentially resolve the issues of unemployment and migration in the rural regions of India today. Work 4 Progress (W4P) is a platform that focuses on reaching out to budding entrepreneurs, specifically women and youth, empowering them to  explore  the unharnessed potential of microenterprises as local job creators. “laCaixa” Banking Foundation, Spain and Development Alternatives and are joining hands to launch the programme, “Work 4 Progress (W4P)” on Nov 30th , a multi-faceted and innovative approach to creating systemic solutions that unleash entrepreneurship – not only creating enterprises by the millions but also enabling them to create decent and attractive jobs – ‘jobs we want’.

Every entrepreneur in India has a story which shows resilience in the face of difficulties. Each is a potential innovator and agent for mobilizing social change. Listening to people, rather than a traditional top-down approach, can lead to creating access to respectable, sustainable work across sectors, cultures and communities. Work 4 Progress is envisioned as an action and learning platform. Supported by “la Caixa” Banking Foundation, the project hasalready  interacted with a large number of enterprises in over 40 villages of Uttar Pradesh. The platform adopts an operational methodology based on getting people involved in: Dialogue, Co-creation, Prototyping, Learning - critical elements of a robust,interactive and iterative,innovation process.In the past few months, we have conducted interviews and discussions and also used interactive platforms such as the community radio to launch a reality competition for entrepreneurs called KaunBanega Business Leader,where we received 800 applications with ideas on new businesses they would like to start.

The initiative explores critical touch points in this journey such as:
·         How do women and youth – from the ground up – perceive issues of jobless growth?
·         How does technology – digital and conventional - enable micro enterprise development?
·         How do policy interventions help simplify the complexity of the enterprise ecosystem?
·         How do we bridge generational and gender related divides in an inter-connected society?
·         How do meso-level actors build better access to credit and new markets?

In the next year we want to set up 150 individual enterprises, 10 community enterprises, and incubate 3 aggregators leading to 500 jobs in local communities. In the following decade, we envision enabling a million livelihoods in these regions.

W4P seeks to think through these questions to uncover individual and community level narratives. We are attempting to recognizetriggers which lead to large-scale impacts. The program believes in the power of networks to enable change. Towards this we have scheduled the Jobs We Want event – as a platform where we co-create systemic solutions that unleash entrepreneurship and lead to sustainable livelihoods at scale, adds ShrashtantPatara, Senior Vice President, Development Alternatives.

Development Alternatives (DA) is a premier social enterprise working in the field of sustainable development. Established in 1983, and headquartered in New Delhi, it has built a global presence in the fields of green economic development, social equity and environmental management. It has also built a strong reputation as an innovator of technologies and delivery systems for sustainable livelihoods in the developing world.

”laCaixa” Banking Foundation is the leading foundation in Spain, and the third foundation worldwide in number of assets. The institution has focused its philanthropic activity on social programs, culture, science and education, for the last 100 years. An annual budget of 510 million euros is dedicated to promote social development and equal opportunities with special attention to the most vulnerable groups.

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