Graduates in India share business plans for social causes

Around 3000 students from across the country showcased their entrepreneurial skills in New Delhi by showcasing 57 projects developed for community empowerment.

Updated: Jul 30, 2015, 20:20 PM IST

Ashok Kumar/OneWorld South Asia

Gurgaon/New Delhi: A college network counting on 3000 students across 90 colleges in India has come up with 57 student entrepreneurship projects for community empowerment.

The network is supported by Enactus India, a subsidiary of Enactus Worldwide, an international nonprofit with a focus on community team empowerment and entrepreneurship action with a presence in 36 countries with over 70,000 active student members spread across 1700 universities.

The entrepreneurship projects included an effective hygienic ‘dabba’ tiffin system, a one stop ready-to-cook doorstep-delivery itemized grocery store, technology oriented solar lighting project for slums, and projects aimed at empowering underprivileged women to create handicrafts, sanitary napkins as well as skilling them to be beauty professionals.

For instance, Project Zaffran, by the students of Miranda House is an initiative where the women community of the Johripur region is engaged in making pure and unadulterated spices with the purpose of directing their skills for economic and social upliftment.

Similarly, project Kayakalp, ‘Pulling the Strings of Change’, aims to empower traditional puppeteers from Kathputli colony of Delhi by making their art form relevant to contemporary audiences and by capitalising on the unexplored markets.

While Project Aushadhi by Sri Venkateswara College, has been designed to focus on homelessness and drug pollution, Project ‘Punctured?’ by Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies helps create affordable, eco-friendly furniture for low and middle level income groups, by reusing worn out tyres that are discarded as waste by the community.

These products are created by the marginalized women society of Pernephata, a village on the outskirts of Pune.

Project Transcreations, by Ramjas College, is an attempt to help a group of 22 Transgenders for setting up their own jewellery designing business. By training them in the vocation of jewellery designing, and helping them market the products, the project aims to help them in setting up a sustainable business.

Around 3000 students representing all the 57 student entrepreneurship projects for community outreach participated in the Enactus India National Competition from July 21st- 22nd 2015.

The winning teams of each country’s National Championship will present their projects at the prestigious Enactus World Cup-2015 to be held between October 14 and 16, 2015, at Johannesburg in South Africa.

Richard Rekhy, CEO, KPMG in India, and Chairman, Enactus India National Advisory Board, said that the national competition gives the business leaders, an opportunity to see the good work being done by the students and provides a forum for college teams to compete with the best.

Rekhy said that the competition also helped in developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders. “Enactus works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilise university students for making a difference in their communities,” he said.

Farhan Pettiwala, President, Enactus India, said the nonprofit looked at India as a priority country for the future growth of the organization. “We are very impressed with the hi-level of participation from leading colleges across the country in the national championship and hope that some of the projects can be adopted by the industry for the development of the community,” he said.

The competition saw the presence of leading colleges like IIT Delhi, Shri Ram College of Commerce, Lady Shriram College, FMS Delhi, Ramjas College, Miranda House, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, Shri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce, Amity University and IMT Ghaziabad.

The Enactus India National Champion team in 2014 was Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, New Delhi. This team visited Beijing for the World Cup for their Project Akshar which empowers the physically disabled and victims of drug abuse to be entrepreneurs by producing and selling eco-friendly notebooks.