Meeting Youth Aspirations Where They Are: Rural Startups in | Milaap
Meeting Youth Aspirations Where They Are: Rural Startups in the Making
  • India

    Created by

    India and Bharat Together
  • ay

    This fundraiser will benefit

    aspiring youth entrepreneurs - young men and women

    from Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand

Tax benefits for INR donations will be issued by IABT Foundation

The aspiration: “I will find the job of my dreams and make enough money to support myself and my family while living in my own village!

The reality: “I spent 5 years failing one government exam after the other and another 3 years working in dead-end jobs with no savings. Now I’m almost 30 and I don’t know what to do.”
* * *

Do you relate to the story above? It isn't the story of just one individual, but the many that live in 'Bharat' - the land of India's villages.

For young people born and raised in the remote Himalayan villages of Uttarakhand, opportunity knocks on few doors. Even today, many villages here are cut off from electricity and roads, while others access phone and internet networks from Nepal and not India. Even as the whole world was going online in 2020, poor internet kept the youth of remote Uttarakhand from witnessing these seismic shifts. 

Young people from these regions face difficult and sometimes impossible choices - move to a city for a low-paying job, or stay back in their villages with little to no opportunities for sustaining themselves. Berozgaari and bekaari are unfortunately synonymous with the rural youth experience.

IABT was founded on the belief that opportunity should not be an outcome of where one is born. Through research backed interventions, we aim to provide the right kind of support at the right time to young people in rural and small-town India.

We'd like you to meet Hema*. She's a chatty 24-year old from Pithoragarh who works with 2 different NGOs, does online marketing on the side and wants to start her own business selling pahadi products that are unadulterated. But at home, she battles expectations of finding a husband before she finds her own place in the world - making it all the more urgent for her to begin her entrepreneurial journey.

And Saurabh*, a 23-year old from Dharchula, a very remote area bordering Nepal. He couldn't continue studying after 12th, as he had to move to Delhi to send money back home after his father's untimely demise. Covid sent him back home and he can't imagine going back to his thankless job. He wants to start a home-based poultry business but doesn't have the savings.

For Hema and Saurabh, it's very likely that without the right guidance and support at this stage, they'll have to abandon their dreams of becoming self-employed and settle for less.

Help us help them. This year, we've already received 130 applications from Uttarakhand youth for our Margshala fellowship - Hema and Saurabh are 2 of them. 

With your help, we'll work with the 15 most promising young men and women from Uttarakhand aged 21-30 years, and support them with training, mentorship and financial support over 6 months to take their business ideas "from zero to one".

Why should you bet on IABT? 
- Last year, we helped 5 young aspiring entrepreneurs from Pithoragarh district start their own businesses in eco-tourism, agri-marketing and digital marketing. This year, we aim to do this with 15 youth.
Meet our Margshala alumni who started their own businesses in Pithoragarh last year!!

- Together, our team brings a collective experience of 25 years of understanding of livelihoods, employment, migration and life skills in India (including Uttarakhand) with educational backgrounds from IIT and New York University.

Here’s how you can support our work:

1. Contribute financially:
Every small amount will help us reach our goal! If you choose to support us financially, you will receive our gratitude as well as a tax deduction certificate. With your contribution, you will be:

- Supporting 18 local entrepreneurs to take out time from their existing businesses to mentor Margshala Fellows (INR 5000 x 18 mentors = Rs 2.7 lakhs)

- Meeting the costs of Apprenticeship, Learning Exchanges and Live Projects for 15 Fellows to gain practical, hands-on experience (INR 75,000)

- Supporting 80 young and women to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and start exploring local livelihoods through our community-based Khojshala workshops (INR 2500 x 80 youth = INR 2 lakhs)

Your donations will be received by IABT Foundation. We'll send you monthly updates so you know how your support is translating to real-world action, and we'd love for you to engage further by attending our workshops, mentoring our students or just chatting from time to time - you pick how involved you'd like to be!

2. Engage with us: The IABT family continues to expand every day and if you'd like to volunteer or join us, get in touch! Find us and stay posted on everything IABT: 

Our work  |   IABT on Medium  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn

If you believe in what we do, please share our story with your friends and relatives. This is as much an awareness campaign as it is a fundraiser.

*We have changed the names for Hema and Saurabh to protect their anonymity. If you get involved, we'd love for you to meet the real youth behind these stories - spend some time getting to know them, mentoring them and we are sure you'll take away something precious back with you too! 

Read More

Know someone in need of funds? Refer to us