Create an ecosystem for rural entrepreneurship to thrive: Venkaiah Naidu

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Bhubaneswar: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has called for creating an ecosystem for entrepreneurship to thrive and encourage youth to become job creators instead of job seekers.

Addressing the Summit on “Empowering Young Grampreneurs to Create Jobs” organised by the Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust (BYST), in Bhubaneswar today, he said that unemployment was an area of major concern not only for India but for all the nations.

The possible way to address unemployment was to ‘create the right ecosystem for youngsters to become entrepreneurs and set up their own businesses’, he added.

The Vice President said that India with its huge demographic advantage must reap benefits by harnessing the youth’s potential. He said there was a need to create the relevant infrastructure and impart the right skill sets for them to successfully overcome the challenges posed by the technology-dependent world.

“How efficiently and effectively we reap the demographic dividend depends greatly on how effectively we are able to create jobs and train the working population to do these jobs,” Naidu added.

Expressing concern over the rising urban-rural divide, the Vice President stressed the need for making agriculture sustainable and profitable, creating market for rural artisans, empowering woman entrepreneurs to sell their crafts by way of online platforms and ensuring access to affordable education and healthcare.

The Vice President also advised young entrepreneurs to start businesses that promote India’s unique, traditional arts and crafts. He wanted the nation to monetize these unique capabilities and find new markets for these exceptional products through trade fairs and international exhibitions.

Opining that the rich craftsmanship was a key aspect of vibrant heritage of India, Naidu said that there was a need to reinvent and re-imagine ‘brand India’ and revive our dying industries.

Saying that Small and Medium enterprises play an important role in economic development, the Vice President said that creating an ecosystem conducive to the functioning of SMEs and cottage industries were as important as facilitating large scale industries in giving a fillip to entrepreneurship.

“MSMEs contribute 6.11 per cent of manufacturing GDP and 24.6 per cent of services GDP. These industries which are often located in rural areas play a vital role in preserving India’s traditional skills and products such as handicrafts and handlooms”, he said.

Saying that entrepreneurship was valuable only if it had a multiplier effect on the prosperity of our local communities, especially in rural areas, the Vice President urged young businessmen to find the hidden strengths and advantages in rural India leverage them to provide livelihoods and raise standard of living of those living in remote areas.

Observing that Empowerment of women was central to achieving the objective of inclusive, equitable and sustainable development, the Vice President said that ‘women empowerment should not only be a national goal but a global agenda’.

Pointing out that women constitute only 14% of the total entrepreneurship i.e. 8.05 million out of the total 58.5 million entrepreneurs, Vice President said there was an urgent need to encourage more women to embark on the path of entrepreneurship.

The Vice President presented awards for achievers in rural entrepreneurship and launched BYST Entrepreneur Online Learning in Odia.

Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal, the Members of Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust (BYST), Founding and Managing Trustee, BYST Lakshmi, V. Venkatesan, other stake holders from industry including the Director of JK Paper Ltd. A.S. Mehta, President, the Chief of CSR, Tata Steel Ltd, Sourav Roy and more than 600 entrepreneurs from different parts of Odisha were present at the event.

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