Rural entrepreneurship has the potential to power over 70% of the Indian economy, when the right skills and insights are imparted

Opening remarks by Satoshi Sasaki, Deputy Director, ILO/DWT-CO-New Delhi at the SIYB Training of Entrepreneurs for rural youths in Rajasthan.

Statement | Online Meeting | 25 February 2022

• Respected Mr. M. L Meena, District Deputy Manager, NABARD,
• Mr. Sudesh Punia, Agriculture Manager, Punjab National Bank,
• Dr. Bhuvanesh Jain, Regional Director, Nehru Yuva Kendra,
• My colleague Sushil, Country Coordinator, UNV,
• SIYB training participants, and
• SIYB trainers

Namaste and Good morning.

Firstly, let me express my appreciation to the District Administration of Sikar, Financial Institutions, UNV and Nehru Yuva Kendra for their commitment to promote entrepreneurship among the rural youths. I am very pleased to be here with youths brimming with business ideas. Even from a distance, sitting in Delhi, I can feel your energy, enthusiasm and the excitement.

Rural entrepreneurs can create unique products and offers services which are indigenous innovation and solutions to the local problems. With globalisation and technology, these entrepreneurs also have the avenue to link to global supply chains, and thus bridging rural-urban divide. We know, COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted economy and jobs. The market disruptions have resulted in collapse of certain sectors, such as tourism, and yet opportunities for others to grow, notably, e-commerce and e-education. Entrepreneurship enables youths to tap into the new opportunities emerging in the market and translate it into ‘new businesses’ for income-generation.

For the ILO, enterprise development is not just about unleashing the potential of entrepreneurship; but it is about setting businesses that generate revenue and also jobs. Not any jobs, but good quality jobs. ILO’s Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) programme has trained and mentored more than 15 million potential entrepreneurs world-wide to start business. These businesses have created close to 9 million jobs.

In India, self-employment accounts for 76 % of total employed. This implies entrepreneurship is playing a critical role in this country. However, we also know that many enterprises die within first two years of set-up. This underscores the need for laying a strong foundation for the potential entrepreneurs, which will arm them with sound business acumen/insight and entrepreneurial skills.

The ILO SIYB can act as a quick, simple and low-cost tool to support you. SIYB is a global training programme with materials designed especially for small-scale entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. It aims at increasing the viability of enterprises through management principles suitable for the environment of developing countries. In India, over 100,000 persons have benefitted through SIYB trainings offered by State funded programmes.

I sincerely hope that this 10-day of residential SIYB training funded by the Flanders, will add value to your ongoing endeavours in establishing a business and translate your growth vision to a reality. I once again thank you for your participation and your trust and interest in SIYB.

Thank you for your kind attention.