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Entrepreneurship is one of the key drivers in society. Not only does it improve the quality of life for individuals and communities, it also helps in tackling poverty and unemployment, which is even more prominent in rural India at 70%. In order to promote local entrepreneurs and set them on the path of micro-entrepreneurship, BCT along with Vishwa Yuvak Kendra and NSRCEL of IIM Bangalore, organized a two-day camp on Micro entrepreneurship at BCT.
Organized on 19 and 20 February, 2019, as a Training of Trainers (TOT) course for heads and representatives of NGOs, the program saw the participation of 109 people. Of these, there were 73 NGO representatives from 38 NGOs of Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Krishna Districts of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana. Additionally, there were 21 students from Agri Clinic & Agri Business Center (ACABC) of MANAGE, 8 Agriculture B.Sc. graduates from Centurion University, Parlakhimundi and 7 Agriculture students from Dr. Swaminathan School of Agriculture. Sri Yashaswi conducted the sessions on both days.
The programme was inaugurated by S. Giridhar, Deputy General Manager, (B&O), SBI, Rajahmahendravaram. BCT Secretary, B Sri Ram Murty explained the need of organizing this workshop, particularly for providing support through handholding, and adding to the existing efforts by NGO groups through Farmer Producer Associations, Mutually Aided Cooperatives etc. Shri S Giridhar elaborated the need to promote micro enterprisers and offered his support. He expressed the important role of NGOs in bridging existing gaps and bringing entrepreneurs together. Shri Manjunath, Programme Associate of Vishwa Yuvak Kendra, elaborated about their organization and how they were addressing issues through collaborations with Voluntary Organizations.
The objectives of the 2 day program included showcasing the importance of micro-entrepreneurship, establishing a common platform to take it forward, imparting knowledge, skill sets and requisite experiences, empowering women through entrepreneurship, understanding opportunities from government and like-minded institutions, knowing different micro-enterprises suitable to the region with less risk and the importance of support systems.
Sessions encompassed an introduction to micro-entrepreneurship, understanding its scope, entrepreneurial competencies, steps on starting an enterprise, present trends and learning the aspects involved in entrepreneurship through a simulation game. The sessions saw high levels of energy and participation.
After the sessions, participants from NGOs expressed that the workshop will enable them to adopt systematic approach to improve efficiency and derive better results. Expressing that they got valuable insights, they opined to work collectively on marketing and financial support. The need for networking was highlighted as well.
The student community, particularly the ACABC trainees opined that they were more confident of launching their own micro businesses now. Expressing happiness at being part of the workshop, they found the Simulation Game on Systematic Planning, Costing and Pricing, Team Building, Negotiation Skills, Promotion and Marketing skills enriching.
BCT expressed that it would take the lead and act as a central hub for promoting micro entrepreneurship. Future plans as per NGOs would be charted, for which BCT would provide the framework. Follow up training will be planned after two months, and measures for deriving external support will be taken up. The State bank of India top officials (participated in inaugural and valedictory functions) have expressed to support and resolve the issues for promoting micro entrepreneurship. Dr Mohan Kanda, President BCT, appreciated the efforts, enquired on the issues involved and assured to extend support in this regard.
Sri M. B. Diwakar, Deputy General Manager, (B&O), SBI, Visakhapatnam who graced the valedictory session expressed this workshop to be the need of the hour. He pointed out that the success for entrepreneurs’ lies in dedicating time, acquiring complete knowledge, orienting customers to have trust, innovative thinking and not diverting money to other activities. He opined that they do require trusted customers and are willing to support the good efforts being carried out through this workshop. B Sri Ram Murty opined to further take the initiative forward with other NGOs that are interested to join hands. Sri Manjunath, Programme Associate, VYK, expressed his happiness for partnering with BCT, and Sri Yeshaswi appreciated the active participation and expressed to provide further guidance in taking the initiative forward.