MASTERCARD AND INTERNATIONAL YOUTH FOUNDATION LAUNCH YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS INITIATIVE IN INDIA

Program to Help Young People Start and Grow Small Businesses

New Delhi - Today, the International Youth Foundation (IYF), together with MasterCard Worldwide and the Community Collective Society for Integrated Development (CCFID), launched Young Entrepreneurs, a program designed to address the urgent need to increase support for youth entrepreneurs in India.

Each year, as many as 12 million young people in India enter the labor market seeking jobs that can support themselves and their families. However, the Indian economy only creates about one million new jobs in the formal sector every year.

Young Entrepreneurs responds directly to these challenges. The two-year initiative will provide 700 youth ages 15 to 29 with multi-faceted support to launch or grow their own small enterprises. The program, which operates in Delhi and Mumbai, will include business and life skills training, access to financial capital through a revolving loan fund, ongoing technical assistance and links to mentors in the business community.

"Thanks to this new partnership with MasterCard Worldwide, we can help hundreds of emerging young entrepreneurs start their own businesses, and in many cases provide much needed jobs in the community," says William S. Reese, President and CEO of the International Youth Foundation. "When we invest in our young people, we get in return a more productive and flourishing society."

"We are pleased to partner with the International Youth Foundation and CCFID to help hundreds of youth in India realize their economic potential as entrepreneurs," adds Mr. TV Seshadri, MasterCard's General Manager South Asia and Country President for India. "Our partnership underscores MasterCard's continued commitment to financial inclusion through entrepreneurship around the world."

Held at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, the program launch was attended by top corporate, government, and NGO leaders; and top representatives from the Ministry of Youth Affairs, IYF, MasterCard Worldwide and CCFID.

Find more information about CCFID in National business news papers and web publishing on the launch event.

www.economictimes.indiatimes.com

www.indiainfoline.com

www.mastercard.com

www.southasia.oneworld.net

www.noodls.com

NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT- A GROUP BASED APPROACH

The umbrella program on natural resource management has been launched in the year 2010 by our Natural Resource Management wing. Under the UPNRM program 120 Acres of land in 11 villages of Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu have under gone hybrid cashew plantation for VRI III plants. Total number of farmers enrolled is 147 farmers in 15 farmer clubs. 649 small and marginal processors have availed the loan support under the program, thereby increasing their profit ability. One of the main aims of the program was to promote public- private partnership model whereby the farmers get maximum exposure to interact with various government personal and financial institutions for timely assistance. Several producer workshops for small and marginal cashew a farmers were also organized for facilitating direct interaction with bankers, development experts, and technical experts to gain maximum exposure on Natural resource Management for a sustainable livelihood.

A Young Entrepreneur in India Designs Her Own Future

Maya, age 23, had always dreamed of having a job and supporting her family after she completed her education. But she was forced to quit her studies early due to her parents’ financial hardships. Even though she had no experience in the job market, she got a job working at a cloth export company near her home in New Delhi, and managed to gain some basic tailoring skills.  Maya’s salary, however, did not cover her daily travel and food expenses. When the business slowed down, she was forced to leave her job. 

Undaunted, Maya and another 23-year-old, Saheb, who was working in the same export unit, decided to start a tailoring unit of their own. By pooling their resources — Saheb’s meager savings and Maya’s work experience — they were able to rent a small space and open their new business.  
 
As they struggled to keep their tailoring enterprise open – made more difficult due to their limited knowledge of the market and increased operational costs — Maya heard about a new program called Young Entrepreneurs. An initiative of the Community Collective Society for Integrated Development (CCFID), the International Youth Foundation (IYF), and MasterCard Worldwide, the program is designed to support young people in India who want to start their own businesses. Maya, seeing an exciting opportunity to learn more about the business world, immediately enrolled.  In the beginning, Maya gained basic “life skills” that, among other things, helped her gain new confidence in herself and set her goals to become a successful entrepreneur. She then underwent CCFID’s 12-session business and entrepreneurial skills training that included classes in market research, client targeting, product customization, new design, and entrepreneurship management. 
 
As part of her training, Maya learned how to prepare a business plan, which she says really opened her eyes to the potential of scaling up her small company. One of the first things she did after she graduated and returned to her tailoring business was to focus on customer selection. As a result, the business, whose sales had been declining for the last few months, started to pick up new customers. She has also become more innovative in her design after the training – introducing block printing and embroidery designs in her materials. In the meanwhile, CCFID had linked her up with a mentor in Fabindia, one of the largest garment companies in India, which helped her tap into more retail orders. 
 
Today, Maya and Saheb are running a successful tailoring and designing unit which supplies orders to a range of showrooms and customers. Already employing five young people, and seeing the potential for her business to continue to grow, Maya has applied for financial support from CCFID’s revolving loan fund, supported by MasterCard Worldwide to help young entrepreneurs access financing for their small enterprises that is otherwise difficult to obtain. Perhaps most importantly, Maya has realized her lifelong dream: To support her family. 
 
Here is how Maya tells her story: 
“Being a girl – and from a poor family — I was not sure whether I would be able to start and run my own enterprise. I was about to shut down my business as I had no family support to run the enterprise or guidance on how to generate orders, and I was unable to market my finished products.
 
But the CCFID team and its training on entrepreneurship have given a new life to me and to my business. Now I am able to bring a variety to my products, introduce new designs, and employ five people. Through the Young Entrepreneurs training, CCFID has linked me to retail shops like Fabindia and ViVa and I am now able to generate orders, process them and sell them at competitive prices in the market. My family has now accepted me as self-employed and I am feeling very happy. Thank you for the support.”

DISASTER RESPONSE- THANE CYCLONE

The Thane Cyclone came like a nightmare for the people of Pondicherry and Cuddulore, this New Year eve. The cyclone claimed 63 lives and a crop loss of around 4 lakh hectares in the districts of Villupuram, Pondicherry, Nagapattinam Thiruvannamalai, Thiruvallur, Kanchipuram and chennai respectively. CCFID had launched its THANE Cyclone Response Project in partnership with Concern Worldwide International this Feb’12 onwards. It is a six month project launched in four villages of Cuddalore district, naming Pudhunagar, Varakalpattu, Alapakkam and Kuruwanmedu respectively. Total of 532 households were selected through the process of on field verification of housing status of all the households, in each of the villages. Through this program we tend to give support to the beneficiary households to rebuild their houses and meet their basic needs with the transferred cash amount. Also the program focuses to promote the basic Disaster Risk Reduction and Hygiene practices within the community.