Rural Upliftment and Inclusive Growth through Social Entrepreneurship

Dr. Pradnya Vishwas Chitrao, Dr. Pravin Kumar Bhoyar and Dr. (Brig) Rajiv Divekar

Introduction: India is the second most populous countries in the world. A major portion of the population lives in rural areas (Census of India, 2011). More than fifty percent of the employment is in the agricultural sector (Asian Development Bank, Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2011). Yet, only around 19 % of the country‟s GDP is generated from this sector (UNDP 2011). India faces a lot of developmental issues like poverty, unemployment, sanitation, water, education, health issues. Social entrepreneurship, a prominent feature of 21st C society brings innovative solutions to such pressing social problems. Social enterprises use understandable, and easily implementable ideas. They enroll local change makers. They seize opportunities others miss. Social Entrepreneurship for Rural Upliftment in India: India has 40% of the world‟s poor. It ranks 130th among 188 countries in the Human Development Index (UNDP, 2015). Social entrepreneurship started in India in 1950s through cooperative, community-owned business models like Amul and Fabindia. The global social entrepreneur support organization, Ashoka, introduced the term „social entrepreneur‟ in 1981. Most social enterprises create direct employment for disadvantaged groups. They often provide skills training to vulnerable groups. The Indian social entrepreneurial ecosystem has several sophisticated intermediaries – accelerators, incubators, consultants etc. Rural India is lagging in terms of basic facilities of clean water, toilet facilities, education and medical and health care. The girl child in India is also sidelined in terms of educational opportunities, health, and nutrition. Very few women are promoted to top positions on account of the conventional perception of them being family nurturers than company leaders. Research Objective: The researchers seek to study how social enterprises can uplift farmers, rural craftsmen, and girls. Research Methodology: The researchers interviewed a couple of entrepreneurs like Mr. Mustafa Harnesswala (who has decided to foray into agrotourism), Mr Srikant Gayakwad (who has started selfie for cause to promote poor girl child education), and Ms Prasanna Priya Reddy (of Saree Story for helping skilled weavers fleeced by middlemen) from Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies‟ (SIMS‟s) EDP. They also accessed secondary sources to study how social enterprises can improve rural India. Significance of the Study: A study of real life social enterprises helping rural India and women progress will encourage other social entrepreneurs to take up the challenge.

Volume 12 | 04-Special Issue

Pages: 748-753

DOI: 10.5373/JARDCS/V12SP4/20201542