Participants at the event, held on November 29, 2012, at the India International Centre in New Delhi, included MasterCard’s Division President, South Asia Mr. TV Seshadri, representatives from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Ministry of Youth Affairs, and representatives from IYF and CCFID.
Attendees learned about progress being made by the Young Entrepreneurs initiative, a program supported by IYF, MasterCard, and CCFID that is designed to address the urgent need to increase support for youth entrepreneurs in India. To date, 388 youths have received comprehensive entrepreneurship training and links to financial capital, with many of them currently operating businesses such as computer and mobile phone repair shops, internet cafés, handicraft stalls, and tailoring shops. 70 of these youths have also received in-depth mentoring from local professionals who are experts in banking, product design, and small business development.
“The Young Entrepreneurs program has helped me to realize my potential and has given me confidence to fight poverty and support my family” says Amit, a program participant in Delhi. “Today I am trying to set up my own business, something I thought I would never be able to do. Thank you for supporting me and showing me a new way of life.”
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 is designed to help address these challenges.
“We are pleased to see so much progress being made by the graduates of this program as they launch their own small businesses and create new jobs in the community,” said William S. Reese, President and CEO of the International Youth Foundation. “Thanks to this collaboration with MasterCard Worldwide, CCFID, and IYF, we are helping to support India’s next generation of smart, innovative entrepreneurs.”
The meeting served to update attendees about how the Young Entrepreneurs program is working to break the barriers to success for India’s young people and also introduced a number of young entrepreneurs who have benefited from the program. Two panels of experts also discussed the benefits of financial inclusion for youth, how entrepreneurship can positively impact young people’s lives and prospects, and how these efforts can be further supported by local companies and government agencies.
“We believe entrepreneurship skills are one way for individuals to overcome barriers to financial inclusion and we are proud to support this initiative which empowers Indian youth to achieve positive economic outcomes for themselves, their families and their communities. Since its inception in April 2012, the program has succeeded in helping train 388 Indian youths, as well as providing them with the financial assistance needed to operate their own business,” says T.V. Seshadri, division president, South Asia, MasterCard Worldwide.