The Young Entrepreneurs initiative in India provides comprehensive training and support to aspiring and fledgling youth entrepreneurs in Delhi and Mumbai. Since the last report the program has focused its efforts on linking the 720 participating youth to group mentoring and facilitating visits to established local businesses.
The program has linked 304 youth with 42 adult business mentors. The volunteer mentors are professionals from diverse sectors and had diverse sets of expertise, including banking, fashion design, food production, business management, and small business development. The mentors are paired with youth for a minimum of two months, and several continue to meet longer. Additionally, 178 youth have participated in field visits to various businesses, including tailoring shops, boutique clothing stores, and cloth manufacturing and export businesses. The visits allowed youth to gain hands-on knowledge of running a business and to ask the business owners specific questions. If you have not seen it yet, check out Maya’s inspiring story, which was portrayed in this video. She is just one out of 720 young men and women in Delhi and Mumbai to benefit from YE since its inception in 2012.
Below is a short story of Anamika, who runs a small photography business in Delhi.
For 25-year-old Anamika, life is all about colors. That passion would soon help her realize her dreams, but not before she had to struggle to make her own way in the world. Anamika, who comes from a lower middle class family, is now living in Delhi with her parents and two brothers. While she did not excel in school, she had always wanted to do something on her own. Even after completing her studies in computers, she was discouraged from considering a career because she was a girl. Two years ago, her parents were on the verge of arranging her marriage, yet somehow she convinced them to give her one year to see if she could stand on her own feet and live an independent life.
Anamika first learned about photography from a friend who works in an advertisement production studio. But it was not enough for her to earn enough income to support her family. She decided to start a photography business -- working from her home. She had always wanted to own a photo studio and work as a professional photographer. But life continued to be challenging, and her family warned her that she should close her business and prepare for marriage. “My family wanted me to marry early as they believed that as a girl I would become a burden for them if I stayed any longer in the house,” she said.
Anamika came to the Young Entrepreneurs program determined to open her own photo studio. So she shared her business ideas with the team and since then there has been no turning back in her career.
Anamika successfully completed the entrepreneurship course while continuing to run her business. She also conducted market research which helped her target her customers. As a result, she was able to select an ideal location for her new enterprise.
Working with Young Entrepreneurs, Anamika gained the mentoring support she needed to prepare a business plan, which she completed in two weeks. She then applied for a loan, and with that first loan she was able to rent a shop for her photo studio. Contributions from her friends helped her purchase studio equipment. With her new found experience and remarkable dedication, she has now, finally, become a professional photographer, taking photo orders for marriages and other family functions. Her sincerity and punctuality has helped build her business, which earns her a decent income and realizes her dream of being on her own.
While sitting with her mother, she remembers how difficult life was two years ago. Her parents are proud of their daughter, and now encourage her to go farther and live her life as she wishes. ”I would like to thank Young Entrepreneurs for making me a professional entrepreneur. I would suggest that every aspiring girl in this society try to live up to her dreams and enjoy the color of life.”
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