Non-Farm Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Development

Paving Socioeconomic Empowerment Pathways beyond Farms

While agriculture and allied sector has received a major share of attention and resources of IGS's livelihood promotion efforts, community aspirations, capabilities and emerging opportunities have led us to work for non-farm enterprise and entrepreneurship development as well. From what started as a program for development of ragpickers in the city of Indore (Madhya Pradesh) in 2007, gave birth to an integrated waste management company (BMWv) incubated within IGS. We have worked with embroidery workers and other crafts-persons, supported development of community based microfinance institutions of poor women, unsuccessfully piloted community-based retail enterprises (CBRE, named Suvidha), and set up individual and group based enterprises focused on in-demand rural services like tailoring and beauty parlors.

Indian Grameen Services

Our Approach

As per the Sixth Economic Census there were 5.8 crore non-agricultural enterprises in India, which employed 13.1 crore persons, an average employment of 2.25/enterprise. Further, a majority (74%) of these enterprises represented household level, own accountoperations which did not hire a single worker. IGS realizes the challenge ahead for the country is to create non-farm employment to the extent of 1 crore persons every year, and this would not be possible with low scale, subsistence enterprises.

IGS's approach to promoting non-farm enterprises of the future is informed by the call given by one of our founders, Mr. Vijay Mahajan, to promote 10,000 innovation enterprises per annum to provide seed and substance to promote 10 lakh other "imitation" enterprises. What will set these enterprises apart is :

  • Each enterprise will hire at least 10 workers (thus lending to the enterprises the name "deci"-enterprises)
  • The enterprises will be green, non-extractive, digitally enabled, and leverage the e-commerce boom
  • Non-farm and off-farm entrepreneurship will be key
  • Producers' organisations (in production, trade, and marketing) will help level the field for entrepreneurs from poor and marginalized communities

Opportunities to Collaborate

To realize the dream above, IGS is interested to work with diverse stakeholders - community institutions, corporates, government, NGOs, researchers and innovators, and technology and service providers for :

  • Developing cutting-edge, digital learning and skilling solutions for rural entrepreneurs
  • Piloting demand-driven deci-enterprises across rural and remote locations of the country
  • Imparting life-skills and ensuring mentor-networks for budding entrepreneurs
  • Piloting financial products to support educational, skilling and placement and enterprise establishment efforts especially of rural youth, women and tribal entrepreneurs

For more information on IGS's program on Non Farm Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Development, please contact