With over 1.21 billion people and a population growth rate of 1.41%, India is set to be the most populous country in the world by 2025.
Of this, 64.3% people are between the age of 15-64, constituting India’s strong workforce. And while this growth is certainly not unexpected, the question becomes: how will these individuals generate employment to ensure they have productive and positive lives?
The statistics to date do not suggest a clear path forward. Of the 15 million people who currently entered India’s workforce, a meager 3% have undergone vocational training. Without some formal skills training due to social or economic constraints, individuals – who could otherwise be high-capacity members of the workforce – are often resigned to a fate of earning a minimal income as unskilled laborers.
While even unskilled laborers have an important role to pay in the workforce, what is particularly distressing is that unlike others who may have access to education and skills training, most unskilled laborers have little or no hope that their economic and social situation will ever improve.
Meaning, it’s unlikely they will ever draw a sufficient salary to truly support their family, will never access health benefits through their work and will never be granted a bonus.
A lack of skills development and training opportunities is perpetuating a true cycle of poverty that as India’s population continues to grow, there is little hope of breaking.
Recognizing this, Ennovent has partnered with National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC), CII and TiE -Delhi-NCR to support the Power to Empower Competition.
This exciting competition – India’s first in the skills development sphere – aims to identify social entrepreneurs empowering people at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) to access the skills and training opportunities necessary to improve their lives.
India’s grassroots are swirling with entrepreneurial activity addressing key national issues – such as the development of skills relevant to improve employment opportunities – in a localized, cost effective and sustainable manner. However, identifying these entrepreneurs can often be a complex and time consuming task – highlighting the importance of a Challenge like Power to Empower.
The search for Indian social entrepreneurs began in August and is already generating results. To date, 7 applicants and 90 nominees are vying for the chance to receive national visibility, networking opportunities and more. For an entrepreneur with a great idea or an established venture, these rewards are priceless.
But beyond traditional entrepreneurs, Power to Empower is also recognizing that youth, especially students, have a wealth of innovative ideas that may address issues of sustainability at the BoP. As a result, the competition aims to highlight this skill deficit issue to the workforce of tomorrow – encouraging youth to collaborate, share and develop their ideas to generate a lasting solution.
As India’s population expands in the next 13 years, without appropriate, timely and creative intervention, so will the number of families living below the poverty line at the BoP.
In harnessing the energy of entrepreneurship, the Power to Empower competition is working to spur widespread skills development to ensure a brighter future for India’s communities now, and those to come.
To learn more about Power to Empower, or to apply, visit the competition online here.