India’s largest Dalits’ Industry body and a grassroots movement sign an MoU to make 5000 Dalit youth job creators

India’s largest Dalits’ Industry body and a grassroots movement sign an MoU to make 5000 Dalit youth job creators

Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust (BYST) and the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI) signed an MoU today at New Delhi to empower 5000 Dalit entrepreneurs to become job creators; 20% of which will be Dalit women. Through this partnership, BYST and DICCI will provide counselling to 1000 Dalit Young entrepreneurs These youth will be counselled by BYST’s network of mentors and Mentor Clinics on basic concepts of entrepreneurship, banking practices, customer relations, account keeping, project preparation and soft skills in the art of selling etc.

The free training programme (Entrepreneur Online Learning- EOL) will last for 2-3 days and will enable them to fine-tune and convert their ideas into concrete business plans. BYST and DICCI will also extend credit linkages and mentoring support to 250 Dalit youth with the average loan ticket size of 4 lakhs per individual to facilitate easy establishment and running of business. The access to credit will be provided through BYST’s extensive network of institutional lending partners like Bank of Baroda (BOB), Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), Indian Bank, IDBI, State Bank of India and Central Bank of India.

Hi-flier Dalit entrepreneur members of DICCI will also get training and support under the Sustaining Entrepreneurship & Green Business Program, which provides basic understanding of (ESG) Environmental, Social, Gender and Governance aspects and its integration in business practices. These entrepreneurs have a minimum turnover in the range of 10-20 lakhs and generate a minimum of 8-10 direct jobs.

Ms Lakshmi Venkataraman Venkatesan, Founding and Managing Trustee of Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust said, “The Dalit community still faces challenges due to discrimination, hindering their pursuit of high-paying jobs and business opportunities. Barriers like limited access to capital, resources, and mentoring support persist, hindering their success. Caste-based discrimination is evident in banking and corporate settings, which makes equitable access to opportunities even more important. Eradicating caste biases is crucial for nurturing an inclusive economy. When I heard Dr. Ambedkar's quote from my father Honorable former President Mr. R Venkataraman, “If you believe in living a respectable life, you believe in self-help which is the best help”, it resonated deeply with me. By incorporating affirmative action in higher education institutions, Dr. Ambedkar ensured that generations of Dalit youth would be able to compete on a more equal footing in the livelihoods sphere. For me, personally, Dr. Ambedkar’s quote served as a guiding principle when I founded Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust in 1992, with the goal of enabling India's underserved youth to become job creators, rather than job seekers. This partnership strengthens our commitment to empowering Dalit entrepreneurship in India. “

DICCI Founder Chairman Padmashri Dr Milind Kamble stated that while DICCI is working on the vision of  Developed India @2047,  towards empowerment of  SCs, STs Entrepreneurs covering their social, educational and economic empowerment., with access to build and sustain competitive manufacturing enterprises, both large and small, and realize the vision of Make in India for the world, Dalit Entrepreneurs need to be supported, strengthened and empowered, this partnership with BYST would enable Accelerating the economic growth, a sizeable potential of the SC entrepreneurship for the sustainable inclusive development.

Additionally, BYST will provide mentor development accreditation to the members of DICCI through mentor training and assessment, mentor practical training, mentor peer learning, mentor certification, and mentor up skilling through webinars, bi –monthly networking meets, mentor chapters programmes. BYST will support DICCI in co-creating an entrepreneurship ecosystem in the educational institutes and Incubation centres. BYST and DICCI will also work together on organising seminars and workshops on B2B, B2C, B2G engagement, policymaking with governments and industries, participating in business trade fairs and convergence with Government SC/ST schemes. 

Padmashri Ravi Narra, President, DICCI, expressed his enthusiasm saying, DICCI  has Established Business Facilitation Centre's (BFCs) in 5 locations ( Pune, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Bhopal Jaipur), to identify aspiring and existing SC-ST entrepreneurs to bring them in the fold of a highly professional Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and handhold them for success.

This partnership with BYST  through Mentoring clinics would nourish entrepreneurship and provide support every step of the way, BYST and DICCI look forward to converting the dreams of SC/ ST entrepreneurs into reality.