System change for youth-led entrepreneurship

Active

With its network of local and global partners, Development Alternatives creates economic opportunities through micro enterprise development for youth and women in underserved regions of India. It aims to create a culture of entrepreneurship through the interconnected objectives of:

  • Reducing socio-economic, intergenerational and gender barriers faced by aspiring entrepreneurs
  • Nurturing constructive communities that facilitate desirable norms that ensure quality jobs and social well-being for its members
  • Building networks of collaboration between workers in the informal sector, solution providers and policy makers to build a robust support system for entrepreneurship
  • Mainstreaming enabling mechanisms for entrepreneurship-led job creation

Entity

Development Alternatives Youth organization, civil society, non-governmental, non-profit organization

Technical assistance, expertise and implementation; Policy, advocacy and convening power; Financial and/or in-kind contribution

Partners

  • la Caixa Foundation

    Foundation or philanthropic organization

    Financial and/or in-kind contribution

  • Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

    Private sector

    Financial and/or in-kind contribution

  • Systems play, Bertha Centre for Social innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of Cape Town

    Academic institution or scientific community

    Policy, advocacy and convening power

Sustainable Development Goals & targets

  • 1.2 By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions
  • 5.b Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women
  • 8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value
  • 17.16 Enhance the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in all countries, in particular developing countries

Achievement At Glance

The cumulative number of young people self-actualised and supported for entrepreneurship from the start date of commitment to December 2021 reached 1782. Tacking systemic challenges through social innovation approach across multiple rural geographies of India, Development Alternatives has contributed to the improvement of young people’s business acumen, entrepreneurial skills and linkages with support service providers. Through collaboration with stakeholders at the local level and strategic partnerships with like-minded organisations at the national level, Development Alternatives is continuing its work towards creating a nurturing, inclusive and robust entrepreneurship ecosystem in the target areas. Through innovative green models and clean technologies, local production and services are mitigating the contribution of enterprises in CO2 emissions of India.

Key Highlight On Guiding Principle

Development Alternatives (DA)'s work in India focuses on creating sustainable livelihoods at scale, through various entrepreneurship and skill development programmes, undertaken in partnership with corporates and bi-laterals. DA's programmes have yielded good results, bringing improvement in income and standard of living, not only for the individuals but their families and communities.

Our partnership approach help identifies stakeholders for supporting youth empowerment and entrepreneurship and collaboration in creating decent and dignified livelihoods for youth and women through entrepreneurship.

In unleashing the power of entrepreneurship, we take a systemic and social innovation approach where we use human-centered design principles of listening to communities, co-creating solutions through dialogue, prototyping based on context, and learning to improve practice. 

We also create multiplication mechanisms by building self-propelling models to ensure more people are impacted. For instance, working with government-supported common service centers, we have co-created ‘information kiosks’ enterprise models. As information sources on entrepreneurship, they are able to positively impact society.

Finally, we deploy tools of developmental evaluation to turn learnings into knowledge for transference among partners, and peer organizations, as well as to influence policy and practice.

description

This commitment will create dignified jobs through micro enterprise development for youth and women:

  • By adopting social innovation, the commitment will work on not only understanding ambiguous barriers to youth unemployment, but also co-design solutions with youth to overcome these barriers. An example of this is the Positive Sparks tool (with The Bytes Project) which will understand youth aspirations and challenges across countries, and facilitate solidarity between youth to increase their representation in policy making for employment.
  • By building platforms with community leaders to increase solidarity between youth and women from underserved areas of India, and equipping them with skills (focus on digital skills) to match with the new economic opportunities. An example of such a platform is safe spaces for young women in rural India where women feel free to voice their aspirations, and work together to overcome barriers that limit their entrepreneurial spirit.
  • By facilitating joint action platforms between relevant stakeholders (solutions providers, implementors and informal sector workers) in the youth employment system at the regional level. An example is regional entrepreneurship coalitions that aim to converge resources for youth led micro entrepreneurship and also work on increasing youth representation in policy making
  • By replicating tested solutions and processes for youth employment with regional and global partners, as well as sharing knowledge and lessons through open access resources. An example of this is the Jobs We Want (www.jobswewant.org),an open and global event on sharing lessons and impact of the commitment

https://www.devalt.org/
https://www.facebook.com/DevaltOfficial/
https://twitter.com/DAperspectives
https://www.instagram.com/developmentalternatives/?hl=en
https://www.work4progress.org/

Deliverables and links to SDG targets

  • Progress: 4,637 out of 30000 young people trained in relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, ICT skills and soft skills

    5.b Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women

    Creation of ICT enabled co-working spaces for young women in rural India to build learning networks and setup inclusive enterprises. The co-working spaces will facilitate open dialogue between youth to share aspirations, and co-conduct interactive trainings on digital skills with local leaders.

    BY: Aug 2025
  • National strategies for youth employment supported in their development or operationalization in 1 country (India)

    8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value

    Develop AI listening tools for understanding youth aspirations and work towards giving value to their collective voices in labour policies. One such tool (called Positive Sparks, designed with The Bytes Project) will work towards empowering youth through solidarity networks and increasing their representation in decision making at the national level.

    BY: Aug 2025
  • Progress: 1,440 out of 21000 youth-led enterprises created or improved

    8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value

    Build a supportive ecosystem for youth-led enterprises in rural communities by introducing contextualized solutions. These solutions will be co-designed and tested through regional joint action platforms for entrepreneurship which will include members from civil society, technology providers, market aggregators, training institutions, credit institutions, and youth employed in the informal sector.

    BY: Aug 2025
  • Progress: 143 knowledge sharing or advocacy tactics on youth employment carried out, including events, campaigns and media items

    17.16 Enhance the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in all countries, in particular developing countries

    Share knowledge products on systemic change for youth employment at local, national, regional and global platforms. These products will include toolkits on tested solutions for youth employment, reports synthesising perspectives of diverse stakeholders, newsletters on the impact of the proposed solutions in India, opinions articles and papers on good practices.

    BY: Aug 2025

Start

01-Aug-2020

End

01-Aug-2025

USD 2,400,000

Estimated total value of the commitment

60,000

young people to benefit directly from this commitment

Target: All ages 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-35

Primarily:
  • Young people in rural areas
  • Young women
  • Young men
  • Low-income individuals
  • Young people with low levels of education and/or drop-outs

Challenges faced in implementation

The team faced challenges in the following  Growing cases and faster spread of COVID-19 in the country and resuming offline activities Social distancing limited continuous listening and dialogue which are crucial tools to deepen impact and transfer knowledge Ensuring sustenance and quality of existing and new enterprises, especially with the negative impact on the economy due to the ongoing pandemic. However, with continued effort, we are seeing a survival rate of 95% for our enterprises   Local customs and norms limit rural women’s participation especially since pandemic induced lockdown Restricted presence of teams on the ground due to the pandemic. The teams adopted virtual mediums to ensure the timely completion of activities. Virtual chat groups were co-developed with entrepreneurs to stay connected with communities.

Gallery

Would you like more information about this commitment? Log in or sign up to contact the focal point.