HELPING THE POOR TO BECOME ENTREPRENEURS IN INDIA
The Road to Parity has entered a partnership with Indian NGO, Learning Links Foundation to fight poverty through micro-entrepreneurship.
Under the partnership, people in extreme poverty in India are given the opportunity to set up their own businesses.
It is one-off funding - or assistance in buying the equipment required for a business. This is a life-changing opportunity.
The partners have agreed strict criteria on how candidates for funding should be assessed. The process is supported with the help of outreach workers who operate in slum areas. The fledgling entrepreneurs are given guidance as they embark on their new ventures to ensure they are on the right track.
The first batch of funding has been released to beneficiaries and tiny businesses are beginning to emerge in the poorest of areas.
For more details on the partnership, visit our News page.
Phoola was our first beneficiary and has started her new business, an egg stall in Delhi.
The 28-year old can't read or write, and when we came across her, she was in a desperate situation, working as a domestic helper - and the main breadwinner for a family of six.
Despite this, she bravely came to a community centre in a Delhi slum and pitched her business idea. She was holding a baby that began urinating on the floor as she tried to explain her dream venture. Phoola calmly used the baby's ragged underwear to mop up the puddle, nipped away to clean up and resumed the meeting as if nothing had happened. Unbelievable resolve.
We asked Phoola to describe in one word what being our first beneficiary meant to her. She said "Unnati," which means progress, as she believes her new enterprise will bring prosperity.
Our entrepreneurship programme in India is now called Project Unnati.