IIM Ranchi and NSDC collaborate to bring about effective change through tribal entrepreneurship.

The tribal population, comprising 8.6% of India's population, faces numerous challenges like poverty and lack of access to services. Tribal women comprise 47% of this population and possess valuable knowledge about their ecosystem. IIM Ranchi has partnered with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to steer tribal entrepreneurship in Jharkhand, India.

The collaboration involves students enrolled in the Integrated Program in Management (IPM) at IIM Ranchi who have presented their findings from a social internship. Their insights and policy recommendations were shared with officials from the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and NSDC, resulting in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two institutions.

The core focus of this joint effort is to bolster critical sectors such as medicinal plants, horticulture, and aromatic essential oils, capitalizing on the region's local resources and cultural context. IIM Ranchi plays a crucial role as the knowledge partner for the Van Vigyan Kendra, which is dedicated to equipping the tribal population, particularly women, with essential skills, entrepreneurial training, market access, and technological support. This initiative is designed to amplify livelihood opportunities for tribal communities.

A significant dimension of this collaboration is its practical exposure to IIM Ranchi students in rural marketing, cooperative societies, and self-help groups. Guided by faculty members and subject experts, students contribute to enhancing demand for locally produced goods in both domestic and international markets.

Under the project, students develop an industry-market linkage plan, with the most promising proposal chosen for implementation at the NSDC-funded multi-skill development cum women empowerment Centre in Balatu, Jharkhand.

This partnership takes a comprehensive approach to fostering tribal entrepreneurship and uplifting livelihoods. By combining education, training, policy advocacy, and market integration, it aims to make a positive and lasting impact on the tribal communities in the region.

Case study

This impact story revolves around the aegis of the initiative led by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and IIM Ranchi to empower tribal women in Gumla, Jharkhand, India.

Sangita Devi, a 42-year-old Chameli Self Help Group member in Gumla District, faced economic struggles due to a lack of technical knowledge and technology in her mushroom cultivation business, earning only 40K/year. In 2021, after receiving training under NSDC's skill development initiative, she increased her production to 500 bundles, making about INR 50,000/season. This empowered her to provide her children with better education and health services and inspired other women to join her enterprise, fostering women's empowerment in the community.

The initiative focuses on economic empowerment and skill development for tribal women. It aims to transition them from daily-wage farmers to entrepreneurs. Gumla, a district rich in natural resources, is the backdrop for this transformation. NSDC, in collaboration with IIM Ranchi, established a Center of Excellence for Aromatic and Medicinal Plants to train women in various agricultural skills, spanning animal husbandry, farming, processing, logistics, and more.

The initiative addresses challenges like lack of market knowledge, technical skills, and technology access through tailored interventions. It provides end-to-end assistance, production planning, pricing strategies, and community engagement to uplift the tribal community. The program's impact extends beyond Gumla, influencing IIM Ranchi's curriculum by introducing courses on tribal communities.

Ultimately, the initiative aims to increase income, eliminate middlemen, promote sustainable resource use, and enhance access to knowledge for tribal women. It showcases a comprehensive approach to uplift tribal communities through education, skill development, entrepreneurship, and sustainability.



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