India is amongst the youngest countries in the world, with 67% of its population in the working-age group and another 100 million people expected to be added to the workforce by 2030. The country has one of the highest demographic dividends in the world, providing an unprecedented opportunity to develop and grow richer, complemented by an annual increase in GDP of 8% in the last three decades. And yet, India’s rapid and consistent economic growth has failed to translate into job opportunities for 45 million unemployed youth; making jobless-growth one of the most pressing concerns for the country. There is a growing need for innovative approaches to realign the current ecosystem of economic development with job creation to reset the growth trajectory to make it more inclusive, especially for those who have been left behind in the ‘job race’. Through innovation which is social in purpose, systemic in nature, and inclusive by design, Development Alternatives is creating systemic changes for empowering sustainable livelihoods for youth and women in the underserved regions of the country.
We work towards enabling a nurturing ecosystem for the promotion of Local Green Enterprises as vehicles of change. These business models are inclusive, embody community-driven decision-making, and are green by terms of adoption of regenerative and circular practices. By assessing their impact and investability, we make available evidence for like-minded actors in the ecosystems to invest in, adopt and replicate such models for impact at scale.
The Global Employment Trends for Youth 2022 report highlights the high unemployment rates among young people worldwide, especially in low- and middle-income countries like India. However, the pandemic has caused significant learning losses, leading to a regression in that aspect and mismatches between ability and aspiration. The Indian government's mandate to skill 400 million youth has led to a focus on skill development initiatives. However, there are challenges with job placements and post-training requirements.
To address these challenges, Development Alternatives is emphasising focus on education and skills development, improving access to opportunities, and bridging the gaps in awareness to provide sustainable livelihood and income generation opportunities for underprivileged youth and women in India. We have established Skill Development Centers to provide short and long-term vocational training to rural and urban youth. The programmes focus on equipping individuals with employable skills and competencies, transforming their communities, and enhancing their livelihoods. The organisation uses innovative tools and processes to help youth connect with new-age jobs in various sectors and provides post-placement guidance services through its digital platform, Bridge2Naukri.
To tackle the joblessness growth across India, Development Alternatives focuses on creating decent and aspirational livelihood opportunities for youth, women and marginalised communities in underserved areas. Based on our 25 years of work experience in the sector of employability and entrepreneurship, we also support micro-enterprises. We use innovative tools to help new entrepreneurs fine tune their business plans as well as existing micro-entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. We offer a holistic approach of supporting micro-entrepreneurs through a network of service providers, and 'udyaME' digital platform which provides technology support, financial planning and access to low-cost credits. Further, we provide support for market access and capacity building. Our unique Quality Enhancement Framework ensures an integrated and innovative hand holding for entrepreneurs which ensures resilience as well as growth of micro-enterprises.
Development Alternatives' initiatives are also focussed on process innovation, and value chain development so that services are made available to collectives of farmers and artisans on a sustained basis. We have incubated 30 clusters pan-india in 12 States leading to enhanced income, efficiency, and dignified livelihoods for more than 22,000 people, including 9000+ women. Visit www.imedf.in to know more about our work.
Development Alternatives creates collaborative platforms that build entrepreneurial ecosystems at micro, meso, and macro levels. At the micro level, it fosters peer connections among entrepreneurs, triggering collective transformation and building local entrepreneurial networks. At the meso level, they create strong interconnections between entrepreneurs, local administration, and enterprise promotion organisations to foster local ecosystems. At the macro level, our platform, such as SAMUDYAM, break down silos and build synergies between organisations and institutes in the inclusive entrepreneurship space, positioning the social innovation approach and inducing positive policy shifts.
Development Alternatives, also develops innovative tools and processes customised to the specific needs of stakeholders in different geographies. Our Social Innovation approach ensures the effectiveness of these tools and processes, empowering individuals, communities, and other stakeholders to build strong entrepreneurial ecosystems.
To expand our impact, we collaborate with other CSOs and government institutions and have built a collaboratory on entrepreneurship programs. For more information, IMEDF.