Be! Fund is finding young entrepreneurs in Mumbai. Check out what we’ve been up to on the Be! Fund blog: http://blog.befundindia.com/
“What do you want to do in your life?” Our trainers asked students at Fatehchand SN High School, a government school in Patna.
Children soon started to run out of the stock answers: “Doctor, engineer, bank officer.”
Shailesh, a boy wearing thick glasses, raised his hand and said, “I want to become an automobile engineer and expand my father’s auto-repair business. My father has just given up a job as an electrical mechanic in a company to start his own shop.”
“So what would you call him?” A master trainer asked.
“Udyami,” he answered. “Entrepreneur,” he offered the English word in a heavy Bihari accent.
Although udyami is not a commonly known word, Shailesh knew it because he did his first Be! skills project around entrepreneurial traits last Saturday. Continue reading
Soon after completing the teacher training sessions last week, our band of master trainers transformed themselves into door-to-door couriers for the Be! Schools program. They traveled to all 70 schools that sent teachers to our training, in every corner of Patna, to hand-deliver cartons of Be! Books. Not only were we excited to get our books to schools, teachers were excited too! Many called our office and urged us to send the books quickly so they could start teaching. Continue reading
Seven people animatedly argue about what should be done with a fallen tree in a village. The scientist wants to study it, the long jumpers want to practice over it, the elders want to make a bench. Who will get their way? This isn’t a village panchayat meeting; it’s a Be! negotiation activity being practiced by our master trainers in Bihar!
Starting in June, these master trainers will in turn train 2,000 teachers across Bihar to use Be! books in their classrooms. Over the course of one week, the GTS team showed these master trainers how to conduct Be! activities with children, so children can practice the entrepreneurial skills they learn in class. The trainers let go of their inhibitions, and learned to unleash their creative sides!
Be! Fund was in the house at the Global Shapers forum in Bangalore last week, and so was Radhakrishna, a Be! entrepreneur.
The Global Shapers, established by the World Economic Forum, is an exclusive community of exceptional youth with extraordinary achievements, working together to find fresh solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Among thought leaders like Kris Gopalakrishnan (Co-Chairman Infosys), Kiran Bedi (India’s first woman IPS Officer) and Harisha Hande (Magsaysay awardee), Be! Fund was also asked to speak about how we are finding and investing in young entrepreneurs from low-income communities to start businesses that solve problems. Continue reading
STAR Utsav will be re-airing our Be! Movies series, Idea Ho To Aisa starting February 26. Get ready to join our hero entrepreneurs on their roller-coaster ride of setting up a business.
Tune in every Sunday, 12:30pm. Mark your calendars!
Feb 26: Seher ka Jagmagata Business
March 4: Biogas ka Bindass Business
March 11: Motor-mechanic Phulwa ki Kamaal Kahani
March 18 : Bamboo Boys
March 25: Suraj ka Superwaterworks
April 1: Rukshar ka Asmani Bagh
April 8: Pintu aur uske 99 dost
Imagine living in a village where you have to travel 20km just to get basic news.
Pramod, age 28, used to live in a village like that. A village of 3,600 people in Maharashtra where people had to go 25km to the nearest town to read a newspaper. A year and a half ago, Promod, a farmer, started a library in his village, in a room next to his house. The library now has 125 paying members, including young people who read job ads in the newspaper (two have even found jobs as a result). And this Republic Day, students from Class 5-10 used the library to research Nehru, Gandhi and Ambedkar, and then gave short speeches in front of their classmates. Now, Promod wants to add a computer and more books and transform his library into an information hub for his village.
“Not just business, I could run the country if I wanted to.”
Preeti lives in a village in Madhya Pradesh, and is a homemaker and mother. Her husband earns Rs. 3,000 a month and she uses part of this salary for her son’s education and has been saving another part for her dream business. She wants to start a business of producing briquettes from agricultural waste that can replace firewood. Her business will save trees and provide an efficient alternative fuel. Preeti will hire 5 women to help her in her briquette unit. She says, “Education or no education, women are smart and can shine in any field they want.” She says she wants to be role model for other women in her community.
Manoj lives in a village in the hills of Uttarakhand. He went to school till 10th standard and then did his graduation through correspondence. He got a diploma in merchandising and worked in Delhi for four years. But Manoj wasn’t happy with life in the city; he wanted to go back to his village and start a business. So last year, he started a small scale camping and trekking business. He hasn’t been able to get a loan from state banks because of lack of collateral. He wants to establish a camping resort, buy tents and make a website marketing his business. He hopes his business will promote tourism and bring wealth to his village, and inspire young people who have migrated to come back to the village.
These are just some of the entrepreneurs who have called us in response to our media campaign on STAR. We will continue to tell you their stories as they go through the selection process.
Since the launch of Be! Movies on STAR, calls, SMSes and letters have poured into the Be! Fund.
60,000 calls in the past 6 weeks
150 letters and postcards
and growing every day…
We’re hard at work answering these calls, messages and letters, and finding young entrepreneurs throughout India! if you’re a young entrepreneur who has applied to the Be! Fund, you can expect a call from us soon.
Going to School has signed an MoU with the Government of Bihar’s Education Department to run an entrepreneurship skills training program in 1,000 secondary schools. We will train 2,000 teachers to use Be! Books in their classroom; children will read one Be! Book a week and complete an interactive activity that we will monitor to chart their progress over a year.
We hope that the Be! an Entrepreneur Skills Training Campaign pioneered in the state of Bihar will become a model for the rest of India.
Read coverage of the MoU:
“Pintu aur uske 99 Dost” will air on STAR Utsav on Sunday, January 22, 2012, at 12:30 p.m. This is the seventh film in our “Idea Ho To Aisa: Be! an Entrepreneur” series.
In a slum, divided by a wall, live two communities. The school is on one side of the wall, the water pump on the other, so children have to go up and around the wall to get where they need to go. Pintu has moved here from the village, a place where he claims he once had 99 friends. No one believes him at first, but Pintu convinces them by quickly making friends on both sides of the wall.
One day Pintu and his friends are playing football and their ball lands in a large pile of garbage. The boys frantically rummage through the trash—wrinkling their noses in disgust at the smell—but are unable to find it. Pintu decides enough is enough; it’s time to clean up the place. And so he embarks on a journey to set up a waste management enterprise in a slum where Ranjan Bhaiya, the local don, owns everything—even the fear in people’s hearts. Through this roller coaster of a ride, Pintu builds a team—‘the Chakachaks’—that includes his football friends, a gang of girls (led by the feisty Afsana, the undisputed hopscotch champion of the slum) and Bharat who used to be the slumlord’s right hand man. Tension builds as his business becomes more and more successful and Ranjan Bhaiya starts to notice that the boy on the other side of the wall is taking away his business. Will Pintu’s 99 friends be enough to see him through the fight?