Self Employment

Census Report of SECC 2011

  1. 24.39 Crore households live in India, of which 17.91 Crore live in villages. Of these, 10.69 Crore households are considered as deprived. 60% of the 17.91 Crore rural households are deprived or poor.
  2. Over 48 per cent of the Indian rural population is female
  3. 5.37 Crore (29.97%) households in rural areas are “landless deriving a major part of their income from manual labour”.
  4. 74.5% (13.34 Crore) of rural households survive on a monthly income of Rs 5,000 for their highest earner.
  5. Only 9% (3 crore) of India’s rural workforce (34 crore people) are in regular salaried jobs. The rest 91% (31 crore people) are either self-employed or do casual labor work.
  6. The number of self-employed is 56% (19 crore people) of the rural workforce.
  7. Most of the self-employed run sub-optimal enterprises which are only marginally better than being unemployed.

In India, about 48% of the total population is still dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods. More than 66% of the farmers in India are small and marginal farmers who are producing mostly for self consumption and who don’t have any surplus to sell. These farmers farm on 39% of the total land available in India. Agriculture contributes only 14% of total national income. The income from agriculture has decreased from 35% in 1983 to 14% of GDP in 2011-12. There is disguised unemployment in agriculture due to non availability of alternate employment opportunities. Hence (plethora of studies shows) poor require 4-5 multiple sources of income to meet their ends. (eg. Farming, dairy, goat rearing, poultry rearing, wage work, small enterprise etc.).

In the above perspective, it is evident that there is a huge need to help the rural populace to move to non-farm based sources of livelihood. Owning a micro-enterprise and running it successfully is one of the multiple livelihood options for individuals and groups. Even after starting an enterprise, the major reasons for the low returns from the enterprise are due to:

   Poor skills in business accounting.

   Lack of business skills – planning, customer handling etc.

   Lack of peer learning from similar entrepreneurs.

   Lack of hand holding support post training.

   Lack of any platform to support enterprise development in rural areas.

In the above scenario, Udyogini’s experience in projects supported by Plan International, The Hans Foundation and Himmothan (in Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Almora and Uttarkashi districts of Uttarakhand) reveal that delivery of appropriate business services will enable the minimally skilled and semi-literate youth to identify, establish, grow and diversify decent self-employment opportunities. Udyogini has also established Village Level Service Centres (VLSC) in Jharkhand and also working with Nabard in MP, Jharkhand to organise self help groups and linking them with formal financial institutions.

In the above context skill and entrepreneurship building (SaEB) can be viewed as an instrument to significantly enhance the generation of employment in to engage minimally and semi-skilled and semi-literate youth especially women.


In Uttarakahnd Udyogini has focused on the following:

Build “micro-enterprise development model”: Udyogini has created systems and processes to deliver appropriate business services to 2108 Youth to identify potential business ideas, conduct feasibility studies, arrange financial and market linkages to establish, grow and diversify micro-enterprises.

Build capacity of the project support team to deliver the outputs: through basic, refresher and advanced training followed by on-site intensive business counseling in;

  1. Identification and feasibility of potential business ideas or scaling up of the existing products/services that are socially acceptable, economically viable, technically feasible and environmental friendly. Assess the feasibility of business ideas as per the market scenario and Knowledge, Attitude, Aptitude, Skills (KAAS) and resources of the youth.
  2. Mobilizing and sensitization of youth to get engaged in potential business ideas
  3. Delivery of skill and enterprise trainings to the target population
  4. Development of business plans based on value chain analysis as well as learning and experience gained during the pilot enterprise establishment/development phase.
  5. Arrange financial (from SHGs, banks, government schemes) and market linkages for establishment and development of micro-enterprises
  6. Ensure monitoring, evaluation and learning in enterprise development

Persons trained and enterprises established

Year Total persons trained Total persons trained Persons setting up enterprises Total persons setting up enterprises
2014-15 453 90 543 307 51 358
2015-16 253 254 507 292 10 302
2016-17 966 92 1058 604 56 660
Total 1672 436 2108 1203 117 1320

Village Level Service Centers


Emerging market opportunities in rural India due to increasing rural consumption need not only attract MNCs instead they are widening scope for women to confidently lead as Social Entrepreneurs challenging the black holes of the indulgent market based on reaping profits. Addressing to the modern day economic and social essentials, Village Level Service Centers (VLSCs) is a model that not only stimulates the economic progress but also creates social value among different members of a community.

Model of Intervention

VLSCs follow a two way supply chain model wherein, locally produced goods/ produce are aggregated at the producers’ door step and sold in the market, while on the other hand make goods/ services available to the community for which otherwise they had to travel long distances for procurement of the same. The key innovation of Village Level Service Centers enabling the community through its various constructive characteristics by positioning itself in the existing value chain is the major role played. Women entrepreneurs act as a link between economic empowerment and social equity, contributing to the sustainable economic development of the region. They are the catalysts behind the economic progress of the community enhancing their purchasing power and expanding to their needs.


To build up the entrepreneur, Udyogini provides an integrated training that includes entrepreneurship development and management, I-USE (Intel- Udyogini School of Entrepreneurship) training and GJM (Gender Justice Module) addressing to the existing gender gaps in the society. For effective enterprise management and capacity building of the entrepreneurs, the digitized curriculum of I-USE undertakes this opportunity and designing the enterprise curriculum in a digitised form. There are different stages in which a VLSC is set up and monitored, classified as:

Stage Duration Time Revenue Profit Income Liability
Stage I 0-12 months Year 1 36,000 0 9600 Loan for initial capital investment
Stage II 12-18 months Year 2 and 3 80,000 12,000 12,000 Loan for Re- investment
Stage III 18-24 months Year 3 and 4 1,20,000 27,000 12,000 None



The model of VLSC being initiated in the year 2008 at Jharkhand, has mobilised and trained more than 100 women to become village level entrepreneurs in districts of Ranchi, Gumla and Khunti. This intervention has shown multi- faceted impact in promoting sustainable livelihood services for rural people. Altogether there are 80 Village Level Service Centers catering to the needs of approximately 8000 families of their respective areas. Solar Products sold through VLSCs have now reached the sum of Rs. 101,650 in Jharkhand increasing the average income of 28 entrepreneurs by Rs. 300 per month. The chain can be used to promote schemes of public interest, spread social innovations, bridge information barrier with respect to good agricultural practices, etc.

70-90% of the catchment (size generally varies between 80-100 households in each village) have retail facility at their door step and 40-50% of the catchment is benefitted through aggregation and collective marketing practices for all rural products (both agriculture and NTFP). Producers’ income has gone up by 10-15% resulting in total benefit of about Rs. 5000/ year (increased margins of Rs. 2-3/ kg of commodity sold to the VLSC, significant savings on transportation; gain of a day’s wages as a result of access to a VLSC); entrepreneur’s income gone up by 35-40%; VLSCs have also established systems and benchmarked the prices based on quality and accuracy of weights and competitive with the market prices that are checked every day by them.

NABARD Assisted SHG Program

Udyogini is implementing W-SHG (Women –Self Help Group) programme in three states ; Jharkhand, Uttarakhnad and MP with the assistance of NABARD. The programme aims to organize poor women from backward and left wing extremism (LWE) affected districts into Self help groups, promote/facilitate credit linkages of these groups with banks to establish local resource based enterprises , provide continuous handholding support and enable their journey for livelihoods.

National Agriculture and Rural Development Bank, (NABARD) has awarded 2070 SHG formation and bank linkages program to Udyogini across the states. Till now Udyogini has formed 1464 SHGs having 14407 members in three states. Out of 1464 formed SHGs, 889 SHGs has opened their bank account and102 SHGs have got cash credit limit worth Rs. 25.50 Lakh from banks.


Case Study – Self Employment

Taron Dodrai is a VLSC entrepreneur of Rungru Toli village, Zariya panchayat, Torpa block, Khunti. With three siblings and childhood without a mother, life was a challenge for her every day. To support her family, she made puffed rice which generated a small income of Rs. 500-Rs. 1000 per month.In 1999, she migrated to Himachal Pradesh and later to Gujarat. While in Gujarat,both of them worked as a labourersin a printing press.

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