LetsEndorse: On a mission to create 10,000 MSMEs in India

The MSME sector is called the growth engine of India owing to its huge contribution to the Indian economy. However, the sector faces multiple challenges like lack of access to finances and lack of technical know-how. Mission Swavalamban by LetsEndorse is actively working to solve these problems and fuel the growth of such MSMEs. When the pandemic hit, relief measures like distribution of free meals for the needy was priority. Although the need of the hour at that point of time, this is not a sustainable way to address the problem of unemployment caused by the economic crisis that unfolded due to the pandemic. LetsEndorse has always advocated for solving social issues scalably, sustainably and irreversibly. Mission Swavalamban strived to provide a means of livelihood for the large number of people who had now become unemployed or underemployed. 

In this trying situation, Mission Swavalamban stood by its call for self-reliance. It added COVID-affected reverse migrants as a focus group and kept reaching out to courageous people who wanted to start or grow their business. 
28- year old Ankolu Naveen from Khammam in Telangana was one such unemployed graduate in search of a way to become self-reliant. His father was making baskets at home but the income from this activity (less than INR 5000 per month) was not sufficient to manage the household. Naveen decided to do something about his family’s financial struggle. He  joined and managed their existing micro-business of making baskets and selling agri-equipments, which was something he had been learning from his father since his early days. He learnt about Mission Swavalamban when he was in search of working capital for his business and approached Team Swavalamban. Within a day, the team helped him with completing the application for SBI e-Mudra Loan. His loan amount of INR 50,000 was sanctioned and disbursed the same day. With this capital, he purchased some raw material from Khammam market and inaugurated his shop. Today, he is selling his products in the local (Medhar) market in Khammam and is able to make a  profit of INR 600/day. 
After Naveen has set up this business, his family’s living standards have improved. He now looks forward to being a job creator and providing jobs to others through his enterprise. He is looking to plough back the profits into buying more raw material and growing his business.
The MSME sector has 14 per cent women-led enterprises and there is initiative to improve this figure. Another story of self-reliance enabled by Mission Swavalamban is that of
Vandana Agarbatti in Bhadohi, Uttar Pradesh. Started by 28-year old graduate and homemaker turned entrepreneur, Vandana Srivastav, this business was inaugurated shortly after the nationwide lockdown. Team Swavalamban helped Vandana procure necessary raw materials and licenses during the lockdown and also registered her enterprise with MSME Udyam certificate.
The government has announced various schemes to support the MSME sector from time to time. However, the inability of MSMEs to access the right information and required funding in a timely manner hinders their growth potential. What they need is guidance, hand-holding and access to the right channels of information. Schemes like the 3 lakh crore Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECGLS) are better suited to serve existing customers of banks and NBFCs. Mission Swavalamban is designed to help people who have never taken a loan from a bank before.
Technology can play a key role in providing access to formal credit for the bottom of the pyramid. In India, a large number of MSME’s are not even registered and producing the necessary documents and certificates required for accessing credit is a huge challenge for them. Collaborations between government agencies and social enterprises can provide a model for accelerating the pace of enterprise creation in India. LetsEndorse is a social enterprise that has partnered with SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank of India) to create 10,000 MSMEs in 108 districts across 5 states of India under Mission Swavalamban. The states are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Telangana.
On the candidate’s side the process is as simple as calling on Mission Swavalamban’s toll-free number, 1800-121-265, and entering their district PIN code. After this, their profiles are created and they are filtered through many stages. The technology footprint of LetsEndorse makes it possible to work with a large number of leads and ensure that candidates who are actually motivated to start their enterprise receive the right mentorship and support. The team helps candidates in selecting business ideas suited to their skills, personas, and markets. It will even connect them to RSEITs and other relevant skill training institutions if required. The next step is to develop their business plans and profiles which is done efficiently through their tech platform, SWATI. Once these are ready, the candidate can be linked to support schemes like PM Mudra Yojana/ CMEGP/ ODOP support schemes for credit facilitation at the lowest rate possible. It does not end here as the mission also hand-holds them for a period of one year to ensure that their businesses grow. Apart from this, they are also provided support in marketing and procuring certificates. 
Thus, Mission Swavalamban is positioned to become the single point of contact for a potential entrepreneur thereby making it easier for them to procure credit or start-up their business. Team Swavalamban continues to reach out to motivated and courageous individuals who want to start or grow their own business. If you know someone like that, you can ask them to call on this number-1800-121-1265.
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