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Swakalpa Sahajog Event Empowers Nano Entrepreneurs Through Access to Credit

Bhubaneswar: The World Skill Center in Bhubaneswar became the vibrant hub of empowerment as it hosted the Swakalpa Sahajog ‘Small Loans for Bigger Smiles’ event, aimed at empowering nano-entrepreneurs through access to credit. This event served as a beacon of hope and inspiration, highlighting the transformative power of small loans in nurturing thriving businesses and fostering smiles of prosperity.

The event’s centerpiece was the distribution of bank loan sanction letters by Shri Subhanga Kishore Das, Deputy Principal of the World Skill Center, to over 40 mentees, infusing them with the capital and confidence needed to expand their horizons. Das commended the resilience and dedication of Swakalpa mentees, emphasizing their pivotal role in advancing the Swakalpa initiative.

In a strategic move to bolster the entrepreneurial ecosystem, Swakalpa forged key partnerships with industry giants such as Bharat Pe and Meesho. The collaboration with Bharat Pe provides Swakalpa entrepreneurs with access to a unified QR code for seamless payment solutions, opening avenues for additional financial support. Similarly, the partnership with Meesho extends a digital platform for Swakalpa mentees to showcase and sell their products effectively, leveraging the power of e-commerce to reach broader markets.

Knowledge sessions during the event featured insights from esteemed speakers including Rajiv Ranjan Guru, Mission Director of Sustainable Environment Resource Institute & Advisor of DIVAVI Gaon Ka Bazar; K Millan Patra, AGM Local Head Office of State Bank of India; Aswini Behera, Assistant Manager of SIDBI, and Biswa Prakash Rout, Area Sales Manager of Bharat Pe.

The event also provided a platform for Swakalpa beneficiaries to share their stories of transformation, underscoring the program’s tangible impact on grassroots entrepreneurship in Odisha.

Dr. Subhanga Kishore Das expressed his joy, stating, “The commendable progress of Swakalpa is inspiring. Witnessing empowered entrepreneurs from every corner of Odisha is a source of immense joy. We extend our heartfelt wishes to all the entrepreneurs under the program. Their passion and dedication will elevate the initiative to new heights.”

Sandeep Lanjewar, Director of Palladium India, emphasized, “Palladium is honored to spearhead this visionary initiative, uplifting individuals at the grassroots level and integrating them into our nation’s economic growth agenda. It’s truly gratifying to witness numerous Swakalpa Entrepreneurs receiving recognition from financial institutions as truly bankable businesses. Over 50 of them have now been granted loans by these institutions, a significant step that will propel their businesses to new heights.”

Swakalpa, a self-employment training and entrepreneurship development program by the Odisha Skill Development Authority, Government of Odisha, led by the World Skill Center and supported by the Asian Development Bank, with Palladium as an implementation partner, aims to equip 10 thousand ambitious youths with necessary skills and knowledge and establish at least one thousand micro-businesses in the state of Odisha, ensuring a minimum 25% representation of women at all stages.

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