‘Social entrepreneurship key to economic progress’: Hardeep Singh Puri
Shanti Raghavan and Dipesh Sutariya of EnAble India were on Thursday awarded the 10th Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award, 2019, for building an ecosystem of skilling, employment and entrepreneurship for persons with disabilities (PwDs).
EnAble India has changed the mindset of 729 business houses and built frameworks of inclusion in universities and government agencies, thus creating a robust business case for employing PwDs in formal and informal sectors across India.
Civil aviation and housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri, who presented the award, said, “To build a stronger ecosystem for social entrepreneurship in India, the government has announced the proposal of a social stock exchange in the budget this year that will help social entrepreneurs get access to finance,” he said.
“We are a fast growing economy. Our stated objective is to grow to a $5 trillion economy by 2024 and a $10 trillion economy by 2030. But I believe social entrepreneurship is the key to India’s economic success in the future. It is India’s doorway to becoming a global leader in fields like technology, health, livelihood generation, environment and others,” Puri added.
EnAble India, a non-profit organisation, is changing lives through technological innovation, breakthroughs in skill training, new workplace solutions and behavioural change tools. Over 20 years, Raghavan, Sutariya and their teams have transformed the lives of 220,000 individuals with disabilities.
Raghavan said exclusion of PwDs leads to 5-7% loss in India’s gross domestic product. “Today we are celebrating because we are making the economy better... It starts with when the parent, who first thought that their child could not do anything, realises that it is possible, and as parents they need to focus on finding solutions. That’s when we start our celebrations,” she said.
The award, which was jointly established by Jubilant Bhartia Foundation and Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in 2010, recognises promising social entrepreneurs who implement practical and sustainable solutions. Five of the nine past winners have been women.
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