Knowledge Note

"How may MSMEs productively channel the economic potential of India's youth?"

It is estimated that, in order to provide sufficient employment opportunities for its growing population, India will need to add 15 million new jobs annually for the next 15 years. Failure to do so may leave millions in poverty, with 58% of the population currently lacking the means to meet essential needs. This study finds that it may not be possible for India to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals or its commitments under the Paris Agreement unless it takes action to deal with increasing trends of unemployed youth and serious concerns of environmental degradation. With government initiatives such as Make in India and Startup India promoting manufacturing and young entrepreneurship, the role of SMEs - especially rural social enterprises – as an agent for local economic development has come into focus.

This policy brief's study likewise explores how India may best make use of the entrepreneurial spirit of its millions of small business owners, while promoting green and sustainable practices that will safeguard the Indian environment for future generations. This policy brief was published by the Development Alternatives Group and Green Economy Coalition and is an outcome of a project titled, “Mainstreaming Green Economy” funded by “European Union,” for the economic development, social empowerment and environment management of our society.