Sunday, September 09, 2007

Micro Study-loans for Deserving Youth Back Home

This is one more of my for-profit ideas for development to start:
Basically we propose/recommend to make a micro-credit system for youngsters from poor communities in urban areas to pursue college degrees or any sort of education which provides them skills to make their own living. It’s not for courses like engineering etc, but for sciences, accounting, vocational education, and other similar stuff. These youngsters will be provided counseling support, support for finding jobs, and accreditation or references etc. These kids will be selected on the basis of their previous school performance and background etc. They will be given Rs. 3000-5000 a month for the period of their studies, so that they can support their family and pay tuition of their courses etc while they are in college/vocational school. Focus would be on providing skills for jobs or for opening a small service shop (for repairing stuff etc), but not a merchandise shop.

Money given is a loan which these guys are expected to return so that repayments can be used again for expanding the operations. It’s not a charity idea but a for-profit idea, like micro-credit but non-profit in nature as we don’t distribute the money amongst the people who run the operations but plough it back into the operations for further growth and sustainability of the initiative.

To raise the funds, other than organizations and government in India we can approach people in US and other countries. These individual supporters can make monthly commitments for this from their salaries. Many firms double such contributions of their employees by adding equal amounts so it could become something $140 or $70 per month for a person in US.

It is somewhat similar to adopt an orphan kind of idea in some sense, where individuals and organizations could sponsor a kid's education in India. Ideally, we should provide a website where these individual can select whom they want to sponsor from a list of profiles and then they can remain in touch with these kids directly also. It’s a simple idea and good for the able youth in India who miss opportunities to further their education due to the lack of money or other socio-economic reasons. Among the perceived problems, biggest would be to ensure that this scheme is not being misused.

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