G20 Yatra 2023: Promoting inclusive entrepreneurship through innovation and cross-border collaboration
As Jagriti-Startup20-G20 Yatra 2023 - a one-of-a-kind event that embodies the spirit of inclusive entrepreneurship is about to undertake its 14-day journey, the world is all set to see a unique initiative when Indians and foreigners from G20 countries will come together to exchange ideas, forge partnerships, and create solutions for some of the most pressing challenges faced by societies
Imagine what can transpire when 350 Indian participants and 70 foreign G20 delegates, each brimming with innovative concepts and a fervent desire to create a better world, converge for a two-week expedition from October 28.
This is more than just bringing them together; it's about encouraging them to form alliances, brainstorm revolutionary ideas, and craft tangible solutions. Welcome to the Jagriti Startup20-G20 Yatra 2023, an initiative that embodies the essence of all-encompassing entrepreneurship, international collaboration, sustainability, and innovation.
Aditi Madan, the co-founder of BluePine Foods, renowned for its 35 different frozen Himalayan foods and a cafe in Delhi, was a participant in the 2021 Jagriti Yatra. Today, she stands as the proud winner of the Rs 75 lakh investment prize on the startup reality show "Shark Tank India."
Fondly referred to as ‘Momo Mami’ in the startup realm, Aditi attributes her entrepreneurial skills to the transformative impact of the Jagriti Yatra.
Strategic partnership for entrepreneurial change
Under India’s G20 presidency, the Startup20 Engagement Group has teamed up with the Jagriti Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing robust entrepreneurship ecosystems in Tier 2 and 3 cities across India. This strategic collaboration is poised to reshape the region's entrepreneurial landscape significantly.
Jagriti Yatra attracts the most promising young minds eager to change the world. After a rigorous selection process, 350 young individuals have been shortlisted. This diverse group comprises entrepreneurs, innovators, and change-makers who converge during a 14-day national train journey to exchange ideas, establish partnerships, and devise solutions for some of society's most pressing challenges.
An entrepreneur focused on green energy can now collaborate with another tackling waste management to convert waste into sustainable energy, as highlighted by Chinmay Vadnere, the Chief Operating Officer of Jagriti Yatra and a participant from 2008.
An expedition of discovery and transformation
This year's journey commences in Mumbai on October 28 and concludes on November 10, 2023. Over the course of 14 days, the Yatra spans four significant events hosted in prominent Indian cities, including Bangalore, Vizag, Varanasi, Deoria, Delhi, and Ahmedabad, among others.
Each location has been meticulously selected to showcase India's vibrant entrepreneurial landscape and cultural diversity. Yatris have the opportunity to visit successful enterprises, gain invaluable insights from industry leaders and founders, develop their own business ideas and learn from the Yatra's inherent diversity.
Themes that shape the future
The expedition delves into the core themes of inclusive entrepreneurship, cross-border collaboration, sustainability, and innovation. It explores how these aspects can drive economic growth, social development, and environmental sustainability, ultimately creating a better future for all.
Dr. Chintan Vaishnav, Chair of Startup20, believes that the Startup20-Jagriti Yatra 2023 offers a unique opportunity to connect aspiring entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds, bridge international borders, and collectively confront the challenges of present time.
In a year when India is the G20 chair, this program exemplifies the power of collaboration and nurtures a global entrepreneurial ecosystem committed to positive change.
Shashank Mani, Founder of Jagriti Yatra, underscores the significance of the partnership with Startup20 in empowering entrepreneurs and promoting global collaboration.
Through this collaboration, it aims to highlight Indian innovation, foster inclusive entrepreneurship, unlock cross-border potential, and promote sustainable, innovative solutions, setting an example for the world.
Transforming lives and empowering change
Jagriti Yatra has a countrywide network of entrepreneurs and has already been emulated in five other countries. It seeks to make a difference in agriculture, education, healthcare, arts, and sports through its participants, numbering over 7,000 thus far.
According to Jagriti Yatra's impact study, 28% of Yatris have embarked on entrepreneurial journeys in the last 15 years. The program aims to generate 10 lakh jobs through one lakh enterprises by 2023. It is an 8,000 km journey from Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Madurai and Sri City to Vizag, Gram Vikas, Varanasi and Deoria.
The Yatra's selection process ensures a diverse representation from small-town India. For the 2022 Yatra, the final 510 participants were chosen from among 23,000 applicants.
The Yatra maintains a balanced age, competence, education, gender (with 40 percent women), and socio-economic status ratio. While the Yatra does require a nominal fee from participants, they are encouraged to seek sponsors, allowing the organizers to waive the fee for many. Some fortunate individuals even travel free without sponsorship.
The expedition unfolds on a ten-coach train specifically customized to accommodate the 400 participants, including students, mentors, and staff. The train provides not only lodging, travel, and sustenance but also facilitates discussions and brainstorming with special conference rooms and cabins.
Each day commences with breakfast on the train between 7 to 9 a.m., followed by a briefing of the day's activities. At 10 a.m., participants disembark at their destination to meet the changemaker of the city or town.
Last year, Yatris interacted with Anshul Gupta, founder of the Delhi-based NGO Goonj, to understand their fundraising process and visited the Aravind Eye Hospital team in Madurai to learn about managing a world-class eye care hospital that also contributes to charitable causes.
After lunch, they return to the train and form groups to devise solutions for problems, engaging with 75 facilitators and 100 mentors. Evenings are devoted to brainstorming and networking. By the end of the day, participants retire inspired, energized, and brimming with ideas to change the world. The yatra has had an impact on the decision-making and communication skills, and the overall confidence of the yatris.
***The writer is a Hyderabad-based journalist; views expressed here are her own