Press release: Mindtree.org Launches Social Inclusion Platform to Democratize Technology for Micro-Entrepreneurs
Mindtree.org, the social inclusion platform of Mindtree Ltd, announced the successful implementation of its five digital platforms designed to build inclusive societies and create more opportunities for independent entrepreneurs in India and elsewhere. The platforms cater to India’s informal economic sector, representing millions of workers such as farmers, artisans and waste pickers striving to increase incomes and reach end consumers, and who represent the vast majority of India’s workforce.
The purpose of the Mindtree.org digital platforms is to make digital technology and professional services accessible to millions of local entrepreneurs working in the informal economy. These initiatives help to set up profitable micro-businesses, connected communities and networked marketplaces, improving their income and standard of living.
More than 1.6 million independent entrepreneurs, alongside several state government agencies, non-governmental organizations and other partners, are utilizing five fully-operational platforms:
- I Got Garbage: Transforming Waste-pickers into Recycling Managers
A waste management solution that improves the livelihood of a waste picker and ensures fewer landfills for the community. This involves creating scalable waste eco-systems including municipal governments, waste pickers as entrepreneurs, social enterprises and citizen communities. As of October 2018, this program has encompassed 9,700 recycling managers working with 330,000 waste generators to divert 212 million kg of garbage from landfills.
- I Got Knowledge: Enabling ‘Gap, Strength, and Interest Based Learning’ in Rural India
An education solution that aims to identify and solve gaps in student learning and school processes. The app suite includes tools for skill assessments, physical school infrastructure inspections, school leadership and teacher training, school management collaboration, mobilization and training of rural tutors. This program has helped support 7,500 schools and 280,000 students.
- I Got Crops: Helping Smallholder Farmers Climb up the Agri-Value Chain
A farmer empowerment solution that enables marginal farmers and artisanal communities to sell directly to the consumer and earn more income. The solution provides access to information, opportunities, and a formalized value chain for the farmers’ produce. This program has served 865 farmer micro businesses and 49,000 farmers.
- I Got Skills: A Unified Platform for Grassroots Skilling and Employment
A skills management solution aimed at the semi-skilled labor marketplace that enhances individual skills and helps workers build new career paths and set up independent micro-businesses. This program has helped train 443,000 candidates from 37 industry sectors.
- University of Commons: Engaging Communities in Problem Solving
A societal change management solution that brings together a network of labs. It provides a learning ecosystem for businesses to find creative ways of addressing persistent social issues in their communities. Some 1,200 community groups and 17,000 local communities use 3 social innovation labs to try to solve grassroots problems using the UoC platform.
The central idea of these connected platforms is to make the independent entrepreneur an integral part of the entire value chain and help them build a micro-business. The platforms connect them with various communities, including government agencies, social businesses, donors, impact investors and citizen groups. The entrepreneur’s products go through several value-adding stages before they come on to the marketplace for consumption by the end-user.
“Independent entrepreneurs are essential to the economy in India and elsewhere, helping establish a sustainable and inclusive marketplace-based economy,” said Krishnakumar Natarajan, Chairman of Mindtree. “Our approach with Mindtree.org is to democratize technology in a way that expands opportunities for these entrepreneurs to reach consumer markets at a large scale.”
“These initiatives are about using the power of IT and technology to help create more structure and opportunities in the informal sector of the economy,” said Prashant Mehra, Vice President & Chief Architect – Social Inclusion, for Mindtree.org. “We have made our platforms open and welcome to anyone to either enhance the existing solution or build a new solution for a different domain that can help provide a dignified livelihood for millions in our society.”
Photo courtesy of Pabak Sarkar.