RURAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN INDIA
The rural population constitutes a major segment in India. The livelihood strategies of this vast segment depend primarily on agriculture and allied activities. Growth in this agriculture sector has shown a declining trend during the last one decade. This has made a huge impact on the domestic production, employment, etc. These problems can be tackled, to a certain extent, by developing entrepreneurship in Rural India. This dissertation is concerned with the distinctive challenges and opportunities of developing entrepreneurship in rural locations, and also provides the necessary suggestions that can be used in this context.
India is the 2nd most populous country in the world and has about 70% of its population in villages. But, in the recent years, the % of population migrating to urban areas has increased considerably. Various social, economic, political and ecological problems in rural areas in developing countries like India create challenges in employment and cause increasing migration towards cities, decreasing agricultural production and increasing food shortage.
This is the scenario faced not only in India, but all over the world. According to the 2001 Rural Poverty Report (RPV), 75% of the world's poor live and work in rural areas, and the majority will remain so for several decades (IFAD Rural Poverty Report, 2001; IFAD 2002). The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) stressed the need for developing poverty-reduction policies and programs with a primary emphasis on rural areas (IFAD Rural Poverty Report, 2001). Rural areas in developing countries are experiencing poverty and depopulation, are geographically more isolated, require infrastructure and subsidies, and have a lack of structural and institutional factors (IFAD Rural Poverty Report, 2001). A sustainable reduction in rural poverty necessitates the adaptation of further research and programs that help promote economic growth and development. Prior research indicates positive strong relationships among entrepreneurial activity, economic growth and poverty reduction (UNICD Task Force, 2002). Hence entrepreneurship in rural areas has to be increased so as to improve the condition of rural India, thereby helping the nation in achieving overall growth and prosperity.
Although agriculture today still provides income to rural communities, rural development is increasingly linked to enterprise development. Since national economies are more and more globalized and competition is intensifying at an unprecedented pace, affecting not only industry but any economic activity including agriculture, it is not surprising that rural entrepreneurship is gaining in its importance as a force of economic change that must take place if many rural communities are to survive.
Entrepreneurship plays an important role in the economic growth and development of nation. It is a purposeful activity includes in initiation, promotion and distribution of wealth and service. An entrepreneur is a critical factor in economic development and an integral part of the socio-economic transformation. It is a risk taking activity and challenging tasks, needs utmost devotion, total commitment and greater sincerity with fullest involvement for his personal growth and personality.
In brief, entrepreneurship is required for the following reasons:
• To improve backwardness of the people.
• Economic development of the region.
• To analyse resource utilization.
• Proper utilization of human potentiality.
• Special attention to take up new activities.
• To create self-employment and generation of employment opportunity.
• Eradication of regional imbalances.
• Better economic gain.
Entrepreneurship is usually understood with reference to individual business. Entrepreneurship has rightly been identified with the...