Department of Life Long Learning.
University of Jammu.
The rural entrepreneurial ventures play a vital role in providing employment and income for the poor and unemployed in rural areas. As the population pressure grows in the land-scarce and developing countries like India, the growth in the agricultural production cannot absorb the ever increasing rural labour force in agricultural employment. This leaves the rural non-farm sector in the form of rural SMEs (small and medium entrepreneurial ventures) to absorb those released from agriculture but not absorbed in the urban industries. Contributing more than 52% of the GDP and making available more than 75% of all labour force in India the rural sector is best poised for a rapid expansion in the small and medium industry arena. The policy makers and executors have to find scope and space in the farm based entrepreneurial ventures to address to the daunting problem of unemployment in the country. The experiences of the people involved in such ventures needs to be cashed and used to make shift in the policy paradigm in the given context.
The scope of rural entrepreneurship.
India has been steadily growing as an economic power in the past two decades and has been able to create the bare necessary infrastructure required to sustain this rate of growth. The connectivity to remote areas has been improved to a great extent both in terms of physical accessibility by road and oir and virtual accessibility in terms of telecommunications and information technology. Combined with this there is a steady growth in the education among the rural population including professional qualifications among rural youth. This presents the ideal situation for enterprises to spring in the rural areas where the cost of operation, labour and availability of raw materials is substantially cheaper as compared to urban parts of the country. Government Agencies set up to Promote Rural Enterprises
The government having realized the true potential of rural SME sector has initiated a large number of programs and schemes aimed directly at boosting entrepreneurial ventures in the rural parts of the country. •National Agricultural and Rural Development Bank (NABARD): This is the nodal agency that provides almost three fourth of all the financial assistance allocated by the government towards uplifting rural enterprise. •The Rural Small Business Development center (RSBDC): Sponsored by the NABARD this one it’s kind of a governmental initiative in the world. The center provides for managerial and technical support to the small and micro enterprises of the rural sector. It conducts training programs on rural entrepreneurship, skill up gradation, trainer training, awareness and counseling sessions across the country to enhance the productivity of rural SME units. •National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC): This central government agency is responsible for procurement and supply of indigenous as well as imported equipment and machinery on easy hire purchase terms for rural SMEs, distribute raw materials and export finished products of small and medium industries of the rural sector. •Small Industries Bank of India (SIDBI): This is the primary agency that distributes direct as well indirect finance to all SMEs and coordinates the functioning of similar bodies under various schemes launched by the government from time to time. •Rural and Women Entrepreneurship Development program (RWEDP): This agency aims at creating conducive business environment as well as build infrastructure and human capital which will aid the long term growth of small industries in rural areas. •Scheme of Funds for Regeneration of Traditional Industries...