Odisha Skill Development Authority Launched Coffee Table Book Featuring Success Stories of Nano Entrepreneurs under project Swakalpa

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Skill Development Authority launched their Coffee Table Book titled ‘Microeconomics, Macro Impact’ at the NUA Odisha Global Summit on Growth & Employment 2024. The book was launched by Smt. Alka Misra Chairperson, Odisha Skill Development Authority, Smt. Usha Padhee IAS Principal Secretary, Skill Development & Technical Education Department Government of Odisha, and Smt. Sujata R. Karthikeyan, IAS, Department of Mission Shakti, Government of Odisha.

This beautifully crafted book takes readers on a journey through the transformative stories of nano entrepreneurs who started and scaled their businesses with support of the Swakalpa program. Through vivid narratives and striking visuals, the book showcases the resilience and determination of participants who have turned their entrepreneurial aspirations into reality, creating micro-economies that resonate on a macro scale.

While launching the Coffee Table Book, Smt. Alka Misra, Chairperson, Odisha Skill Development Authority, congratulated the Swakalpa candidates present at the book launch and said, “The vision of the Odisha Skill Development Authority is to position Odisha as a global talent hub, which transcends aspirations. Swakalpa is a cornerstone of this vision. This unique program is dedicated to empowering nano enterprises across untapped geographies and niche sectors through self-employment training and personalized mentorship. Our commitment is to make these small businesses an integral part of our thriving business ecosystem by nurturing them into self-sustainable brands.”

Swakalpa is a self-employment training and entrepreneurship skill development program initiated by the Odisha Skill Development Authority in collaboration with World Skill Center and Asian Development Bank with Palladium India as implementation partner. The program aims to equip 10,000 ambitious youth with the necessary skills and knowledge on Self-employment & entrepreneurship & establish at least 1,000 micro-businesses in the state of Odisha, with a minimum 25% representation of women at all stages. Swakalpa offers 100 hours of entrepreneurship skills training to youth who have previously undergone skill training in Odisha. This training is inclusive of women and disadvantaged groups, with a focus on empowering them to become successful entrepreneurs. Additionally, shortlisted candidates are provided with 24 weeks of personalized mentoring to assist them in establishing their own enterprises or micro-businesses within the state.

Mr. Sandeep Lanjewar, Director, Palladium India, who was also the part of the coffee table book launch, said, “This Coffee Table Book is very close to our hearts as every nano-entrepreneur story you will read serves as a beacon of hope, illustrating that with the right mentorship, resources, and entrepreneurial mindset, individuals can carve their path to success. Personally, I get goosebumps every time I interact with the candidates and read these inspiring stories. These stories are not just about economic achievements but also about the profound impact on social dynamics, cultural preservation, and the empowerment of local communities. We are aiming to publish more such stories shortly. We are thankful to the continuous support from OSDA and SDET department for their continuous support and guidance throughout this program.”

A significant majority of the narratives featured in the Coffee Table Book revolve around the remarkable journeys of women entrepreneurs who are making significant strides in a myriad of sectors, including beauty industry, food processing, handicrafts, handloom, etc. The stories showcased the diversity, resilience, and entrepreneurial acumen of women who are not only contributing to economic growth but are also becoming catalysts for social change in their communities.

To date, the program has extended its reach to 26 districts in Odisha, enrolling over 8,500 candidates, with a noteworthy 72% representation of women. The initiative has successfully onboarded over 750 mentees actively participating in mentorship programs. Furthermore, the program has facilitated the establishment of over 200 businesses, spanning across six sectors and encompassing 40 distinct trades.

Amit Patjoshi, CEO, Palladium India, congratulated OSDA and team Palladium on the book launch and said, “Swakalpa isn’t just about building entrepreneurs, and it’s a commitment to inclusive growth that recognizes the untapped potential and aspirations of those at the grassroots level. By providing the right support—whether it be through skill development, access to market, credit, or mentorship—we are not just empowering individuals; we are cultivating the seeds of holistic socio-economic growth. As we celebrate our achievements to date, we do so with a deep sense of responsibility and a keen understanding that the road ahead is marked by continuous learning.”

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