Building careers, building lives

SUSANNA MYRTLE LAZARUS meets the people behind UnLtd Tamil Nadu, an Auroville-based incubator that supports social entrepreneurs

Gijs Spoor was 10 when his parents, who were documentary film makers, came to India to make a film about children in Rajasthan. The stories they brought back made him want to visit the place, and he did, when he was 18. He worked on a farm in Rajasthan where they were growing organic produce and trying to sell it to the palaces in the region. “This was way before social entrepreneurship was a catchphrase, but that’s where I learned about an entrepreneurial approach to tackling rural poverty and inclusion,” says the Hollander, who went on to study agricultural engineering. He came back to India and started an initiative for fair trade cotton in the Vidharbha, Maharashtra and Telangana regions.

“There’s a need for long-term, self-sustaining solutions to earn their way out of poverty, so we made the farmers co-owners, so they could get a bigger profit. But it was frustrating because they were happy to just let us front the whole thing and take home their cheques on Saturday................Read more


Source: The Hindu

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