UAIL’s Project Udyamee: Empowering Odisha’s Rural Entrepreneurs

UDYAMEE Center provides a full range of business setup services, including planning, execution, marketing, securing financing from formal financial institutions

by Soumayashree Mishra
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Mr. Suresh Naik of Surugunja village in Rayagada district used to work as a migrant labourer in Kerala to make ends meet and provide for his family. But he is now a happy man who not only became an entrepreneur and the head of one fabrication unit, but also offers jobs to others and tries to put a smile on their faces. He attributes his life’s transformation entirely to Project Udyamee. This project, the brainchild of Utkal Alumina, an Aditya Birla Group company, has been instrumental in changing the lives of many people in the region, not just Suresh.

This one-of-a-kind sustainable livelihood programme, which began on July 21,

Mr Mazhar Beig, Unit Head of Utkal Alumina, describes the project as follows: “This unique sustainable livelihood programme supports the government ecosystem of MSME, SMEs, OLM, etc. in the state while bringing the plan to fruition on the ground for a long-term outcome.” A rural business incubation centre has been established in Tikiri’s Gokulmunda village to provide business development services such as enterprise mapping, business plan preparation, convergence, market help, and so on to first- and second-generation business owners while meeting market demand, supporting rural businesses, and improving the skills and expertise of these new business owners.

UDYAMEE Center provides a full range of business setup services, including planning, execution, marketing, securing financing from formal financial institutions and angel investors, and connecting with prospective government programmes and subsidies. During the course of a year-long project implementation, the team successfully trained six UDYOG Mitras (Community Care). As Industry Promotion Officers, these individuals provide business development services at the grassroots level.

So far, 1519 people have received business mapping counselling, 111 appraisals and business plans have been approved, and 85 businesses have actually begun. As part of the convergence, 18 PMEGP/MSME loans totaling Rs. 124.86 lakhs were sought. The Rayagada Regional Industry Centre (RIC) approved 17 PMEGP/MSME projects totaling Rs. 104.86 lakhs. As of today, three loans totaling $500,000 have been made.

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