NGO Salaam Bombay Foundation focusses on Nurturing Grassroots Adolescent Entrepreneurs – launches Dolphin Tank in close collaboration with the School of Business Management (SBM), NMIMS, a unique initiative to offer guidance and financial support to resource-challenged aspiring grassroots adolescent entrepreneurs.
MUMBAI, India, March 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — In a first of its kind initiative, NGO, Salaam Bombay Foundation (SBF) has launched ‘Dolphin Tank’ under its Entrepreneurship Incubator for grassroots adolescent entrepreneurs from the slums of Mumbai. Following the tagline of ‘Nurturing Grassroot Adolescent Entrepreneurs’, the Dolphin Tank initiative offered funding support to the top four selected business plans during an event organised in partnership with SBM, NMIMS on March 16, 2022.
The students under the Dolphin Tank initiative were invited to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges that included: Aditi Shrikam, CFO, Malabar Bay, Dr. Priti Shenai, Founder – Skinworks, Priya Kaur, Owner – Nirvair Jewellers, Darshan Kanani, Owner, Darshan Electricals & Engineering and Amit Gupta, CEO, Funfirst Global Skillers, Mumbai.
The Dolphin Tank initiative is a way to embolden the lesser-privileged aspiring grassroots adolescent entrepreneurs who possess talent but fall short on resources. Under the incubator programme, 50 vocationally skilled students got entrepreneurial guidance from industry experts, policymakers, and domain specialists.
These grassroots adolescent entrepreneurs, who are now in colleges and were part of SBF’s skills@school initiative (when they were in their 9th Grades at BMC and government aided schools), received training in arenas like Beauty & Wellness, Home Appliance Repair, Fashion Design, Mobile Repair, Computer Hardware Repair, and Jewellery Design. The Dolphin Tank incubator programme aims at providing entrepreneurial guidance to these skill programmes’ alumni.
As a part of the initiative, 8 students with top business plans were handpicked from the 50+ from Salaam Bombay Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Incubator and had the opportunity to be mentored by SBM, NMIMS MBA student volunteers from the We Care internship. A total of 21 management students trained over 800 school students in aspects associated with financial literacy as a part of their 21-day civic engagement internship in collaboration with Salaam Bombay Foundation.
Out of the 8 who pitched their business plans to the panel of judges, four aspiring grassroots adolescent entrepreneurs with the best business plans were chosen and won funding support from Aditi Shrikam, CFO, Malabar Bay and her adolescent son, Om Srikham, a high school student who runs his own sneaker business in the US.
Aditi Shrikam, CFO, Malabar Bay, who is also providing the funding support for the winning ideas, said, “It is heart-warming to see these young minds come-up with such incredible ideas. These students belong to resource-challenged backgrounds but the way Salaam Bombay Foundation has shaped them is really commendable. I believe, it is because of the guidance that they get at the right age. If encouraged from childhood they can really turn out to be successful people in life. Each business idea that we went through had some potential, these -adolescents are talented and with proper supervision they can do good in life.”
Dr. Prashant Mishra, Dean, School of Business Management, NMIMS, said, “The war against poverty can be fought by fostering entrepreneurial thinking amongst resource-deficient communities right from a young age. As a responsible B-School, we believe in providing the right tools to establish and run the business in a financially sustainable manner. I am happy that a few of our MBA students could mentor the adolescents to pitch their business ideas. It has been a game-changing experience for them. The School of Business Management, NMIMS, is proud to be part of the Dolphin Tank event which will foster opportunity and unleash the innate entrepreneurial spirit of the adolescents.”
Speaking about the initiative, Gaurav Arora, VP – Projects, Salaam Bombay Foundation, said, “It is important to provide appropriate guidance to these grassroots adolescent entrepreneurs from the slums, many of them are really talented, if they get proper resources, they can make a name for themselves as well as their families. It’s very difficult for these grassroots adolescent entrepreneurs to start a business or commence a start-up because along with basic training they lack financial support, guidance and the steering force, so our aim is to encourage them to come up with ideas and then strengthen them to work on it.”
Shubham Sharma, We Care intern, SBM, NMIMS, said, “It was a one-of-a-kind learning experience interning at Salaam Bombay Foundation as part of my We Care Internship at NMIMS. I, along with 3 of my batchmates, got the opportunity to mentor a few adolescents (between 15-18yrs of age) who had kickstarted their entrepreneurial endeavours after upskilling themselves. I could help the students in preparing a business pitch for an investor using my knowledge of working in start-ups and also from what I’ve learnt during my MBA. This mentorship program and investment opportunity will greatly help the grassroots adolescent entrepreneurs to strategically plan and grow their businesses to the next level and financially support their education as well as their families. It was heart-warming to see such a drive for entrepreneurship among the students at their age and their willingness to hustle for a better future. I’m happy I could contribute to such a noble cause.”
About SVKM’s NMIMS University
Established in 1981, NMIMS is today recognized as a globally reputed university with strong industry linkages. It offers multiple disciplines across 8 campuses that consist of 17 specialised schools, more than 17000 full time students, and about 750 full-time faculty members, 10 faculty members with Fulbright Scholarship and Humboldt International Scholarship for post- doctoral researchers. The Shri Vile Parle Kelavani Mandal (SVKM) led the foundation stone of this esteemed university, with the aim to cater to the rising demand of management institutes in the country. It is known for its consistent academic quality and research-focused approach towards holistic education. SVKM’s NMIMS has been granted Category-I Deemed University status by Graded Autonomy Regulation 2018 by MHRD/UGC and NMIMS Mumbai Campus is NAAC accredited with a CGPA of 3.59.
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