Saturday, Oct 01, 2022

Delhi Govt’s Seed Money Gives Wings To School Kids’ Business Dreams

Under the Entrepreneurship Mindset Curriculum incorporated in the school curriculum for Senior School Students, the Delhi government announced the Seed Money Project in 2019 which was the first of its kind in the country.

a team of five Delhi school students who launched eco-friendly blue-tooth speakers under the brand name Speakersters. They had got Rs 5000 in all as the seed money.

Forty-one students of class 12 of a Delhi government school formed nine different groups and each group has floated its own business venture with a meagre government grant of Rs 1000 per student.

Within six weeks of disbursement of the seed money, all of them started making profit. The lockdown and the Second Wave of Coid-19 did pose a lot of challenges for a couple of months but soon after the situation improved, they were back into their business.     

A group of seven students –Saniya, Pratibha, Ishika, Amrita, Sukh Sagar, Sneha and Sumit – who are pursuing Science in class 12th, came up with a business plan to buy non-functional mobile phones.   

They repair and sell them through their website which they have created under the brand name Mobisite.  

“Other mobile repair shops also do the same thing but they will not offer any warranty. We give a three to six months warranty on each mobile depending on their make and condition,” one of the team members said. 

They received Rs 7000 as the seed money to start the business in March this year and till date, they have made a profit of Rs 22,000 by selling dozens of repaired phones.   

Another group of two students, Minni and Divyanshi, both classmates floated a brand, Divine Creations, under which they are selling paintings, sketching and a variety of artwork through social media networks such as Instagram and Facebook.   

With a small grant of Rs 2000 seed money, they have made a profit of Rs 24,650. 

“It takes from half-an-hour to more than six hours to make one painting depending on the intricacies involved,” Minni said.

“It doesn’t hamper our studies. In fact, we have learned time management better now,” Divyanshi added.    

A group of nature enthusiasts, Nasreen, Harsh and Mamta, who are pursuing commerce, have innovated a multi-purpose compost which can not only provide nutrients to all sorts of plants but also protect them from all kinds of pests and insects. 

Named the brand as Hebi Naturals, all three collect waste fruits, plants and eatables to make compost at their homes and then add various other ingredients like Neem cake etc to make it multifunctional.     

Out of total Rs 3000 seed money, they invested Rs 2400 in their business and have made a profit of Rs 6180. 

“We sell our product to local nurseries and gardeners who work in apartments nearby our houses,” Harsh said. 

Their fledgling entrepreneurial efforts are part of the Entrepreneurship Mindset Curriculum that the Delhi government has incorporated in the school curriculum for Senior School Students.

Under the said curriculum, the government announced the Seed Money Project in 2019 which was the first of its kind in the country.

However, due to Covid-19, it was implemented in February 2021 when a pilot phase was launched in the School of Excellence, Khichripur where students from class 11th (now in Class 12th) were given a few days’ time to come up with unique business ideas.

21 groups of students, each group having 2 to 9 students, presented their ideas to a panel of experts who scrutinized them, looked into the feasibility of their ideas and finally selected the best 9 projects.

The Delhi Education Department gave them a Seed Money, Rs 1000 per student, and put them under a group of students from the Delhi Technological University Dept. of Entrepreneurship and Family business to mentor their ideas, help the students understand the market and shape their ideas into functional startups.

Many students say that they enjoy doing all this work because they have chosen to do things they are passionate about.

One like a team of five students, Khushi, Yash, Sujay, Suriya and Vidisha, who launched eco-friendly blue-tooth speakers under the brand name Speakersters. They had got Rs 5000 in all as the seed money.

It was quite challenging to buy raw materials from the market, make a catchy logo and get it printed to put on the product to market it and finally, sell the product.

Since two of the team members had the basic know-how to assemble such speakers and one had learnt design work, their job became quite easy. They assembled their first speaker at the cost of Rs 250 and sold it at Rs 299 making a humble profit of Rs 49 on each speaker.

“We have distributed our work. One of us has the responsibility to do the market research, the other one contacts the local shops to market the product, then one member takes care of the social media promotion and the other two are into buying the raw stuff and assembling the speakers,” one of the team members said.

He added, “Our price is not only competitive but even our product is environment friendly as we use plywood to make the body of the speaker while other companies use plastic products.”

To date, they have made a profit of Rs 1200 from selling 24 such speakers in the local market.

Khushi and Muskan, who have floated The Craft Cottage, a brand under which they make artificial jewellery, say that they want to become job providers and not job seekers.

“We don’t feel like working as we enjoy doing this stuff. We have tied up with boutiques and taken to social media to sell our product. We try to come up with out of the box jewellery stuff that is trendy and catchy,” Khushi said.

Another two-member group, Sheeza Ali and Sakshi Jha, have created a brand, Home2Creations, under which they make a variety of home decorations and hand-made chocolates.

There is no dearth of innovative ideas among these students. Considering the rising popularity of Over The Top (OTT) platforms, a group of five classmates – Arvind, Inderjeet, Aryans, Vasoo and Praveen – offer subscriptions to multiple such platforms under their business brand IONALTS.

Ink Family is another creative brand started by nine students – Divya, Nandini, Ayush, Shubham, Yash, Ayush, Akash, Jasmine and Rishabh. They buy t-shirts and print funky slogans and messages on them.

They say that despite so many other players in the market, their brand attracts buyers because they understand the taste of youth and come out with a product like that.  

When asked if Rs 1000 seed money is very small to start any business, these students say that the right spirit and right approach is the biggest asset for the success of any start-up.

“It does pose a lot of challenges but that’s what entrepreneurship is all about,” a group of five students, who have started a brand, Tap and Draw, said.

Five members of this group - Abhishek, Rahul, Vipul, Sakshi and Mayank – have earned over Rs 4000 by drawing portraits and sketches of people on their special requests.

Elated with the response of the pilot project, the Delhi government has decided to increase the seed money from Rs 1000 to Rs 2000 from now onwards.