The Revive Our Economy program allows us to collaborate with vetted partners and organizations in Kashmir to foster economic and social development, entrepreneurship, and capacity building with the ultimate aim of empowering local communities and agents of change. We are primarily focused on addressing gaps in capital, skills, and labor, as ample evidence suggests that these three ingredients are necessary to build a sound and sustainable knowledge economy. Given the recent losses Kashmiris incurred as a result of the 2016 shutdown and 2014 floods (not to mention the ongoing costs of conflict), we believe the need for such initiatives is dire and remains largely unmet. Through proven pilots and partnerships, we hope to increase our reach and impact in the years to come.
Current, Ongoing, and Past Projects
3-30-3 Business Accelerator
In 2018, over the course of 12 weeks and in six sessions, Revive Kashmir and its local partners intend to didactically train 30 established executives and entrepreneurs from 15 local businesses in the Kashmir Valley. We want to focus on entrepreneurs looking to impact the knowledge economy or improve their business operations with automated tools. The training will be delivered using a web-based platform. We will award acceleration/growth capital or services to the top 3 businesses from among the group of 15. The training will be in the form of business concepts, frameworks, templates, tools, and software programs that the entrepreneurs can readily use to significantly improve the results of their business operations. The participants will also learn how to prepare pitch decks to raise money from angel investors and venture capitalists. At the conclusion of the workshop, all 15 businesses will present their business plans to a panel and the top 3 finalists will be awarded acceleration capital in the amounts of INR 200,000 for the first place, INR 150,000 for the second place, and INR 100,000 for the third place.
In 2015, we provided microloans to 82 flood-impacted families in 2 villages in Sethurgund, District Pulwama in Kashmir. These families operate as drivers of the economy, working in sectors such as consumables, services, and transportation. Many of their businesses suffered severe to total structural damage resulting in heavy financial loss. In 2018, we will be providing these “pay it forward” economic revival assistance to an additional 150 small businesses. Businesses that had received interest free assistance, have started giving back to help support new recipients and creating a self-sustaining economic engine.
Knowledge Economy Entrepreneurship Network (KEEN)
We launched a social media network in 2016 via Facebook and LinkedIn to connect budding and seasoned entrepreneurs currently operating businesses in Kashmir and throughout the world. Our goal is to provide an accessible forum to all Kashmiris that facilitates knowledge-sharing, networking, capital investment, and mentorship. Since most youth in Kashmir use some form of social media, we hope KEEN will expose them to ideas and opportunities that extend beyond traditional career paths such as medicine, law, and engineering. KEEN has the potential to become an engine for local capacity building and economic development. The group currently has over 1100 members spanning multiple continents.