A Chapter from my forthcoming PartV of Mentoring Startup Entrepreneurs ebook/ Paperback

Ambitious Startpreneur

Why are Governments insensitive to Social Entrepreneurship?

Startpreneurs are Ambitious !

There is not much worth to being enterprising if you don’t have the ambition to make progress. Your alpha personality makes you want to do more in every aspect of life. “All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure.” – Mark Twain saying may sound to have been said in jest yet it is useful. 

I support NGOs, Section 8 (Old Sec 25) companies, Trusts in their formation strategy onward as Pro-Bono Advisor. As I retired in early 2012, Walking in the morning and evening became a daily routine. Later, post my cardiac issues and diabetes – it became part of the medical management prescribed. 

I now walk between 10-12 Km and keep fit. While walking I use several trial Health related Apps to keep testing as an amateur beta tester on my mobile phones. While music and FM Radio Apps are my constant companions – I am fortunate I still watch a lot and it helps me observe things. 

I met in Gujarat my friends who are doing pioneering work in Social entrepreneurship using CSR funds which remain un-utilized by the corporates for Skills development and helping Startpreneurs – Really Micro ones – those who can start business with a Seed capital given as a grant of Rs. 25-40000. That is very small indeed.

On my way of this walk, I visit a Ganpati Temple with a 60Ft tall statue. It is close to a bus-stand and a new Sky-way has come up near the Walkers/ Joggers garden nearby. I have observed recently under the Swachh Bharat program the Municipal corporation has also made a PublicPay toilet on a BOLT ( Build- Own – Lease- Transfer) basis and a family maintains it and keeps it clean and hygienic. This suburb is Bangalore’s largest upcoming suburb and at last count there are about Half a Million people live here most of whom get water by tankers as civic amenities are still non-existent. 

I was happy to see this initiative of the Pay Toilet which to me is a nice gesture to make a family entrepreneur and self sufficient while keeping the area clean. In Bangalore city the Gardens are well maintained but the Gardeners are not well taken care of. They still live in Tent like huts made of gunny sacks and a whole family of 6-10 people lives in the garden – they still cook on wood. The poor gardener also begs and seeks money from morning walkers which is sad.

I see another beggar near the temple and his geographic area seems to be demarcated to Temple, couple of hotels, bus stand and the unauthorized bike parking space. Bangalore is a different type of city. The Politicians here do not care if the pedestrians have footpath or not and bike riders consider it to park on footpaths available as their birthright. 

I was thinking of a BOLT, Social entrepreneurship and beggary together. As a Edward De Bono Lateral thinking follower, I got thinking. I felt why not convert some of the open land under the skywalk, near the garden and also outside of the footpath as Paid Parking space with a Manned Parking Meter and allow this beggar and gardener cum beggar to allow it to run on BOLT basis. 

What will it entail:

  1. Permission from Municipal corporation to convert the empty land and build a compound, fencing around it. 
  2. Have No Parking boards put up at the designated places in consultation with the Traffic Police.
  3. Get a Parking meter and fix the parking rates for the hour, 4 hours, 6 hours, Overnight parking etc as I have seen people parking for longer durations here.
  4. Issue Bar cards to monthly payment users and equip the two people manning it with Card swipe machines and train them into the usage and help them with a bank account where the bank person comes and collects the cash and charge slips from them and issues a passbook update. 
  5. I think this can help regulate the traffic in this area, help two families to have sustainable income and over a period of time the Municipal corporation can recover its initial investment in fencing, boards, parking meter, printing paper, electricity, no parking boards, swipe machines and training.

I just wish and hope that I am some day able to either get hold of the Corporator to do this or get an influential NGO to influence him, Corporation and also provide them the seed capital to run this and get the right permissions..

I sincerely feel that beggary in the town can be regulated and by right parking habits the traffic menace can also be controlled. We see many Third Gender people crowding or knocking the car windows on the Traffic signals demanding money and people mistreating them and getting into fights. This menace can also be curbed if a sympathetic view is taken towards and the business help provided.