Betigiri Stories: College students help rural women through “Basta-Waste to Worth’ entrepreneurship program

This is part of the series of real-life Betigiri stories.

This story published in The Indian Express (see link below) is about three liberal arts students, Malvika Verma, Akshita Singla and Apoorva Sharma of Lady Shri Ram College for Women (Delhi), who wanted to change the status of women in commercial entrepreneurship. Little did they know that what was starting off simply as ‘Project XYZ’ would metamorphose into an innovative entrepreneurship model that would be presented at a United Nations conference in New York to mark the occasion of International Day for Eradication of Poverty (October 17).

After experimenting with products such as chocolates, vermicompost, papad, tie and dye dupatta, they finally decided to go with handbags and pouches from recycled materials, and named their initiative: ‘Basta: Waste to Worth.’

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Basta seeks to employ rural women, thereby generating more employment.

Currently functional in Shampur village in Uttar Pradesh, the drive behind Basta has always been to promote women entrepreneurship, especially in rural India. “Women currently hold only 4.6% of CEO positions at Standard & Poor 500 companies as per March 2015 statistics. It has nothing to do with performance, intelligence, or competence. It is related to lack of opportunities instead. Basta is our effort to create those opportunities,” says Akshita.

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