New Delhi: Usha Silai School, an initiative of Usha International Limited partnered with School for Social Entrepreneurs India (SSE, India) for the inaugural Michael Young Memorial Lecture in India to concur with the global 20th anniversary celebration of SSE, 3rd Anniversary of SSE India & Graduation Ceremony of the Social Start-Up Fellowship Programme 2018. This reiterates Usha International’s continued commitment to social innovation and entrepreneurship. Centered around the theme ‘Crest of Courage’ the event highlights included a keynote address by Baroness Dorothea Glenys Thornton, a Labour and Co-operative member of the House of Lords, as well as a panel discussion on “The Role of the Private Sector in Building Social Enterprise” with Baroness Thornton, Dr Priya Somaiya, Jyotsna Sitling, Sharmila Karve, and Harivansh Chaturvedi as the panelists. Five women entrepreneurs from the Usha Silai School and the current batch of social entrepreneurs graduating from SSE were also felicitated at the event.
Launched in honour of Michael Young – Lord Young of Dartington, a British sociologist, social activist, and politician who coined the term ‘meritocracy’ and was a prolific entrepreneur and social innovator; having set up over 40 social enterprises in his lifetime, including founding SSE in London in 1997 — the Memorial Lecture highlight and champions the cause of social entrepreneurship.
Dr. Priya Somaiya, Executive Director, Usha Social Services, said, “We are proud to partner with SSE India to mark the 20 years of SSE globally, celebrating the life of Michael Young, Founder SSE. SSE’s inspirational journey is aligned with Usha Silai School’s vision of deploying sewing as a platform for social and economic empowerment of women in the under-served communities while earning from the comfort of their own homes. This not only transforms their lives but also that of their families.”
Speaking at the occasion Baroness Glenys Thornton said, “SSE believes in equipping the next generation of social entrepreneurs to effect large scale social and environmental change, which is why I am delighted to accept the offer to deliver Michael Young Lecture. Our intent is to mobilize people and support their entrepreneurial approaches to create lasting change. It is an immense pleasure to see the impact of Usha International’s Silai School programme for myself as I met with some women whose lives have been transformed by it. It’s an inspiring example of the large scale impact corporates can have with the right intent and execution.”
Today Usha Silai School programme has successfully empowered women to become financially secure, more confident, find familial and social acceptance and evoke in them an entrepreneurial spirit. To date, Usha runs over 20, 350 Silai Schools across all the states of India, in partnership with 59 NGO partners and 14 corporate/institutional partners. Over 4,05,000 women have completed their course from these Silai Schools and nearly 25,000 women continue to learn and hone their sewing skills every day at these schools. The women, on an average have started earning Rs.1800/- per month, with the highest earning going up to Rs. 56,000/- per month.