Recently, I gifted myself a cute pouch. I love its fabric and finishing. The pouch is thick, sturdy and perfect to keep my books safe while travelling. The idea, though, of buying this pouch was not only for my books. It was also to invest in change.
Investing in change refers to an investment, of time, money or other resources, in a cause that can change the world for the better.
We can invest in change in several ways. In order to make the world greener, we can spend time planting trees. To reduce air pollution, we can spend time walking instead of driving. This way we improve our health, too. We can volunteer our time at local schools to help the next generation have more educated individuals. We can donate to clean-water charities or conserve water ourselves. We can also take part in social investing.
Social investing is when you invest, with money, to help a social cause. Here, you become the investor and the person who is carrying out the social cause is the investee as they require the capital (initial funding to start a business). Rang De is one such platform where you can invest in a social cause. Rang De is an organization that helps you understand which genuine social causes need an investor. You are free to invest any amount from Rs 100/- and above. I have also invested in a cause from Karnataka.
There are plenty of NGOs that thrive on donations. Rang De is a platform that aims at empowering rural women entrepreneurs. Repaying the loan promotes the idea of responsible borrowing, just not from a bank. This way, depending on the effort put in, only the investee is responsible for her own growth.
As we all know, taking loans from banks is impossible when your family is under the poverty line and does not have collateral.
The duo, Ram and Smita, founded Rang De because they envisioned a developed India and felt that this was possible only with credit. So, with minimal investment from social investors like us, Rang De can help passionate rural artisans to begin their entrepreneurial journey.
Rang De also empowers women from rural areas. The organization also provides unbanked farmers, artisans and entrepreneurs access to educational resources, markets, financial services, business training, mentorship opportunities, etc. They provide assistance, in many ways, to help improve their livelihoods.
Thanks to many Rang De social investors, rural women entrepreneurs have managed to start small businesses. One such example is Runway Nagaland. Runway Nagaland, a sub-division of Runway India, managed to raise Rs. 5,00,000/- and begin their journey to success. That’s where I bought my pretty pouch.
Runway India provides a selling platform to artisans specializing in handmade local crafts like banana fiber, bamboo, Nagaland indigenous handmade jewellery etc. and delivers pan India. Their vision is to uplift and empower native artisans, mostly women, because they believe that every art form deserves to be known. You have to check out their variety of Nagaland Heritage jewellery, baskets, mats, planters, coasters, etc. as well as handloom items such as cushion covers, table runners, tote bags, handbags, etc. They are currently 32 employees strong.
Having said this, even if you feel that you do not have the bandwidth to invest your money, you can surely gift your loved one something from Runway India (like I gifted myself) or maybe spread the news among your friends and family about this beautiful initiative by Rang De. I’m sure you can find many ways to invest in change.
And, hopefully, soon we will be able to build a poverty-free India for our children. Or possibly at the least shift our perennial status of a ‘developing nation’ to a ‘developed country’.
What do you think?
This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter
initiative with RangDe.