Odisha selects Palladium as partner for Swakalpa program

21 September 2023 Consultancy.in 2 min. read

The Indian government has selected global consultancy firm Palladium as implementation partner for its Swakalpa program in the state of Odisha, in Eastern India.

The Indian state of Odisha is renowned for its impressively low unemployment rate of just 0.9%, significantly lower than the 8.3% national rate. Recognizing the pivotal role of young entrepreneurs in job creation and innovation, the Odisha government is actively extending its support to the sector with Swakalpa, a self-employment training and entrepreneurship skill development program.

Last year, Odisha saw the establishment of over 1,300 startups, which generated approximately 10,000 employment opportunities. To build upon this momentum, the government has set a bold target of nurturing 5,000 more startups by 2025.

Odisha selects Palladium as partner for Swakalpa program

As part of this vision, the Odisha Skill Development Authority has in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank appointed Palladium as the implementation partner for the scale-up program. The program's objective is to further equip 10,000 aspiring entrepreneurs with essential skills for entrepreneurship, as well as to stimulate at least 1,000 self-employed individuals or micro-businesses across various sectors.

The Swakalpa program aims to ensure at least 25% participation of women at all stages.

“Following the training program, candidates will engage in a business pitch and then some will be selected for an intensive, 24-week personalised mentorship,” said Sandeep Lanjewar, Director at Palladium in India.

The project is already in full swing, with over 2,000 individuals that have signed up. Notably, 85% of these participants are women, and 33% hail from disadvantaged groups. Odisha state, a particularly diverse part of India, is well known for being home to many distinct ethnic groups that do not have a significant presence in other parts of India.

The program is set to run through 2024 with the collaboration of Palladium and will encompass a wide array of sectors, including fabrication, electrical work, handicrafts and handlooms, food processing, agriculture, and skin care and beauty.

Palladium was also recently chosen by the UK government to assist in their aid deliveries to areas affected by natural disasters like the floods in Libya and the earthquake in Morocco.

The consulting firm has around 3,000 employees working in over 90 countries.