Entrepreneurial Challenges Among Youth: with Special Reference to Thiruvallur and Kancheepuram Districts, Tamil Nadu
India is rated as the world's 12 th largest economy. The economic liberalization in 1991 revolutionized business in India, and let the Indian economy grow to become one of the world's best. It also brought forth a host of entrepreneurs who generated millions of jobs. According to a UN Report (2014), the world's largest youth population with 356 million (10 to 24 years old) is in India. The 2011 Census Report indicates that around 41% of the population of India is below the age of 20, 50% is in the 20-59 age groups, and the remaining 9 % above the age of 60. At the same time, only 32% of the country's youth (15-24 years) population is employed (World Development Indicator, World Bank Data 2014), which is far below the 41% global average. On the other hand, according to the NSSO (National Sample Survey Organization, 2016), figures at every level of education indicate that the unemployment rate is higher among the 15 to 29-year-old age group, as compared to the broader population as a whole. The annual population growth rate of India is 1.2% (World Bank data, 2015), and a report from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), released in April 2016, showed that India will face a serious challenge of finding jobs for a growing population over the next 35 years. The Indian economy requires strong growth, empowered by youth, and this can be done by channelizing their creative skills and energy toward successful business ventures. In Tamil Nadu, the Tamil Nadu Adi Dravidar Housing and Development Corporation Limited (TAHDCO) scheme was incorporated in 1974 under the Companies Act of 1956.
The objective of the scheme was to improve the socio-economic status of SCs/STs in Tamil Nadu. TAHDCO introduced a schemein every district, especially meant for marginalized people from a low socio- economic background, to enhance entrepreneurship. This scheme offers financial assistance with subsidies to support entrepreneurship, in addition to training programmes that help start and sustain small businesses. The Self-Employment Programme for Youth (SEPY)
under the TAHDCO scheme focuses on youth in the age group 18- 35. To have a lasting impact, the promotion of youth entrepreneurship is to be approached comprehensively, emphasizing sectors with job creation potential and integrating the three components of sustainable enterprises social, economic and environmental.