ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Entrepreneurship or Survival?

In an analytical and interesting article by Ashwini Deshpande and Smriti Sharma (“Entrepreneurship or Survival? Caste and Gender of Small Business in India, EPW, 13 July 2013), the authors have been critical of Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (DICCI) statement – “Be job givers, not job seekers” – by stating that scheduled caste (SC)-owned firms employed only 4% of the total workforce in registered manufacturing micro, small and medium enterprises.

Since the SCs are after service jobs, DICCI wanted to demonstrate that they can become entrepreneurs and consequently job givers, although their number is insignificant today. For instance, Ashok Khade employed 4,500 workers in his offshore engineering company launched in 1992, and Dayand Londhe provided jobs to 150 workers, including 100 upper-caste women in the gloves industry. Such instances could be termed exceptional.

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