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Oxford uni students launch venture to create rural jobs in India

A new partnership set up to help transform the lives of disadvantaged people in rural India was announced this week at the Oxford India Business Forum 2014.

RuralShores Business Services and Inclusive Ventures Limited will work together to help the lives of disadvantaged people in the country.

A social venture working to address the large number of unemployed people in rural locations in India has proved the inspiration and business model for a new initiative set up by three Executive MBA students from Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.

Inclusive Ventures Limited (IVL) is creating sustainable jobs for underprivileged rural communities in a number of locations around the world and is already making a positive impact on the employment prospects of the first participants in the scheme.

The initiative is inspired by the experience and success of RuralShores, an Indian social venture which provides skills and employment to more than 5,000 people in 25 centres in India, servicing 30+ client firms and government departments.

The partnership with IVL will follow the RuralShores’ model and invest in up to 5 centers across rural India. IVL and RuralShores will also explore opportunities for IVL to invest directly into RuralShores when such possibilities arise and to expand the model outside India.

The Oxford Executive MBA students visited RuralShores in March 2014 on an annual study trip to India as part of their EMBA programme. The visit was led by Professor David Upton of Saïd Business School, a leading expert in international operations management and outsourcing.

“This new initiative is building upon the insights and experiences of RuralShores in India in creating rural jobs, and is applying their model in other settings, including rural locations in the UK. Initially small scale, this venture, and others like it, has the potential to be scalable and to have a significant impact on the employment prospects of rural communities, contributing positively to regional regeneration,” said Professor Upton.

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