Ankit Garg , India
Ankit, a visually impaired employee at Standard Chartered Bank India works on a project that is part of National Association for the Blind, Centre for Blind Women, New Delhi to help visually impaired people start and run their own businesses in a sustainable way. Over 100 disabled people have been trained and are now running their own small businesses, each generating $600 per month on average. Finding traditional employment opportunities is very difficult for people with disabilities in India, and so instead of training people for jobs the Association trains them to become entrepreneurs. The Association teaches people skills such as making handmade soaps and detergents and running a cafe. This enables visually impaired people from across rural India to use these learnings to generate an income that can sustain them from the comfort of their own homes. After graduating from the programme the trainees are provided with financial support to start up their own small businesses and earn a stable income. Ankit and other volunteers from Standard Chartered have equipped these trainees with a financial education that allows them to manage their own affairs, gaining their own financial independence for the first time. Ankit plans to work with the National Association for the Blind to empower millions of blind people living in the remotest locations by joining forces with partner organisations to provide market linkages through their brand power as well as seed funding to establish the initial infrastructure.