SSEs and the Indian Landscape: The Impact on ‘Future of Work’ and SDG 8: The Case of ‘SumArth’ – an Agro-Based SSE Organization

Abstract - EN

The Indian economy is marred by multi-dimensional poverty and inequality. Termed as the leading emerging economy of the world, Indian economy still engages more than 50% of its population in agriculture and agriculture peripheral practices directly or indirectly and resides in the informal sector – where solidarity and reciprocity are a survival strategy. Macrolevel policies have not been successfully integrated with the bottom of the pyramid. In addition, bureaucratic failures and non-regularized framework of organisations has impacted the informal economy severely and has underscored the impact that Social and Solidarity Enterprises (SSEs). This paper emphasises the importance of SSEs in achieving Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG – 8, ‘Decent work and Economic Growth’. The paper analyses how technology integration could become an integral part of SSEs and further discusses the SSEs working in various sectors and how marginalised communities are being empowered by SSEs. This paper presents the case of ‘SumArth’, an NGO working as an SSE organisation impacting 200+ villages with 2000+ small and marginalised farmers by combining frugal innovations and last mile connectivity and enabling SDG 1, 2, 8, 9 and 17. In conclusion, a set of recommendations have been presented for better enablement and valuation measurements for SSE organizations in India in recognising SSEs as an equal contributory partner in India’s economic growth story.