Aman Deep Singh, Founder, NNED
The Armaan Foundation has bought many a smile to the faces of the downtrodden by empowering them. Their newest initiative is the National Network for Entrepreneurs with Disabilities (NNED) which is a philanthropic non-profit organization aimed at promoting and facilitating entrepreneurship among people with disabilities.
YourStory spoke to its creators on what they hope to achieve and what entrepreneurs with disabilities can look forward to in an exclusive interview...
What is NNED?
National Network for Entrepreneurs with Disabilities (NNED) is a philanthropic non-profit organization and an Armaan initiative aimed at promoting and facilitating entrepreneurship among people with disabilities. We are also committed to building a global resource to which existing business owners with a disability can turn to at any stage of their business journey immaterial whether they are experienced or just mere beginners in the world of entrepreneurship.
When was this social venture initiated?
Initiated in January, 2011, NNED is the fruit of the effort of Armaan Foundation to find suitable jobs for the differently(dis) abled. When Armaan started its operation for placements of the differently(dis) abled, it realized it was a bit hard for them to find jobs even though they had the required skill in them and could provide quality service. This realization led to the foundation of NNED.
Who founded it?
Mr. Aman Deep Singh, quite passionate about entrepreneurship since childhood, founded Armaan which initially worked as a placement consultancy. The defining moment was when one of his colleagues, Sourabh, was fired from his job owing to a disability. Aman was deeply moved by this and helped Sourabh get another job as a freelancer. He then thought if he could do it for one, he could do the same for many. This realization triggered him to give birth to NNED.
What is the Objective behind NNED?
The objective of NNED is to become a one step solution for entrepreneurship related problems for the disabled. NNED is a place which enables mutual collaboration and connection between the non-disabled and disabled through the market place which results in mutual benefit of both the parties. We thus help creating interdependency between the two groups which helps promote healthy business interactions.
How do you become a member of NNED?
Anybody who wants benefit from the services offered by NNED is free to join it. It is open to everyone. Anyone who wants to become a member can become a member. The membership for the first 100 applicants is free. The rest have to pay a nominal amount on a yearly basis to be a member and reap all the benefits and gain an advantageous edge over others.
How is it different from The Global Network for Entrepreneurs with Disabilities?
GNED is not for masses as a lesser number of people have access to the internet. In a country like India, with a population of more than 1 billion, very few (a privileged 1-2%) have access to the internet. That leaves a staggering 98% as non-users. NNED scores in this as it is not totally internet based. It aims at working at the grassroot level to reach out to the masses by opening chapters in various cities, NGOs, schools etc. We give much more to our members in the form of guidance while opening a start-up. Our panel also provides training on a weekly or monthly basis to our members. We also keep people informed about the various government funding schemes, something which GNED does not. We also provide services at subsidized cost to our members in the form of mentorship, collaboration, registration and training. It is thus indeed a one stop solution to the problems of a budding entrepreneur.
What does the network do to help develop businesses started by people with disabilities?
We provide services at subsidized rates (including registration) apart from mentorship, training by panel members on a weekly or monthly basis. We help them in funding and also keep them updated about the various government funding schemes. Services related to cs, law, design, hr etc. are also provided.
What other benefits does NNED provide to entrepreneurs with disabilities?
We provide a platform for the disabled by enabling them to set a niche for themselves in this highly competitive world. We encourage networking between the two groups – the disabled and the non-disabled so that they can empower each other. We thus help creating interdependency between the two groups which helps promote in healthy business interactions.
What Challenges were faced in making NNED a success?
When NNED was first conceptualised, it had to go through a lot of problems before it could set up. Many officers and business people who were of the opinion that the idea of this organisation was not cut out for the Indian scenario had to be convinced. Many of the view that myriad of these kinds of initiatives already exist had to be proved wrong by making them convinced about the uniqueness of the idea. However, with substantial corporate help, the organisation was successfully registered. The second big challenge was to spread awareness about NNED. In order to make NNED a known name, we contacted people working in the same field to promote it. We believe that a word of mouth and quality service would suffice in spreading awareness about NNED.
YourStory wishes the founders of NNED many successes with empowering entrepreneurs with disabilities. Learn more about their work athttp://nned.in/. Let us know what you think about this social venture, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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