Basta – ‘Waste to Worth’ is a venture started by three students of Lady Shri Ram Collgege for Women with an aim of creating a circuit of women entrepreneurs. It revolves around employment and income generation for rural women. Currently, their user group comprises 8 semi-skilled but previously unemployed rural women residing in Shampur village of Uttar Pradesh.
Basta was conceptualised as part of an international internship programme organized by the US based non-profit 1M1B: A Million for A Billion. Teams from Caribbean, India and USA participated in this 6 months long programme. From over 300 international participants, this initiative was chosen and the three founding members, Apoorva Sharma, Akshita Singla and Malvika Verma were selected to fly to New York and present their business model at the United Nations Headquarters on the eve of International Day for Eradication of Poverty, which is on 16th October. They will also be pitching to an investor group named DC Arch Angels in Washington DC and meet the two winning teams from Caribbean and the States as well.
“It’s a flurry of emotions! It’s an honour to be representing India and LSR at the United Nations,” says Malvika Verma, one of the three founding members of the initiative. Basta is supported by 1M1B, the National Service Scheme of LSR, and Connecting Dreams Foundation.
They refashion waste flex banners and cloth pieces into bags and pouches. They also have a ‘Custom Made’ option wherein the customers can place orders and have products personalized as per their preferences. They aim to promote the culture of responsible buying.
“One thing that we learnt while working for Basta is that there is no shortcut to hard work. Rejection is the best teacher. You adopt a system of self-criticism. The feeling of being 20 years old and being responsible for the income and livelihood of another individual is just unmatched,” the three founding members convey collectively.
Their aim is to take entrepreneurship to the masses, women in particular. “Globally, only 8% of the companies have female CEOs. We just aren’t given an opportunity and that’s what we want to challenge. Our ‘Basta in a Box’ model revolves around this belief,” they say. They plan to implement this model in Delhi University wherein interested students can set up stalls in their own colleges or wherever they prefer and take a clean share of 15% from the profits made.
Image Credits: Basta, Waste to Worth