In 2008, YourStory started off by championing the cause of startups and changemakers. Startups weren’t well known then – most people thought the young entrepreneurs quitting their jobs to start an uncertain business with little or no financial backing were taking huge risks. Especially since their ideas were unusual and seemed too ambitious to most. As a result, there was no other platform to tell their stories.
When we started writing these stories, we discovered not just entrepreneurs but also a lot of other people who were not running a business but were bringing about some much-needed change. We found there were so many amazing stories and voices and we felt we simply had to tell their stories.
Ten years after we launched YourStory and have told tens of thousands of stories of startups and change-makers, we are thrilled to launch SMBStory – the story of people running small and medium-sized businesses, the backbone of the Indian economy. Why? Well, we believe that somehow the spotlight has evaded them. And SMBStory will do for these businesses what YourStory began doing for startups years back.
It is a platform to showcase the talent, the struggles and the zeal of the men and women running traditional and small and medium businesses. It is rare that they are ever featured by the media individually; most stories are about SMBs in general, the trends, their contributions, etc.
Today, all aspects of our lives are getting increasingly digitised, so it’s not surprising that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs, or small & medium businesses, as they are commonly known) are fast waking up to new ways of doing business. For us, SMBStory is a way of celebrating the individual spirit of entrepreneurship that these small businesses proudly display even as they take up new challenges brought to their doorstep thanks to the Internet.
Not many of us know of some really inspiring stories that are waiting to be told from the towns and cities of India. These are stories of profitable businesses, as much as they are stories of innovation with limited resources. There are stories of local brands that consumers swear by and confidently recommend to others.
Personally, I felt that somewhere in our chase for tech-driven and new-age businesses, we stopped celebrating the entrepreneurs who face tremendous odds every single day, who don’t have the option of venture capital funding, where investors will wait for years before expecting returns. These are our very own small and medium businesses who have to be acutely conscious of profitability and margins, who have to make interest payments every single month no matter what and are still building strong, robust and lasting businesses.
At YourStory, we’re re-kindling our passion to tell stories of those who have often been ignored. We’ve only just begun searching and have already found dozens of inspiring stories. We have the same zeal today as we did in 2008, and it is with this zeal that we present to you, SMBStory.
We hope that SMBStory will be a source of inspiration for our audience, who will get a glimpse into the work and lives of people running these businesses across the country. We also hope you will give it just as much love and attention as you have showered on us this past decade. And if you know of an inspiring story, share it with us in the comments below.