https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOVHDwFZ53AThis story started with Seven Blind Youth getting trained at Blind Boy’s Academy, Ramkrishna Mission Ashrama, Narendrapur, West Bengal, India, brought under the umbrella of TotalStart’s Blind Youth Entrepreneurship Development Initiative to create the Agribusiness Startup MUSHROOMERS, cultivation, processing and selling Mushroom and it’s by products. Production site – Chhoto Shalbari River Island, Sitalkuchi, Coochbehar, West Bengal, INDIA. Ideation and Ground preparation site, BBA RKM, Narendrapur, West Bengal. Registered Office Site – Rajbati, 125 N. C. Ghosh Sarani, Sheoraphuli, Hooghly, West Bengal, INDIA 712223
- TotalStart Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Developers runs a Blind Youth Entrepreneurship Development Center and a Blind Youth Hostel in Sheoraphuli, Hooghly, West Bengal, India. This is the Initiative I.
- The Initiative II is working with Blind Boy’s Academy, Ramkrishna Mission Vidyalaya, Narendrapur’s 2 batches of students of the agriculture and animal husbandry training department to develop and nurture them as sustainable entrepreneurs.
- The first batch of 7 blind entrepreneurs are already up and running their startup focusing on cultivating and processing mushroom in a scalable form in a river island in Coochbehar, North Bengal.
Goal for Mushroomers – A Blind and Differently Abled Youth Enterprise : Create a Food Processing Unit focusing on Mushroom and related agro products backward integrated with Mushroom and related agri-farming inputs and outputs with Blind Youth as a main workforce, shareholders and cofounders, with extension of the model in several states, for engaging many more blind and disabled youth to help them live a very dignified life. (Note: Will also carry out Duck Breeding, Duck Egg Hatching, Country Chicken Breeding and Goat Rearing. )
Goal Details: To create a very scalable enterprise with replicable Production Centers which will have
- Mushroom Farming Units
- A Mushroom Spawn Production lab
- A Midsize Mushroom Based Food Processing Unit producing dried mushroom, mushroom vinaigrated and bottled, mushroom crispies, jerkies and bar
- A Mushroom Training Center for farmers for the region who will supply additional raw mushroom for the processing unit as the demand cannot be fulfilled by the internal farm units.
All this will be run by blind and disabled youth with some management supervision in a Residential Production and Farming Campus environment. Part ownership of the mushroom farming units will always stay with the blind and disabled entrepreneurs as ESOPs or Co-Founders stakeholding for long-term motivation. These centers will take an approximate investment of 2 crores each and the plan is to create 10 such centers across the country partly through equity investment, partly through bank loans and some grants. The pilot project for one center is already activated as a farming unit and the second phase is being initiated with the food processing unit, all in a river island in Coochbehar District in West Bengal, near Sitalkuchi, Mathabhanga.