India’s favourable start-up environment has bolstered innovation and enterprise in the past few years. As per reports, the country emerged as the ‘third largest start-up ecosystem in the world after the US and China with over 60,000 start-ups and 42 unicorns in 2021.’
This push for entrepreneurship is not just limited to a macro level, as even Goa has seen a rise in entrepreneurial ventures at various levels. Pop-up markets and local bazaars help small businesses market and sell their products.
In the ‘old foxes’ village’ of Saligao, the weekly Tuesday market re-opens on October 24, 2023 for the season with a fresh infusion of ideas, talents and local vendors.
Saligao village is known for its iconic Gothic-styled church, standing amidst the picturesque, bountiful paddy fields, and offers a fertile ground to sow the seeds of entrepreneurship in the hearts of its locals. The market strives to provide an inclusive platform to all, empowering women, strengthening the community, and showcasing the talent from the village.
Desmond Da Costa, President of the Saligao Institute, says, “The ‘Made in Saligao Market’ is a community enterprise pioneered largely by, and for, the women of Saligao. It was conceptualized by members of the Saligao Institute and actualized and progressed by collaborating with many home entrepreneurs in Saligao, giving them a platform to showcase their wares. It is my opinion that the 5th edition of this unique community market will see an evolution in a new avatar unleashing greater creativity and energy to take it to greater horizons.”
Since its launch, the market has created numerous entrepreneurs who have benefited from the platform. Emera Remedios started her handcrafted candle and soap business from her home and is now a regular at the market. She currently handles the social media and marketing for the forthcoming editions.
She says, “We hope for some new ideas to be fruitful, like one-time invitations to be given to guest vendors. The details are still being worked out.”
Ambrose Vaz, who makes macrame art, eagerly awaits the season opening. “Our Saligao Tuesday Market is an encouragement to local artisans to showcase their talent. We are eagerly waiting for its reopening. It’s also an opportunity for the local community to get together and exchange ideas."
The market is a meeting place for the young and old and serves as a networking platform to acquire new customers and meet fresh contacts. No one’s a stranger amongst this homely bunch, as you are bound to run into familiar, friendly faces. The market's relaxed and informal atmosphere contributes to its inviting charm.
There are plenty of home-cooked favorites to stock up your food basket. Pick from the mouth-watering pickles, balchao and Samarachi Koddi, or taste the traditional favourite dessert, Vonn.
Buy fresh produce and local eggs, or indulge your creative urges with soaps and candles, macrame art, crochet, hand-painted articles and many more. Add some fresh plants to your space by purchasing saplings from local vendors.
Apart from the promotion of the arts, there are plenty of games like Bouncy Castle, Trampoline, Hook A Duck, Giant Jenga (adults), and Golf Pong (adults).
Melissa Vaz, another vendor, says, “Empowering one another through cooperation and not competition is our market’s motto. Let's meet, greet and reminisce over some savouries and other delightful treats!”
Along with promoting ‘vocal for local’ concepts, these markets may be our last chance to instil traditional wisdom and local pride in the youth.