Livelihood Advancement Business School or LABS as a concept was initiated in the year 1999 in Hyderabad. Since then there have been tremendous changes in the model on which the whole program has been placed.
In April, 1999, IRDP and the allied schemes for self-employment including TRYSEM were merged and the newly re-structured SGSY was launched as a holistic programme for self-employment. In order to formulate detailed guidelines and parameters for this skill development programme, the Ministry of Rural Development had set up an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) under the chairmanship of Shri V. Subramanian, Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser of the Ministry and other central Ministries. Based on the recommendations of the IMG, the Ministry of Rural Development decided to launch a pilot programme for skill development under SGSY for the unemployed youths in the rural areas. In the pilot phase (2005-2007) it was proposed to cover at least 1000-2000 rural youth per year in 100 selected districts. These pilot projects would be funded as Special Projects under SGSY, with the same pattern of assistance (75:25).
Grameen LABS came into existence as a result of this pioneering effort. The basic objective of the training programme would be to equip rural youths with marketable skills to enhance their capacity to secure employment in the organised sector or set up micro-enterprises for self-employment with adequate income generation. This skill development programme would be an integral part of SGSY and training may be provided on the basis of market demand and potential market opportunities. The training programme may be designed to cover both skill development and enterprise development. After having trained more than 20000 youth across 6 states, Grameen LABS is now venturing out to reach the youth in all the states and union territories of the country. It aims to impart market driven employability training for 125000 youth by the end of 2008.