Edupreneurs have a knack to visualise the complete picture from ideation to execution and build on it strategically and innovatively.
Someone once said creativity is no longer about thinking out of the box, but thinking like there is no box. An entrepreneur is believed to have a different line of thinking, not always a linear cause and effect, but a more lateral approach to make things happen. They can visualise the complete picture from ideation to execution and build on it strategically and innovatively. They are risk takers yet cautious about their every move and are governed by the perennial energy and passion to overcome all roadblocks that come their way. This begs the question – can someone learn to be an entrepreneur or are you born with these traits? We believe the right exposure and grounding plays a crucial role. Let’s take a closer look at the opportunities available in India to hone the entrepreneurial spirit in the younger generation.
Schools: a child’s imagination is boundless, that’s why children are way more creative than adults. We spend twelve to fourteen years of our life in school and these formative years are when children are most productive. They are driven by passion, endless energy and unique ideas; the entrepreneurial trait can best be tapped during this time. In India, the system of education has been revised to accommodate various life skills including a sense of social responsibility within the curriculum. For example, CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) emphasises on a holistic approach to learning where schools should provide platforms or opportunities to students to activate unique ideas and execute them in a real situation with an aim to create a positive impact on society. There has been a consorted effort by both private and government schools to encourage students to take greater initiative as active learners, team players and develop leadership acumen.
CBSE also has introduced Entrepreneurship studies as part of grades 11 and 12 curricula. The syllabus focuses on theoretical studies as well as practical experience. The theoretical section includes key concepts like entrepreneurial values and attitude, relationship between entrepreneurial pursuits and society, barriers to entrepreneurship, understanding market dynamics etc. The curriculum ensures live interaction between students and industry experts who are entrepreneurs. Students visit various organisations to learn and understand the pulse of every enterprise and later submit a report on their observation. These initiatives to inculcate interest in entrepreneurship hold promise for the younger generation who want to be self-starters.
Colleges: at the undergraduate level, students consolidate their aspiration and become more focus driven. Many colleges now have entrepreneurship cells conjointly established by students and staff. Such initiatives provide a great platform for those who want to improvise on their learning to invent new ways or tools that would help students, communities or people at large. These cells organise events and workshops in collaboration with external firms to provide hands on entrepreneurial experiences, and also to enlighten participants about the role of entrepreneurs. For example, St. Xaviers College has its Entrepreneurship Development Cell (EDC) that encourages students from all streams to gain mentorship and support for their entrepreneurial venture. Educational organisations have also introduced specialised degrees in entrepreneurship to foster the development of the entrepreneurial mindset among students including the Tata Institute of Social Sciences that offers an M.A in social Entrepreneurship and the Mudra Institute of Communication (Ahmedabad) that allows aspecialization in Communications, Management & Entrepreneurship.
IIT/IIM’s: One of the most prestigious institutions of India, IIT’s across India has initiated entrepreneurship cells (E-Cell) on their campuses to promote the entrepreneurial drive in students. IIT’s organise the E-summit which is the annual entrepreneurship fest where they line up events that include motivational talks, workshops on business design models, design thinking to list a few. IIT Bombay holds an international business plan competition called ‘Eureka’ to provide a platform for participants from all over the world to share their business models based on an integration of vision, technology and collaborative enterprise. They also organise an inter-college business plan competition called ‘Ideaz’ only open to IITians from across India and from any stream or level. In addition to the E-Cell, the IIM’s are offering comprehensive programs and courses on entrepreneurship. A few examples would be - IIM Bangalore (NSRCEL) offers a specialisation in Women Entrepreneurs and IIM Indore offers a specialisation in Family owned Businesses & Entrepreneurship. The spirit of entrepreneurship is gradually, but definitively pervading the domain of specialised and professional education.
Clubs and organisations: Clubs and associations help to cultivate interests, enhance knowledge and provide a platform to share and exchange ideas. The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) initiated entrepreneurial clubs in 5 select universities in all corners of India to act as forums where ideas can be exchanged and a solid entrepreneurial foundation can be built. The India Entrepreneur’s Club or IndiaEClub was ideated to inform and educate entrepreneurs in the making by sharing stories of success and failure, disseminating information and latest updates about various entrepreneurial enterprises as well as industries across sectors. It is an organisation that also provides a platform to meet Co-founders, mentors as well as to buy resources on a discount for budding entrepreneurs. The Startups Club allows new entrants the opportunity to expand their network, gain resources and support from the community and interact with members from 20 cities in India. The clubs or organisations also support entrepreneurs by providing avenues for funding. These initiatives nurture the entrepreneurial potential and provide the appropriate tools and resources to our change makers.
The art of entrepreneurship can be learned through a curriculum that provides experience, exposure and inculcates the bent of mind to think laterally and holistically. India is a powerhouse of talent as it is home to the world’s second largest population. With more educational opportunities directed towards shaping entrepreneurial minds, India will be a frontrunner nation that would occupy the centre-stage for successfully harvesting a world-class league of entrepreneurs.
This article has been authored by Vibha Kagzi, Founder & CEO, ReachIvy.com