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Entrepreneurship In India: Stunted Growth Calls For Need In Educational Reforms The growth in entrepreneurship in our country is perceived to be on a continuous rise, but this growth is not uniform.

By Abhishek Pandit

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Entrepreneurship is that sphere of innovation and creativity on the basis of which the prosperity of any country lies.The growth in entrepreneurship in our country is perceived to be on a continuous rise, but this growth is not uniform.

It varies from region to region and is more centered around metropolitan cities, whereas the rural and semi-urban areas lag behind and struggle to make it on their own.Statistics claim that roughly 2.5 per cent of the population of India are entrepreneurs, which is drastically low if you compare it with the number in the developed countries.

Statistics claim that roughly 2.5 per cent of the population of India are entrepreneurs, which is drastically low if you compare it with the number in the developed countries.

There are many factors contributing to this heterogeneous and unsatisfactory growth including:

Inadequate educational structure:

The root cause behind this is the lack of apt entrepreneurial education at primary, secondary and university level. You are taught to be a doctor or an engineer then why not an entrepreneur?

Lack of moral support:

A lot of times youngsters do not get the required encouragement from their family to take that plunge. While entrepreneurship comes with its own set of challenges, a steady job means guaranteed monthly income. Therefore, families tend not to encourage children to get entrepreneurial education alongside their regular courses.It prevents the individual to curb his potential and creativity.

Scenario in urban, rural and semi-urban India:

In urban India individuals are very enthusiastic about their ideas and make sure they assemble the required resources to execute their innovative ideas. This is evident in the growth of technology-focused startups like OLA, MakeMyTrip, Zomato and many more.

However,there are thousands of unknown entrepreneurs in rural and semi-urban India who start a venture but are unable to make it big in the entrepreneurial world, as entrepreneurship is not encouraged much in these areas and even when it is done, it is carried on in an informal manner.

Take the case of Pintu Kumar Rai and Sangeeta Devi from small districts of Bihar. Pintu started an education centre in his village while Sangeeta started manufacturing jute ornaments. Though they took the bold step to start a venture of their own,these entrepreneurs,not lacking in vision, fall behind due to lack of appropriate knowledge and direction to expand and carry forward with their idea.

Disruptive technology and rapidly changing business models:

The ever growing technology requires organizations to evolve, update and change their organizational structure constantly in order to survive which at times disrupts its current standing and future.

What is needed to change the current scenario is the change in the education system, the curriculum, and structure at both primary and secondary level.

Some of the crucial steps that need to be taken include:

Change in the educational structure:There is a desperate need for inclusion of entrepreneurship as a module in the formal as well as nonformal educational curriculum so that aspiring entrepreneurs can learn about starting a venture in an organized and structured manner.

Potential entrepreneurs are not restricted to formal education centres, students opting for vocational programmes should also be provided with necessary education as education and potential had no barriers. Education can help them to go about it in the proper direction in terms of having a stable business model and plan, sound knowledge of funding schemes and regulations, understanding the market trends and eventually setting up the company.

Knowledge of entrepreneurship shouldn't be restricted at MBA level, it should be a part of every course and degree. A basic module should be included in the curriculum of every programme as every course has a prospect to wing out into entrepreneurial domain.

For example, every course offered byAISECT includes EDP (Entrepreneur Development Programme) as a mandatory module, which would help students to have a basic knowledge on entrepreneurship. However, more skill development and higher education providers need to step up and introduce entrepreneurial education as an integral part of the course curriculum.

Policy Intervention: We need a policy intervention in context of entrepreneurship education sector.

TakeKerala's "Innovation &Technology Startup Policy',which has been formulated to encourage and stimulate student and youth entrepreneurship, their aim is for Kerala to emerge as the number one destination in India for Startups. This practice needs to be shared by the entire nation.

Setting up of incubation centres at institutional and university level: This would help young entrepreneurs to develop their idea and start off their venture, at a young age.Incubation programs provide support, guidance, and resources to individual entrepreneurs and their setups. For instance, take UK-based University of Lincoln, it has an incubation centre called Sparkhouse which caters to the mentioned needs of its budding entrepreneurs.

There are many such examples of incubation centres at foreign universities.Atal Innovation Mission by NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) also functions along the same lines, it plans to establish Incubation Centres by the name of Atal Incubation Centres (AIC) at the academic as well as non-academic level, all across the country to help young startups with potential scope to develop and thrive.At present SINE (IIT Mumbai),TBI (IIT Delhi), CIIE (IIM Ahmedabad)and NSRCEL (IIM Bangalore) are a few institutional incubators in India, which are providing young entrepreneurs with such facilities.

There is a requirement of more such institutions and organizations,especially by state governments to come up and encourage their potential innovators with these amenities to give them the exposure and experience of their venture before they make it a full-fledged phenomenon,focus should be emphasized especially on semi-urban and rural markets, where this intervention is required the most.

Support of Corporates: While supporting executive education to enhance the skills of their employees, they should also include the provision of incubation centres within the organization to enable aspiring entrepreneurs to make their virtual dreams a concrete reality.

It is projected that from 3,100 startups in 2014 India will reach more than 11,500 by 2020, for Entrepreneurship to grow in our country successfully at this rate and all the emerging startups to be successful entrepreneurial units, the correct steps need to be taken in every part of the country right from the beginning of a child's early years, to develop that interest and build that caliber, which will eventually give them the correct knowledge in the right direction and change the complete outlook of markets in India. As "Knowledge leads to wisdom and wisdom to greatness'.

Abhishek Pandit

Director (Business Services), AISECT

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