In a bid to comply with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 that mandates skill development and fostering of entrepreneurship, the B-schools in states such as Karnataka are initiating programmes to support candidates who aspire to become entrepreneurs.
IIM Bangalore has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Social Welfare and the Department of Scheduled Tribes Welfare, Government of Karnataka, to launch a training programme to support SC/ST women graduates in developing their skills as entrepreneurs. Through the programme, IIM-B will provide entrepreneurship training to 300 women graduates and equip them with skills that can make them self-reliant.
The programme will be delivered under the umbrella of IIMB’s Executive Education Programs and enable aspiring women entrepreneurs to take their idea and transform it into a business venture. The eligibility requirements include that the women must be below 45 years of age, have a graduate degree in any discipline and have a verified status as an SC/ST Karnataka resident. The English language will be the medium of instruction.
“The programme aims to enable students to pursue personal and professional development by teaching them management practices and empowering them to develop effective leadership skills. Students will also be provided support through formal mentoring on the business idea and peer networking. It will also include current women entrepreneurs who want to improve the prospects of their enterprise or start a new one,” says Ganesh Prabhu, professor, Strategy and Programme, director, Entrepreneurship Programme for SC/ST Women Graduates, IIM Bangalore.
He adds that the programme will combine instructor-led sessions (ILT) by IIM-B faculty), in hybrid mode combining in-person and live, online (virtual) learning, including career counselling. The programme will encourage self-paced virtual learning by participants through IIMBx MOOCs. “Participants will be mentored by professionals who will help them work on their business plans. They will present the business plan to the cohort and the mentors in the concluding module. Students will be trained in all aspects of business management and entrepreneurship,” says Prabhu.
Making students venture and credit ready
Jagdish Sheth School of Management (JAGSoM) has several initiatives for the students from the marginalised sections. Rajendra K Sinha, professor, chairperson, Centre of Excellence in Banking, JAGSoM, says that JAGSoM and Vijaybhoomi University (VbU) are collaborating with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for a programme aimed at imparting entrepreneurship skills, especially to the young people who fail to set up entrepreneurship or ventures for sundry reasons, despite having apprenticeship or working skills in vocational activities. “The focus of the curriculum would be to enable the students to be venture and credit ready,” says Sinha.
According to Raj Singh, vice-chancellor, JAIN (Deemed to be University) better than providing free courses to students is to enable them to earn while they learn. “We provide scholarships to students who want to pursue entrepreneurship. We have also started a portal called Student Nirbhar, on which students can trade the products of their startups and source products from other manufacturers and earn. The entire margin goes to students, for us it’s Marketplace Experience Lab, a part of the teaching-learning process,” says Raj Singh, vice-chancellor, JAIN (Deemed to be University).
“Indian youth from low-income families typically face challenges such as lack of confidence, inadequate communication skills, and lack of access to education that will help them bridge the gap between their abilities and the skills currently in demand, as well as lack of adequate finances to avail such an education. They also need support to develop their personalities and training in skills such as communication, critical and analytical thinking, problem-solving, professionalism, and collaboration, all of which contribute to successful entrepreneurship,” says Mumbai-based Akhil Shahani, MD, Thadomal Shahani Centre of Management, (TSCFM) and director, SAGE Foundation, pointing out that the best way to help the students is to develop programmes that address their needs beyond only academics and provide soft skills training as well. Earlier this month, SAGE Foundation and TSCFM announced 75 scholarships for under-resourced youth in Mumbai and Pune for the Professional Diploma in Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance programme (PDBFSI).