India is a country of opposites. However, the paradox in entrepreneurship is rather inconspicuous. What is alarming is however is that while Indians are inherently entrepreneurial, they find it very difficult to set up and run businesses with ease. Access to technical knowledge, finance, market and poor entrepreneurship capacities inhibit enterprise development.
Only 22% of aspiring entrepreneurs have access to training in India. Finance is a big barrier. Only 5% of enterprises have formal access to credit. The need of the hour is to co-create solutions with the community and to empower entrepreneurs with tools to master their own destinies.
One needs to talk to a diverse range of stakeholders to build an ecosystem that creates innovative trigger points in order to unleash entrepreneurship. Transformation towards a truly sustainable society is driven through business models with distributed epicentres of value creation. Technology-enabled, networked enterprises that rely on recyclable materials, renewable sources of energy, and re-skilled human resources.
On its part, the government has been pumping resources into skill development and entrepreneurship. However, the initiatives are restricted in their outreach and effectiveness due to lack of innovation and inter-connectedness between stakeholders. For example, enterprise development projects among women are replete with the same options of candle making, food processing and tailoring.
There are several development challenges such as scarcity of resources, lack of access to basic needs and environmental degradation. Green and inclusive enterprise packages can address these challenges. They also create decent jobs at scale. What one needs to offer are innovative mechanisms and processes which unearth a new range of enterprise packages.
The questions that need to be asked next is, how can we scale these innovative models further up? Also, how will they find support in straight-jacketed schemes? Answering these questions can lead us to innovative solutions which allow for better policy-building.
The future of the nation lies in entrepreneurship and enabling people to sculpt their own future.