With its young demography (72% of the population is in the 15-29 age group), India holds immense potential for entrepreneurship. As the age for starting a business decreases, students must consider both business and job readiness when deciding on their career path after college.
Factors to consider
Students must assess their strengths, passion, and long-term career goals to make informed decisions. By aligning their career choice with their skill set and interests, they can maximise their potential for success and job satisfaction. In addition, introducing a curriculum focused on entrepreneurship as a compulsory credit course in schools, starting from Class 8, can help students think creatively and develop a strong understanding of the business world. Students should also seek support and guidance from experienced entrepreneurs, industry professionals and career counsellors. They must network through industry events, entrepreneurship forums and workshops to build their connections.
Job readiness should not be overlooked, as working for established companies offers stability, mentorship opportunities, and skill enhancement within a structured environment. In addition, gaining industry experience can provide a solid foundation for future entrepreneurial endeavours. Striking a balance between gaining job experience and pursuing entrepreneurial ventures can be fruitful. Colleges should facilitate interactions between students and local entrepreneurs, establish mentorship programmes, open incubation centres, collaborate with industries to provide internships and apprenticeships and organise workshops. The following measures will also help:
Entrepreneurship education: From primary school through higher education, entrepreneurship education can familiarise students with business concepts, critical thinking, problem-solving, and risk-taking.
Creativity and innovation: Encouraging creativity and innovation in classrooms through interactive teaching methods, project-based learning, and exposure to real-world challenges can nurture entrepreneurial thinking among students.
Practical learning: Equipping students with practical skills and experiential learning opportunities can significantly enhance their readiness for business and employment.In addition, establishing partnerships between educational institutions and industries can provide students access to real-world scenarios, internships, apprenticeships, and mentorship programmes.
Incubation centres: Setting up incubation centres within educational institutions can offer aspiring entrepreneurs a supportive environment to develop their ideas. These centres can provide mentorship, access to resources, and networking opportunities.
Digital literacy: Students need to be tech-savvy and adaptable to emerging technologies. This can be done by integrating technology into the classroom, providing access to computers, Internet connectivity, and educational software. Introduce coding and programming as part of the curriculum, to enhance logical thinking, problem-solving, and algorithmic reasoning will also help.
Entrepreneurial exposure: Exposure to real-world experiences and success stories can inspire and motivate students to pursue entrepreneurial ventures. This can be done byorganising regular guest lectures and workshops, and inviting successful entrepreneurs, industry experts, and business leaders to share their experiences, insights, and advice.
Events and competitions: Participation in events, competitions, and hackathons at the regional, national, and international levels offers opportunities for networking, showcasing innovative ideas, and gaining recognition.
As India strives to unlock its entrepreneurial potential, bridging the gap between initiatives and actual implementation is essential. By addressing the lack of support for students with innovative ideas outside of prestigious institutions, fostering an entrepreneurial mindset, and introducing comprehensive entrepreneurship programmes, India can pave the way for a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. Through the collective efforts of the government, educational institutions, industry leaders, and aspiring entrepreneurs, the country can unlock its true entrepreneurial spirit and drive economic growth towards its ambitious targets.
The author is CEO, ICA Edu Skills.