By Aditi Khanna
A Scottish university has struck an entrepreneurship partnership with the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Kashipur to bring together scholars and entrepreneurs from both countries.
The Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde Business School will work with the Foundation for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development at IIM Kashipur to organise an entrepreneurship conference in India between December 15 and 18.
The new conference is aimed at developing an understanding of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, emerging trends and also the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“One of the key focus areas of this conference will be emerging trends in entrepreneurship within India,” said Dr Sreevas Sahasranamam of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship.
“For instance, a study of entrepreneurs on the impact of COVID observed the rise of new trends such as digitalisation, multi-sector collaboration, the rise of social enterprises, and localisation. It is important to understand the entrepreneur and policy implications of such emerging trends,” he said.
The study, by academics at the University of Strathclyde and King’s College London in 2020, also found that almost 60 per cent of entrepreneurs in India predict a long-term positive impact of COVID-19 on their businesses.
“We will also be trying to gauge the long-term implications that COVID-19 has had on Indian entrepreneurship during the conference. The ‘Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2021/22 Report’ noted that entrepreneurial intentions among the general population and growth expectations among entrepreneurs are still muted in India. So, there is a need for cultural change around reducing the fear of failure amongst the general population, and support for scaling-up new ventures,” noted Sahasranamam.
According to the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, the cultural change could be achieved through a combination of approaches including an increased focus on entrepreneurship education in schools and encouraging innovative thinking and entrepreneurial approaches in underserved communities through bottom-up-ecosystem creation.
“Initiatives such as the SDGZero, an open social movement that the University of Strathclyde is a part of, are aimed at contributing to this,” added Sahasranamam.
The Scottish business school notes that entrepreneurship in India is currently in an “exponential growth phase” and is seen as a centrepiece in the government’s strategic vision of India becoming a USD 5-trillion economy by 2026.
The ‘Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2021/22 Report’ placed India among the top five economies for ease of starting a new business, with as many as 83 per cent of the respondents believing that there are good opportunities to start a business in their area which is second globally.
Amidst this rise in entrepreneurial activity, it is important to understand the key pillars of this entrepreneurial growth and the ecosystem developing around it, the Glasgow-based University of Strathclyde Business School said.
During the first day of the conference, academics from the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship will be delivering an Entrepreneurship Mindset workshop for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups. Strathclyde Business School wants to replicate the benefit to several Scottish SMEs from such focussed workshops through its Growth Advantage Programme.
There will also be a strong focus on PhD students and early career researchers at the conference, through sessions such as Paper Development Workshops and Meet the Editors session.