Hyderabad: Hyderabad host the Global Entrepreneurship Summit from November 28-30 with the objective to inspire innovative initiatives and “empower entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas, build partnerships, secure funding, and create innovative products and services that will transform societies for better tomorrow”. With the theme, ‘Women First, Prosperity for All,’ the summit will have entrepreneurs, investors, government officials and business representatives from across the world.
But the media and public attention seems to be focused on Ivanka Trump, daughter of US president Donald Trump and leader of the US delegation and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reception for her at the summit and the Falaknuma Palace hotel later. There is hardly any discussion on entrepreneurship or its challenges and opportunities.
Even in the Business sessions, the strategy seems to be to empower innovators (and not entrepreneurs) to take their ideas to the next level. As many as 1500 people have been invited. The predominant focus is on providing skill trainings with expectation that businesses will provide employment. This approach has failed with jobless growth.
The most viable solution to alleviate unemployment is now acknowledged to be the promotion of micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs). But in order to make them the engines for employment generation, three paradigm shifts seem necessary.
The First Paradigm Shift requires the transformation of mindsets of people from being job seekers to becoming job creators, through entrepreneurship. The Second Paradigm Shift consists of transforming the financial architecture to make bank lending to the poor and to MSMEs a business opportunity instead of a social liability. While the Third Paradigm Shift should provide facilities to enable micro and small entrepreneurs to access and operate in global markets.
Each of these paradigm shifts could be achieved through specific actions.
Towards Entrepreneurial Economy: From Job Seekers to Job Creators :
Currently most people have no avenues to know whether and how they can become entrepreneurs. This can be promoted as a career option through awareness campaigns and inclusion of courses on entrepreneurship in school and college syllabi. Second, aptitude tests should be administered to youth taking different courses, from mobile repairing to medical studies to determine their entrepreneurial abilities. Those identified could be trained in basic principles of management concurrently with their regular courses to become successful entrepreneurs.
Third, online and onsite trade-wise entrepreneurship courses for entrepreneurs already in business should be conducted to ensure they do not fail due to lack of management capabilities. Finally, their access to bank credit should be facilitated.
Addressing People’s Phobia of Banks and Banks’ Phobia of Poor
Campaigns should be undertaken to inform and facilitate people to access credit from banks as an entitlement. The efforts and cost of lending and recovery by bankers can be brought down by introducing Entrepreneur Over-Draft (OD) Cards and Mobile Bank Deposit cards. Entrepreneur OD cards can be issued for specific amount limits after a onetime assessment of an entrepreneur and the credit limit can be automatically revised depending on the record of repayments. Mobile Bank Deposit cards can enable people to deposit money in their bank accounts, at any time of the day from anywhere, by feeding in the code on the card, just like talk time can be topped up through mobile recharge cards. This will also facilitate automatic repayment of loans. These two cards together can bring down the costs of transaction to near zero and make lending to the poor and MSMEs a business opportunity for banks.
The Third Paradigm Shift of Local Access to Global Markets
E-commerce platforms through interlinked Import and Export facilitation centers in different countries could enable MSMEs to access local and global clientele and transform the mindset that only big business can access global markets.
If governments can now start organizing Global Summits for Local Entrepreneurs to devise appropriate policy framework and initiate pilot projects to work towards these Paradigm Shifts, the world can perhaps address the issues of unemployment and set a new trend for the future.