Undoubtedly, it is superior for a person to take a rope, in the morning, and, proceed to the mountains and cut the wood there and then sell it, and eat from this income and give alms from it than to ask others for something. [Bukhari]
Many of the early followers of Islamic faith, including our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him), were merchants and traders. In fact, much of how Islam reached to nook and corner of the world at its early stage was through traders. Trade brought Islam to places that never had a majority Muslim population. Not only Islam but other religions also reveal good indications how people emerged prosperous through trading initiatives.
Prior to 1991, entrepreneurship was very quiet in India. Success in Indian business organizations was largely reliant on understanding of the bureaucratic system, and utilizing licenses, ambition, and government contacts etc. Many decisions were based on social connections and prior relationships, rather than the actual business function itself. There were fewer success stories about Indian startups making it big, and capital was limited for these types of business empires. In 1991, the Indian government liberalized the economy, thus significantly transforming the competitive landscape. Family businesses, which earlier dominated Indian markets, faced competition from multinationals that had greater technology, more financial freedom and managerial talent pool. Globalization brought countries together and created entire world market. The world next moved into a Technology Era. Technological revolution led to progress in all fields and all societies and connected even the places that were isolated. Indian businesses too had to change their focus and re-orient their outlook outward.
However, progress and complexities go hand in hand. One of the major challenges faced by most of the countries in the world today is to do with unemployment. The unemployment rate is growing at an alarming speed and India is not an exception. Today, a lower grade employee in a government organization is paid much better than one who is MBA/ MSC/ MA/ B.Tech etc. Unemployment is pushing our highly qualified graduates steps back and they feel de-motivated and sometimes they are involved in unlawful activities. In some of the countries entrepreneurship is being recognized as a promising treatment and is being actively promoted by Govt., Society and various agencies. Entrepreneurship in any society is a sign of progress. If endorsed enthusiastically, entrepreneurship can help sustain growing economies; integrate unemployed individuals into the workforce besides leading to overall development of society. Entrepreneurship development is one of the most powerful weapons to create a positive and long-lasting change in our society. In India, good knowledge is not disseminated about what entrepreneurship is, how we can develop entrepreneurship, and how we can start and run successful companies towards a better and self-reliant society. Besides, society at large is not aware about the merits of being a good entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is what entrepreneurs do and Entrepreneurs are those who take initiatives and possess never say die approach in achieving their business objectives. Entrepreneurship comes in many different forms. Being an entrepreneur is not necessarily just about launching and running a business, it is about developing the entrepreneurial mindset, which is useful to anyone who is part of an organization. It is the mindset of looking at problems as opportunities and utilizing resources effectively and efficiently. This mindset encourages risk-taking, creativity, innovation, and unconventional thinking. Whatever the nature and height of problem, entrepreneurs will find a way towards better solutions even if they are short of resources. Good Entrepreneurs are found anywhere irrespective of gender, culture, age, nature and size of business, education etc.
The United States and China are leading with the number of billionaires on earth and those are mostly concerned with the big business empires. The Information Technology concerned businesses in United States has been the inspiring force for youth entrepreneurship and created billionaires in Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs to Googles Sergy Brin and Larry Page to Face Book Cofounder, Mark Zuckerberg and many more. There are similar such stories in other countries too covering different domains of business. India is also home to ever increasing number of inspirational entrepreneurs. Inspiring stories in India like Dhiru Bai Ambani, Karsanbhai Patel, Azim Premji, Narayan Murthy etc. have been bedrock for many to develop belief and start business on right path. However, the need of the day is to create many more rising business stars and make available the opportunities for society especially youth to dream big and try their hands at entrepreneurship.
Building an environment that significantly promotes entrepreneurship calls for effective strategy implementation and involvement at all levels including Government, industry, political, social as well as educational sectors. The policies at all levels need to encourage and provide opportunities as well as assistance and environment to give impetus to entrepreneurship. Policy regulations will need to engage the business, banking, educational and other sectors to be able to deliver improved and definitive steps to encouraging and aiding entrepreneurship. Industry as a social responsibility can create a very strong platform to help develop the youth and give them the support and guidance as well as opportunities.
In schools, colleges and universities, there is little or no focus on developing leadership skills in students, promoting awareness and giving them training for entrepreneurship. Through proper linkages with the industry they should not only design the course but also increase more practical trainings to build the business confidence. Top educational institutions as IIMs, IITs and Universities like ITM University Gwalior etc. have been successful with their incubation centers which have led to the significant development of entrepreneurs. Colleges and universities must start such incubation centers which will facilitate entrepreneurs from idea generation to execution with required support. Graduates in order to develop right entrepreneurial spirit need to be more efficient, practical, and productive. The students need to develop spirit and self-belief. We are all inherently creative. The only time when we are not is when we allow our natural abilities to be clouded. Other biggest limitation faced by each and every promising entrepreneur is the lack of financial and funding support as well as guidance required to incubate new business. Banking and financial assistance should be made available easily and this can happen only with the active support and engagement by the Government.
The societal environment too needs to be supportive, more practical and entrepreneurial. In Kashmir, the social and cultural outlook of the society discourages initiatives and entrepreneurship. Mostly society expects the youth to obtain education that enables them to get a job and earn salary to support the family. Society must accept that instead of finding a job, a graduate, Engineer or an MBA etc. can use skill set to open up his/her venture, which will not only result in mental satisfaction but also reward in terms of better economic gains. They would not only be able to contribute economically but also lead to vital job creation, which will enhance the inclusive growth and development of society at large.
Growing and developing the next generation of entrepreneurs is vital for our survival and prosperity. In order to solve a long list of social problems that we face, we need to support those who will solve these problems. That is why entrepreneurial development can become a greater strength for our society.
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