Entrepreneurship is the back bone of economic growth of any country. Entrepreneurship can be fostered by inculcating entrepreneurial skills right at the stage of education. The presence of Entrepreneurship Development Cell (EDC) in educational institutes helps in developing entrepreneurial culture in academic institutions so as to foster growth of innovation and entrepreneurship. The Entrepreneurship Development Cell (EDC) was started with the object of promoting specialized knowledge in the field of entrepreneurship development. In view of the worldwide shortage of jobs (both government and private sectors) leading to unemployment problems and lack of proper utilization of human resources; the cell strives to identify talented youth to entrepreneurial works. The cell plans to organize various programmes regarding entrepreneurship development. The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centre (IEDC) is being promoted in educational institutions to develop institutional mechanism to create entrepreneurial culture In Management academic institutions and to foster techno-entrepreneurship for generation of wealth and employment by Management persons. The IEDCs are established in academic institutions (science colleges, engineering colleges, universities, management institutes) having requisite expertise and infrastructure. 

The mission of the IEDCs is to "develop institutional mechanism to create entrepreneurial culture in academic institutions to foster growth of innovation and entrepreneurship amongst the faculty and students ".

Objectives of the IEDCs:

  • To create an environment for self-employment and entrepreneurship development through formal and non-formal programmes.
  • To introduce the concept of entrepreneurship in curricula at diploma and degree levels.
  • To develop management personnel at appropriate levels for the non-corporate and unorganized sectors like education, rural development, small-scale industry etc.
  • To utilize the infrastructure facilities and technically trained manpower for the development of non-corporate and unorganized sectors.
  • To promote employment opportunities. To act as an institutional mechanism for providing various services including information on all aspects of enterprise building to budding S&T entrepreneurs. 
  • To create Entrepreneurial culture in the Parent Institution and other institutions in the region including programmes related to women and weaker sections of the society. 
  • To inculcate a culture of innovation driven entrepreneurship through student projects. 
  • To catalyze and promote development of S&T knowledge-based enterprises and promote employment opportunities in the innovative areas. 
  • To respond effectively to the emerging challenges and opportunities both at national and international level relating to SMEs and micro enterprises.

Functions of IEDCs:

  • To organize Entrepreneurship Awareness Camps, Entrepreneurship Development Programmes, Faculty Development Programmes and Skill Development Programmes in the college/institution for the benefit of S&T persons. 
  • To initiate five innovative student projects each year for new innovative product development, to organize Business Plan Competitions every year.
  • To guide and assist prospective entrepreneurs on various aspects such as preparing project reports, obtaining project approvals, loans and facilities from agencies of support system, information on technologies, etc.
  • To arrange interaction with entrepreneurs and create a mentorship scheme for student entrepreneurs.
  • To facilitate creation of entrepreneur's club in each college to foster culture of entrepreneurship amongst students
  • To act as a Regional Information Centre on business opportunities, processes, technologies, market, etc. by creating and maintaining relevant data bases. 
  • IEDCs would also sensitize the management of the institutions regarding the importance of entrepreneurship and integrate their activities with the Host Institutions.
  • Criteria for Selection of an Institution to Set up an IEDC

The sponsoring/parent institution should fulfill the following criteria:

  • The institution should be a University/deemed to be University or a premier Institute/College offering Engineering, Technology, Science & Management courses at degree level or above for at least 5 years. In case of a college/institute, it should be duly recognized and affiliated and while in case of the private institutions, it should be promoted by a Trust or a Society registered under relevant Acts besides being recognized/affiliated to AICTE/Universities.
  • Qualified and dedicated faculty in various disciplines with a good Research & Development base and background in industry related activities.
  • Adequate space for locating the Cell including the modifications proposed to be carried out in the building, availability of utilities like electricity, water, telephone installation and internet connectivity.
  • Availability of workshops, laboratories and computational facilities. Library with a good collection of books and journals.
  • Experience in Entrepreneurship Development and Promotion and Industry related activities such as Consultancy, Product Development, Testing, Calibration, etc.

The author of this article is Asst. Professor, Pioneer Institute of Professional Studies, Indore


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