MSDE presents NEAs to 30 entrepreneurs, 6 organisations
The fourth edition of the National Entrepreneurship Awards saw a sharp increase in the number of applications received as well as changes in the types of businesses that applied.
In the fourth edition of the National Entrepreneurship Awards (NEA), the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has awarded 30 entrepreneurs and six organisations and individuals who have contributed to entrepreneurship development.
The award, presented at a ceremony held on Saturday, comprised a trophy, a certificate, and prize money of up to Rs 10 lakh.
The NEAs were instituted by the MSDE in 2016 to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship across the country and honor young entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders for their outstanding efforts in entrepreneurship development.
This year's award ceremony was held at the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi. It was attended by senior officials of the ministry, members of the skill sector councils, corporate leaders, and successful and budding entrepreneurs, among others.
The Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, who was the chief guest, said:
“Today, India is at the threshold of the startup boom, as we are the world’s third-fastest growing startup ecosystem. With 7,200 startups, India is close behind UK with 11,864 startups and catching up to the US which had 41,500 startups as of 2018. India is changing and the aspirations of its people are soaring. It is evidence of drastic improvement in the business environment. Of course, this is fuelled by the innovative modules of business that we are witnessing from the youth of the country. It is our priority that we give the right kind of support to aspiring talent and nurture and encourage our young minds to dream big and achieve bigger.”
The MSDE not only witnessed a sharp increase in the number of applications received this year, but also saw changes in terms of the types of businesses that applied.
The number of completed applications grew from 2379 last year to 4134 applications this year. This could be the result of a number of on-ground initiatives that were conducted by the MSDE in the past year.
The MSDE hosted a series of initiatives including targeted meetings, focussed workshops, specialised gatherings like MSME meets, seminars at alumni gatherings of various business schools, and one-on-one interactions with entrepreneurs at fairs and exhibitions, among others.
For the awards, the MSDE partnered with 12 premier institutes and organisations including IIT Madras (Lead Partner), IIT Delhi, IIT Kanpur, XLRI, TISS, NSIC, IIT Guwahati, IRMA, MANAGE, NIF (Co-Lead), NABARD, and RSETI. These institutions were responsible for mobilising nominations and for the evaluation process.
Dr. Pandey said,
“The NEA is a great platform to encourage young aspiring entrepreneurs and recognise the exemplary work that they have done adding to their professional and the nation’s overall growth.”
The winners were selected by a panel comprising Dr RA Mashelkar, Former Director-General, CSIR; Milind Kamble, Founder, DICCI; Neelam Chibber, MD and Managing Trustee, Industree Foundation; Arun Tyagi, Director, Induslnd Bank Limited; Harish Hande, Founder, SELCO India Foundation; and Vinayak Nath, Managing Partner, Venture Catalysts.
The winners were:
- Ravindra Bhausaheb Supekar, the 80 percent physically-disabled founder of Stree Swabhiman Unit of Maharashtra, which offers bio-degradable, chemical-less, low-cost, and high quality eco-friendly sanitary napkins for tribal and village women. The organisation also provides employment to them.
- Jeet Singh Arya, an entrepreneur from Chhattisgarh who started a travel startup, Unexplored Bastar, which focusses on sustainable tourism through a community-based approach. It has so far impacted the lives of more than 300 tribal people in the state.
- Shalini Santhosh Kumar, Founder of Pune-based Early Foods Ltd, an organic food company that offers chemical-free meals and snacks for children and mothers.
- Bandabiang Dewkhaid and Tynshain Dewkhaid, Founders of Meghalaya-based Shillong Bamboo, which provides innovative and eco-friendly products made from bamboo and rattan canes.
- Shivaranjani Ramasubramaniyan and Nisha Subramaniam, Founders of Cuddalore-based Sura. The startup offers cotton bags in kalamkari and ikat designs, tailormade by rural women in remote villages.
In the Ecosystem builders category Entrepreneurship Development And Innovation Institute of Tamil Nadu; Entrepreneurship Development Center of Pune; Agribusiness Incubator of Icrisat, New Delhi; among others have won the award.
Business Sakhis (Biz-Sakhis)
A release from the MSDE also stated that the National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD), in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR), and TISS, had developed a new system to provide psycho-social and business mentorship through a cadre of community mentors called Business Sakhis or Biz-Sakhis.
The curriculum devised is being implemented in three states – Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Haryana – where nearly 3000 women entrepreneurs are being supported by 300 Biz-Sakhis. The Biz-Sakhi training programme includes five days of classroom sessions and 20 days of fieldwork every month for five months. The course is certified by NIESBUD and NIRDPR.
(Edited by Athirupa Geetha Manichandar)