Interview

Nurturing Entrepreneurs for New India

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Dr R N Prasad

Working in the area of entrepreneurship development for the last 39 years, the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED) is nurturing the potential entrepreneurs by providing them a platform to share their ideas and refine/ fine tune them with help of experts; guide them for raising fund from various sources; make aware about the government support; and direct them for procurement of resources, says Dr R N Prasad, Director, CED. Excerpts from an interview:

The Centre for Entrepreneurship Development, which is focused on encouraging entrepreneurs in Gujarat’s urban as well as rural areas, is steadily boosting development in the State. What innovative technology is being utilised to reach out to maximum people?

Dr R N Prasad

Dr R N Prasad, Director, CED

The Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (well-known as CED) has taken initiatives in the direction of entrepreneurship development by adopting technology in administrating and operationalising the process from selection of trainees to their certification. CED has adopted MIS and implemented it in five regional offices, 57 entrepreneurship development cells, and more than 100 skill development training centers across Gujarat. CED has implemented online biometric attendance for the participants. This technological adoption has speeded up the attendance process and has reached out to the beneficiaries with complete transparency.

How is CED playing an instrumental role in supporting the start-up ecosystem in the state?

Since inception, CED has been working for mass entrepreneurship by taking care of the last person in the line residing in a village. CED has been instrumental in supporting the start-up ecosystem for new ventures by nurturing potential entrepreneurs by screening and training them with the help of renowned faculties and mentors. CED provides a platform to the prospective entrepreneurs to share their ideas and refine/fine tune them with help of experts; guide them for raising fund from various sources; make aware about the government support; and direct them for procurement of resources. CED also provides networking opportunities to entrepreneurs by organising entrepreneurs’ meets. CED appreciates and encourages entrepreneurs by promoting their success stories on various social media platforms. CED has been working tirelessly in the area of entrepreneurship development since 1979. We should keep in mind that robust ecosystems take decades to develop.

Is CED facilitating Ease of Doing Business for not just domestic investors but foreign investors as well? How?

The Government of Gujarat is committed to Ease of Doing Business. CED is a premier training institution of the state government in the entrepreneurship and skill development domain. Our faculties during their lectures ensure that the trainees are informed of all the changes taking place in all policy and implementation related issues. Such information helps them a lot.

What is this new initiative in skill development in Robotics and Patent Rights all about?

CED has collaborated with Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industries (GCCI) to ensure that industries in Gujarat remain aware of various skill development initiatives of the Government of Gujarat.

CED has set a skill development centre in area of robotic welding at LD College of Engineering. Robotics and artificial intelligence are getting attention of the industries. The GCCI Committee on IPR and skill development and CED jointly organised a seminar on this subject on 5th January, 2019, and it is getting attention of all.

Also Read: iStart— the only integrated start-up platform in India

How is CED planning to run a special counseling cell for SC/ST participants for supporting their new enterprises/ ventures?

CED is encouraging entrepreneurship development programmes in Gujarat for Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Scheduled Caste (SC) participants for long. CED has been organising various training programmes for SC and ST participants through state government and central government support. The training includes practical sessions on entrepreneurial opportunities in dairy farming, agriculture, bee keeping, fishing, organic farming, mushroom farming, vegetable/horticulture nursery management, dehydrated fruits-vegetables/food processing techniques like mango pulp, ginger, amla, borr juice, potatoes, banana chips and picklemaking. The SC/ST participants are mentored through follow-up meetings in their entrepreneurial journey. CED empowers SC/ST entrepreneurs through awareness programmes, skill development programmes and vendor development programmes. We actively provide hand holding support by guidance, assistance, encouragement and motivation.

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