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Entrepreneurship and Professional Education

Kerala’s economy is essentially a wage economy. Entrepreneurship is restricted to trade, transport and tourism, all of which are low knowledge -intensive sectors. Recently, the government has started playing an active role in promoting entrepreneurial skills and infrastructure for encouraging start-ups. However, in a traditional economy that is stuck in low - productivity vicious circles, the government will need to address structural bottlenecks to change the attitude, values and perceptions of the people of Kerala, so as to promote entrepreneurship among them. Under the Student Entrepreneurship Scheme for the Universities, Colleges and Polytechnics in Kerala, 20 per cent attendance relaxation and 4 per cent grace marks are provided for students who pursue entrepreneurship and innovation during their studies. The government is also providing a built-up space of one lakh square feet for a Start-up Village, one of the first incubators in the country to come up in the public-private-partnership model. The Start-up Village aims to incubate 1,000 product start-ups over 10 years and initiate the search for a billion dollar company from a college campus by the turn of this decade. The National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) under the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India has also set up 10 Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) across universities in Kerala. But in spite of all these initiatives due to low level of legitimacy, young people with entrepreneurial talents opt for other career opportunities or migrate to greener pastures. This can be resolved only through the educational system.

Entrepreneurial picture in Kerala is bleak and the alarming size of unemployment among youth pose a very bleak picture for the socio-economic development of the state. Very few research studies have been conducted among the professional youth in Kerala to understand their aptitude towards entrepreneurship.

The environment in Kerala is not conducive to start business. Our professional graduates feel that entrepreneurship is a good career option, but not for them. Teaching entrepreneurship as a course does not imbibe a desire to become entrepreneurs though it does help develop a positive attitude towards it. The young professional by and large look for safer haven- Government sector for their livelihood as the state’s image of being supportive to trade unionism deter  educated youth to start their own enterprises.

To conclude we could say that the present model of entrepreneurial awareness programme followed in professional colleges is insignificant. College and University education can play an important role to counter this issue and create some new skills and knowledge which encourage them to take some risk. Capital issues and access to finance issues can also be resolved by providing education. Government, universities, and some other public-private institute should take step forward to enhance awareness, importance, and interest of professional students by making them to realize that they should look towards entrepreneurship for their career rather to depend upon government for job. 

Published by: Nisha Ann Jacob
Asst. Professor
School of Management


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