Entrepreneurship Development Programme in India :
Pre-Independence Period : Entrepreneurship Development had its origin in the ancient history of India.
Sindhu Civilisation, being one of oldest civilization of India, highlighted many products and things indicating entrepreneurship and craftsmanship of local people. But it was very limited in nature. Mourya regime of 4th and 5th century B.C. registered excellent progress of Entrepreneurship Development in field of weaving, metal, gold ornaments, wood carving, leather products etc. The process of Entrepreneurship Development was slow until the British rulers came to India. Muslims, Mugals and Maratha Emperors gave protection to handicraft and cottage industries during their regions, leading to substantial development of Entrepreneurship in local people. The protection policies of the emperors gave a kind of stimulus and support for Entrepreneurship development in the country.
British rulers came in India and they started governing economic and political affairs of India through political agents. The protection policies towards handicraft, small and cottage industries was liberalized and further abandoned by the British rulers. They treated India as the market for British products, high taxes were levied on handicrafts and SSI product by the British. The British rulers levied taxes on 235 selected products heavily and 400% excise duty was also levied on exports to western countries. It ultimately affected very adversely on handicraft and small industries sector. The British intentionally adopted such a policy which had interrupted and disturbed the process of entrepreneurship development in India.
In spite of negative policies of the British Rules, 19th Century was born for entrepreneurship development. The first textile mill was set up in 1851 at Mumbai.
The first coal mine was started in 1820 at Ranigunj. The first Jute mill was set up in 1854 in Bengal. Gujrathi, Parshi and Bengali people came forward and started number of mills and industries. It had given momentum to the entrepreneurship development against the negative policies of the British Rulers. By the end of the century, there were 194 textile mills, 286 coal mines and 36 Jute mills in India. Many new companies and industries were established in almost all sectors of the economy.
It was the strong reaction of the people of India against the British rules and their policies. It was really a notable development of entrepreneurship.
The first half of the 20th century highly accelerated the process of Entrepreneurship Development on the eve of the notable historic events. First world war, world recession, second world war, Swadeshi Movement, Quit India Movement, Independence of the country, Appointment of Fiscal Commission etc. were events which generated greater momentum for entrepreneurship development.
Post-Independence Period : The government of free India declared its commitment to accelerate the rate of development of the economy. The central government in its first industrial policy (1948) had given priority for Entrepreneurship Development in express statements.
Even in all its subsequent Industrial Policies, special stress was given on Entrepreneurship Development. Accordingly, the state government also chalked out the policies for Entrepreneurship Development and further they established institutional network for it. Entrepreneurship Development Programmes (EDP) were organised at different levels. The Review of EDP in India is taken in the following paragraphs.
1) Entrepreneurship Development Programmes at National Level: Central government, as per its industrial policies set up the institutional network of Entrepreneurship Development institutes at national level. These institutes were given the responsibility of undertaking Entrepreneurship Development Programmes at national level. NIESBUD, (New Delhi) EDII (Ahamdabad), NISIET (Hydrabad), SIDO, KVIB, TCO, SISI, REDI, SIDBI, IIC are some of the national institutes shouldering the responsibility of Entrepreneurship Development Programmes successfully. The different kinds of Entrepreneurship Development programmes viz.
Training programmes, Orientation programmes, vocational guidance, Management Development, Trainees training, Officers training etc. are organised by these institutes.
Most of the institutes conduct research activities for Entrepreneurship development programmes. These Entrepreneurship Development programmes contributed much for the growth of small, medium and cottage industries of India.
2) Entrepreneurship Development Programmes at State Level: State governments also set up many institutes for Entrepreneurship Development Programmes purposes. Maharashtra Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (MCED) is one of the institute working for Entrepreneurship Development in Maharashtra. The state level institutes organise Entrepreneurship Development as per requirement of the state. They conduct training programmes for youth to identify prospective entrepreneurs. Necessary services and facilities with managerial and technical guidance are provided to the prospective entrepreneurs. Even consultancy services are provided for existing entrepreneurs.
3) Entrepreneurship Development Programmes at District and Local Level: State and central institutes sponsor different kinds of Entrepreneurship Development Programmes at District and Taluka levels. As India is a country of villages, training programmes for villages are also organised. Certain programmes are developed for rural youth including men & women. Especially training programmes for handicrafts and cottage industries are conducted at village level. District Industries Centers are assigned Entrepreneurship Development Programmes and activities in the districts.
4) Entrepreneurship Development Programmes by NGOs: Non-government organisations (NGOs) are also playing appreciable role for organizing Entrepreneurship Development Programmes. These NGOs conduct Entrepreneurship Development Programmes at all levels i.e. from national to local level. Especially those NGOs which are closely related with business, industries and commerce, had taken greater initiatives for Entrepreneurship Development Programmes. Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries, National Youth Entrepreneurs Organisation, Indian Women Entrepreneurs Organisation, Self Employed Women Association, Maharashtra Women Entrepreneurs Organisation, Rotary clubs, Educational Institutes, Charitable Trusts etc. organise different kinds Entrepreneurship Development Programmes. Sometimes it may be in collaboration with government organisation also.
The central and state governments had made substantial financial provisions for Entrepreneurship Development Programmes in all five year plans. The Central government has set up “National Entrepreneurship Development Board” for formulating national policy on Entrepreneurship Development. The growth of SSI units and companies clearly indicates the development of entrepreneurship. The number of SSI units was about one lakh in 1951, it increased to 118.53 units in 2004-05. The number of registered companies was about 28,500 in 1951, now in 2005-06 it increased to more than 7.00 lakhs.