The seventh edition of Entrepreneurship Week India, (E-Week 2013) an awareness campaign on entrepreneurship presented by Wadhwani Foundation National Entrepreneurship Network on Monday started with much fervor here.
Over 65,000 students and 1,200 faculty members will lead this national campaign to build awareness and support for entrepreneurs, across India.
The theme for 'E-Week 2013' emphasizes the importance of 'Innovating for India' and calls upon young people to think of innovation as the first step towards securing India's economic future.
The theme focuses on fortifying India's innovation ecosystem. It encourages young entrepreneurs to launch ventures that address challenging problems, create millions of jobs and lead global markets.
As a special feature of E-Week, a novel custom made programme titled 'EWeek@Schools' will reach out to school students in the age group of 7-16 years in schools across the country.
Here college students and faculty from NEN E- Cells will introduce school children to the possibilities and ideas of entrepreneurship through 'the Rs. 50 exercise' - an experiential business lesson.
This week long campaign involves more than 20 organizations that support entrepreneurship, and engages corporates, business leaders, experts, non-profits and faculty leaders to inspire, encourage, and mentor students.
Speaking on the occasion, President and CEO, Wadhwani Foundation Ajay Kela said, "India's demographic dividend will add close to 240MM people to the workforce by 2030. It is imperative that we supercharge our entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country to support this high impending demand for job creation for this workforce."
"Inspiring and educating our college graduates to look at entrepreneurship as an alternate career and thus assist in job creation at scale is one of the goals of E-Week India," he added.
Kela said, "At the Wadhwani Foundation we are committed to supporting youngsters in India through an annual national awareness campaign on entrepreneurship, The E-Week. E-week India is a part of many activities that the Foundation conducts in an attempt to create the culture and supportive ecosystem for entrepreneurship to succeed in India."
"Our goal is to create millions of new jobs through our high-potential young entrepreneurs."
Executive Director, National Entrepreneurship Network, K.Srikrishna said, "Over the last several years, ever more young people, students and professionals have turned to entrepreneurship. Increasing the number of startups and entrepreneurs is the first step towards creating the jobs that India needs."
"Globally, we´re seeing that high growth needs innovation as a driver and hence this year´s theme for E Week ´Innovating for India´."
Srikrishna added, "Even the innovative companies need inspiration, encouragement and support in the form of knowledge and skill building, mentoring and networking. E Week intends to provide all this and more with over 5000 events across 30 cities reaching over 600,000 people."
During E Week, participants on and off campuses across the country - students, entrepreneurs, faculty members, industry leaders and key members of the community will take the E-Week Pledge and engage in thousands of events.
These include competitions, expositions, walkathons, educational movie screenings, leadership and motivation talks with successful entrepreneurs, panel discussions, business plan and skills-building workshops, business and tech bazaars, awareness campaigns and more.
In addition, participants can sign up on the E- Week website to share their experiences, view event information, and connect with the larger National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) community
E -Week will culminate on Feb 23 with an awards ceremony at Dayananda Sagar Institutions, Bangalore.
NEN member academic institutes will be chosen for the E-Week India 2012 Championship Awards as well as for three special awards which includes E-Week @ School Award, Nilima Rovshen Creativity and Innovation Award, and Most Effective Public Awareness Campaign Award.
Student representatives of the winning institutes will be flown to Bangalore for the awards ceremony attended by students from various institutes, eminent people from the industry and the government.