We all know that entrepreneurship is about attempting to assemble resources including innovations, finance and business acumen in an effort to transform innovations into economic goods. This may result in new organizations or may be part of revitalizing mature organizations in response to a perceived opportunity. The most obvious form of entrepreneurship is that of starting new business; however, in recent years, the term has been extended to include social and political forms of entrepreneurial activity. Entrepreneurship ranges in scale from solo projects to major undertakings creating many job opportunities. Many kinds of organizations now exist to support would-be entrepreneurs, including specialized government agencies, business incubators, science parks, and some NGOs. Lately more holistic conceptualizations of entrepreneurship as a specific mindset resulting in entrepreneurial initiatives in the form of social entrepreneurship, political entrepreneurship, or knowledge entrepreneurship have emerged. Social entrepreneurship is not merely an extension of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as some people would want us to believe, it is a conscious effort to contribute to a Social cause and the business enterprise is merely a medium for achieving the end results.
The story of the entrepreneurship in India is full of ups and downs. During the pre British and British era, the entrepreneur was seen more as a broker or money lender, bound by caste affiliations, religious, cultural and social forces right from the philosophy of dharma down to the joint family system. Entrepreneurship as we understand it today was not initially developed from this social segment. In addition, a number of political, economic factors too had an inhibiting effect on the spirit of enterprise among Indians in those times. Some of these were a lack of political unity and stability, the absence of effective communication systems, the existence of regulatory barriers and oppressive tax policies, and the prevalence of varied currency systems – all these combined together to restrict the growth of entrepreneurship until around the third decade of the 19th century. The religious system of education and the low social esteem accorded to business were other potent forces that discouraged the advancement of large scale commercial ventures in pre-independence India .
Thankfully however, the first half of the present century witnessed a gradual change for the better to the prevailing scenario. During this period, there was a growing tendency among the locals to take to business. The spread of secular education, surge in nationalist feelings and social reform movements must have given a boost to this phase of the emergence of entrepreneurship in the country. Moreover, the two world wars and the enormous business opportunities they created for the growth of industrial ventures brought about a radical change in the attitudes of the public in favor of industrial entrepreneurship and broadened the vision of Indian businessmen. Independent India could now claim to have created a conducive climate for the spread of entrepreneurship. It is in this perspective that the later evolution and growth of entrepreneurship in India has to be understood.
In spite of the significant presence of large and medium enterprises in the economic scene, it is the small sector that that has always dominated the forays into entrepreneurship in India. In fact, this is quite true of most of the developing countries. It is not that the large and medium enterprises do not manifest entrepreneurship as their smaller counterparts. The reason most likely to be is that it is the small enterprise in which the presence of the entrepreneur is most visible. Also in a country like India which is vast , diverse, and less developed, small enterprises have a very definite role to play not only by contributing towards...