Dr Bilal Ahmad Dar
There is a growing interest in the role that entrepreneurship can play as a catalyst to achieve economic and social development objectives, including growth, innovation, employment, and equity. Entrepreneurship can manifest within an economy in a number of ways, and it includes both formal and informal economic activities for the purposes of creating wealth. It has been identified as one of the major trends shaping business, and even society. To promote entrepreneurship it is important that the people with innovative ideas and skills have access to the vital entrepreneurial resources like money, talent and know-how to initiate new businesses, especially small and medium size enterprises.
In J&K the government employs only 9-8% of the labour force ; the only option available is to nudge economic activity in the private sector through encouraging entrepreneurship in regards to the establishment of small and medium size business and industry by making available necessary resources and technical know-how to the youth entering the labour market.
In the past, several initiatives were taken in the public sector to push small and medium size business in the form of loans to the youth but unfortunately they all failed to create the desired impact due to the rampant sleaze and sloth in public organizations. The other reason for failure of those efforts was that the basic ingredients of entrepreneurship like the technical know-how and talent to start a business were totally neglected. There is no support available in the public sector for carrying out research and preparing feasibility reports in regards to different lines of business and industry.
Economic development and even growth is underpinned by good institutions. Even aid is working only where the policies and institutional environment is good. This again lends support to the ‘primacy of institutional arguments. A society that gets the institutional set up goes on to achieve economic development. Entrepreneurship may be directed towards the accumulation of wealth through unproductive enterprise. The system of incentives that a country sets up in its governance mechanism can either promote healthy entrepreneurship leading to economic growth and prosperity. In Jammu and Kashmir, the policies have always been biased towards the high class. This is true of the economic policies which have been biased towards the high scale sector. Rather than entrepreneurship, policies are planned for investors and investments became the norm. Incentives were offered to attract investment. Such incentives included licensed monopolies in protected markets, cheap land and credit and subsidized inputs.
Promoting entrepreneurship has its own importance in Jammu and Kashmir lags in start-ups, with less than half the rate of early-stage entrepreneurial activity found in other factor-driven economies. Part of the problem is that most young people coming out of universities prefer searching for a job instead of exploring entrepreneurial career opportunities
The absence of an ambitious entrepreneurial class with an outward looking approach is also affecting the growth of industries in the State. The educated youth are displaying little preference towards entrepreneurship and are heavily oriented towards white collar jobs. However, the administration is now making all out efforts to defeat this undesirable phenomenon. For this purpose, the government has established the Entrepreneurship Development Institute and also seeking collaboration of different organizations of repute to guide and help the state towards entrepreneurship development. But the outcome of all these and other initiatives would depend upon the serious and conscious efforts made to strengthen and improve the role performance of different organizations that have been created to promote industrial growth in the state.
Entrepreneurship is essential for rapid and sustained economic growth and development. It creates the required man power and skills necessary for accelerated growth, reduce unemployment and poverty. It is therefore strategic and wise to assign a significant and increasing role to entrepreneurship in their effort to revamp the economy. For the entrepreneurs to be effective in creating wealth and employment opportunities the government needs to create an investor-friendly environment encompassing stable macro-economic policies and address urgently the dilapidated infrastructural facilities in the state, the educational sector needs to be revamped with emphasis on science and technology. There is need to change the mind set of young people to embrace self employment rather than waiting for non-existing government job. Lastly, there is the need to ensure that those with innovative ideas are provided with the financial support to translate such ideas into reality.
The author has completed his PhD from Jaipur National University Jaipur from the School of Business and Management. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org