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Delhi is transforming education to create entrepreneurs with the Business Blasters program

The entrepreneurship mindset curriculum and Business Blasters program are helping students discover how to turn ideas into profits

In a dynamic and fast changing world, is our education system preparing young people with the right skills to face the future? On one hand industry in India is facing a shortage of relevant skills, while on the other, the 1 crore youth who turn 18 every year face a shortage of jobs. This paradox is because education is structured on the Macaulay system, which was designed to train workers for factories in the first industrial revolution. Most people learnt one skill, and then used that skill for their whole working life. In today’s world, change is accelerating everyday - skills have a shorter shelf life. We need a paradigm shift that prepares students to be job creators, not job seekers; a shift from following instructions to taking initiative, from knowing the syllabus to exploring opportunities. For example, a survey by NASSCOM in 2019 shows that India produces 15 lakh engineering graduates every year, but only 2.5 lakh of them succeed in getting jobs in the core engineering industry.

To prepare the next generation for the future, instead of rote learning, education needs to develop entrepreneurial mindsets, where individuals can think critically, and act confidently. Delhi’s government school system is pioneering efforts towards this, by introducing a new curriculum – the Entrepreneurship Mindset Curriculum (EMC). This well designed framework identifies personality building blocks that nurture entrepreneurial thinking and interventions in schools that help students apply this thinking in real life. The EMC tries to create learning through experiential aspects, and one of the programs that has been extremely successful is Business Blasters,an ambitious component under EMC, where students are given seed funding to pursue ideas and profits.

The Business Blasters program complements traditional learning and creates an experiential platform for students to ‘learn by doing’. The program gives students of grades 11 and 12 seed funding to start a business. They interact with role models, explore and share ideas with each other, and discover what it takes to turn these ideas into profitable businesses. The entire experience instills business acumen in students and unleashes their potential to become well rounded on all aspects of business — identifying problems, collaboration, planning and execution, analysing and learning, bouncing back from failures.

A pilot of the Business Blasters was run in School of Excellence Khichripur, where nine groups of 41 children were formed and each child was given seed money and went on to make profits. Elated with the success, the Delhi Government has allocated Rs. 60 crore to extend the program. Business Blasters was launched in more than 1000  government-run schools in Delhi by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in September 2021. Around 3.5 lakh students of classes XI and XII were given Rs. 2000 seed money to produce an idea and a plan to earn profit or solve a social problem. Students are brimming with ideas and thrilled to have a platform and resources to explore them. In a few months, more than 51,000 projects have already been generated, with several innovative ideas. Students have experimented with ideas ranging from healthy food and sweets, sales of art and craft, to mobile refurbishment and innovations such as alarms to stop gas leaks in homes. As the program continues, there will also be a competition to showcase the ideas to investors for mentoring and incubation. India has a global reputation for entrepreneurship, as the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world as per the Economic Survey 2020-2021. Business Blasters is the largest student entrepreneurial incubator program in the country today. With an education system that encourages entrepreneurial mindsets, and programs like Business Blasters proving to students how this works, India could be on the way to re-imagining employment generation, community welfare and economic progress. You too can be a part of this education revolution. Sign up as a business coach and guide a student group with their entrepreneurial ideas: sign up here - Entrepreneurship Mindset Curriculum Team

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