Wednesday, February 6, 2013

SIDBI's Promoting Entrepreneurship and Stimulating Growth

Originally published in SME WORLD Feb 2013

SIDBI's Promoting Entrepreneurship and Stimulating Growth

This age of information and its vast potential for improving communication, information and effectiveness never ceases to amaze me. Every day around us we see numerous examples of its far reaching implication. Recently, a friend was planning to start his own micro-scale venture. He asked me where he can look for relevant information to understand how to go about it. We generally talked about prerequisites like company name, accounting system, employment issues, obtaining relevant licenses and gathering finance for the setting up the business. Soon we realized that our discussion is going on in an endless loop.

We felt that there must be many such new and upcoming entrepreneurs out there going through similar quest for authentic information. What we require is a genuine source of proper structured information through an open channel.

It is then I recalled that we, at SME WORLD, had covered the launch of Small Industries Development Bank of India's (SIDBI) ingenious initiative – a website for budding entrepreneurs –

Let us look at what the site has to offer to various segments of entrepreneurs.

Image describing Steps to Entrepreneurship What does smallB offer Entrepreneurs?

smallB proclaims that it has content applicable for new, upcoming and existing entrepreneurs. There are specific information broadly in the area of Business Plans, Funding Sources, details of Policies and Regulations, Environmental compliance, Energy saving, Business Management and Exports.

New Entrepreneur

The focus of information is appropriate for each segment owing to their unique challenges. A new entrepreneur lacks considerable fundamental information starting from how to incorporate the business, understanding the long-term pros and cons of proprietorship, partnership, LLP or private limited company. The site provides a fairly reasonable checklist for startups.

Image describing startup stages of growth Budding and Existing Entrepreneur

A budding entrepreneur as well as an existing one on the other hand lacks time for gathering latest updated information to take their company to the next level. There are lots of changes continuously happening around us in the external business environment. New policies and schemes are floated periodically but it is practically impossible to keep abreast with them while concentrating on day to day operations and running of the business. This is where informative sites like smallB come in handy.

Budding and Existing Entrepreneurs need the following information:

The site has dedicated page for downloading important forms which is quite useful.

The forum is one of the most interactive aspects of this site. It is an ideal platform for entrepreneurs, experts and companies to share knowledge and experience thus enhancing the learning process for others.

Leo Buscaglia said “The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another's, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.”

Ironing the Kinks

The site though is quite informative and resource rich but there are areas for possible improvement. Going through the site in detail, the contents seem more useful for new entrepreneurs who have very little knowledge (except about their core business idea). It is at times too generic and bookish. Quite a bit of the information is based on ideal situation which is not really the case in our business environment.

Few sections of this site need to be expanded.

The site should try to create more awareness for people keen on pursuing entrepreneurship. It sounds very good that we want to be our own boss, we want to work on our own terms and create something worthwhile but it is not a cake walk. With great opportunity come greater responsibilities. It is vital to discuss the trials and travails of an entrepreneur focusing not just on the rosy and shiny parts.

Information should be enriched and made more significant for existing entrepreneurs aiming to expand their business. What are the legal and statutory provisions, pitfalls to be avoided and avenues that can be explored need more detailed insight.

Handling government agencies and officials like factory inspector, labor inspector, tax audits etc. are real world cases that need attention. What are the best practices that enterprises should follow to handle these agencies and remain compliant? What are the rights and obligation as an enterprise? What are the rights and authorities of these bodies who visit our factories and shops? The site can develop a compendium of instances that enterprises encounter and how to avoid them. Enterprises in India are bound by numerous laws and it is practically impossible for each entrepreneur to understand each of them. Thus, a good checklist or case list will help entrepreneurs to remain aware and make informed decisions.

No comments:

Post a Comment