India’s First Fellowship Programme on Entrepreneurship for Undergrad Students

Pune’s first fellowship programme is going to be launched on 24th September 2018 by Enterprise. The Enterprise Fellowship is a unique programme where a batch of 20 undergraduate students will develop an entrepreneurial mindset through ‘learning by doing’.

Over a span of 12 months, the Enterprising-20 will lay the foundations of areal-life business project, manage it with real money and will be accountable for it to a Board of Directors, who will be industry leaders from Pune’s top firms. Through various workshops, they will learn practical skills for business, which cannot be acquired from books. The biggest asset which they will gain is a conversation asset, the ability to sell their services to anyone. By the end of the fellowship every student will have a career blueprint ready. With the help of personalised career mentoring, Enterprise will prepare them for the next phase of their life- a master’s program, a job or even a start-up.

The most exciting part for the students will be their very own office. Being a part of the Fellowship will provide these 20 students access to a funky, millennial co-working space in the most happening part of the city, Koregaon Park. Here, the students can collaborate, have team discussions, meet clients and even do their college projects.

Enterprise is the brainchild of Aditya Jhunjhunwala, who has been a mentor for hundreds of youngsters for the last six years, and Yusuf Hakim, the founder of BohriAli.com. Both the co-founders are mechanical engineers, coming from business families, who decided to define a path for themselves and start something new.

The founders felt that there were no platforms that encourage students, early on, to engage in projects and help them align learning by doing, to their own career progress. There are many fellowships in India like the Gandhi Fellowship for social projects and Teach For India for education. But they are all for graduates.

They designed the Enterprise curriculum in collaboration with an education consultancy based in Mumbai which specialises in strategic guidance for maximising impact of programmes. It is based on application of knowledge, as they believe knowledgelearnt and not applied ends up as frustration.

Aditya, an alumnus of IIM- A, has always wanted to have a global brand on Indian soil. “When you ask a youngster to name 10 brands, in most cases, 8 out of 10 will be foreign. Why is that? Is it that India doesn’t have the talent? NO. So many top employees of Google and Facebook are Indians. Then why can India not have such leading companies? The problem is that we are too stuck in following the old rules and the established patterns. We are scared to innovate.”, says Aditya.

He believes that to become an innovation economy, Indians have to learn to celebrate failure. “Failure is a big stigma in Indian society. In innovative economies like the US, failure is a credential. It means you have tried and now, you have the courage and experience to move on to the next venture. One has to get out there, talk to customers, face rejections and make mistakes. Have patience. And then success may come.”, adds Aditya.

Yusuf, himself knows the freedom innovating provides to a young mind. He was a part of three student run enterprises where they designed and built cars. His team became west India’s first team to race at BAJA in South Africa in 2012. “The status quo suppresses the student. The status quo says you need to have these many marks to be successful. We are going to change that and enable every student to dream at Enterprise. Our strategy is simple. We want to give the students a ‘pure’ environment so that they can dream, execute, fail and eventually win at life with pure exuberance, excitement and unlimited energy. We will nurture them till they find this confidence in themselves to achieve their dreams.”, says Yusuf.

For those students, who have been looking for the right launch pad for their dreams, Enterprise is the place to be. Applications are open till 17th September, 2018.