Entrepreneurship Springboard Program (ESP)
The Boston Pledge Belief 1: The challenge of limited resources could be a basis for economic revolution
The Boston Pledge Belief 2: The multiplier effect at the base of the Pyramid is significantly higher
The Boston Pledge Belief 3: Entrepreneurship » Creative Problem Solving
“The most successful initiative under RED to date as been the Entrepreneurship Springboard Program. This program is designed to locate, educate and cultivate entrepreneurs developing regions of the world.”
Entrepreneurship Springboard Program (ESP)
To locate, educate and cultivate entrepreneurs worldwide
India as the ESP Pilot
As a nation comprised of 80% villages, ensuring economic stability for the suburban communities is challenging but essential. Mass unemployment in the Indian subcontinent must be mitigated through mass entrepreneurship. The Boston Pledge ESP seeks sustainable nationwide grass-roots revolution in small business development. ESP integrates a global expertise and resource base for value-addition across the development life cycles of new firms. The successful 2005-06 ESP pilot launched by TBP in the state of West Bengal, India through international collaboration illustrates that qualities like innovation and business acumen are not the currency of the learned-few,but a latent capability that can be nurtured and developed across all communities.
The ESP Process
1.Locate: A particular region (e.g. state or city) is chosen for running the program. TBP’s goal is to run ESP annually in that region from the initial year.
2.Educate: TBP, in collaboration with network partners in the region and its volunteer base in USA, conducts several 1 day business clinics in different districts of the target location. Aspiring entrepreneurs are taught about essential skills to develop a business concept and start a company – a.k.a. “MBA-in-a-box”, simplified for general comprehension.
3.Cultivate: Class participants are encouraged to enter the written ESP 50K business plan contest (modeled after the successful MIT’s 50K competition). Typically, 50% of the attending entrepreneurs submit business plans. These are graded by an international consortium. Ten awards are given for multiple categories. The winning teams are helped to launch new firms or grow existing concerns through the TBP network of mentors,subject-experts and financiers. Each team receives valuable feedback and winners receive significant media visibility. Each program should generate twenty firms & thousands of new jobs. ESP tracks progress of “alumni firms” and continues with network assistance.
TBP has been conducting business training workshops in India since 2002. In 2006, TBP ran the first pilot ESP in West Bengal, in collaboration with North American Bengali Conference (NABC), the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce (BNCCI), the Indian Professional Services Organization (IPSO – mentor community), The Bengal Chamber of Commerce (BCCI), Ray Institute of Continued Education (RICE) and several other NGOs. Fifty five complete business plans were submitted from all over the state (50%from rural Bengal), in diverse industries such as Healthcare/Biotech, Food Processing, Clean Energy, Recycling, Printing, IT, Agro-Industries, Ayurvedic Products, Drinking Water Purification etc. The ten top companies were felicitated at NABC Houston in July as well as a regional award ceremony for all participants to attend. TBP leaders met with several entrepreneurs on a 1:1 basis and listened to their challenges and aspirations, which served as good input for future ESP curriculum.
The Boston Pledge www.thebostonpledge.org took part in NABC 2006 where dignitaries such as Dr. Sam Pitroda, Dr. Mani Bhaumik, Dr. Nitish Sengupta and Prof. Tapan Roy Chowdhury commended TBP’s unique economic revitalization initiative. Another award ceremony to honor all participating entrepreneurs will be held in September in Kolkata, along with the launch of ESP 2007 in West Bengal.
In 2007, ESP was taken to Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, one of the premier technology schools in the country. Students were paired in teams with local entrepreneurs. In 2008, the local chamber of commerce in one ESP zone included ESP 50K as part of their entrepreneurship course curriculum, which brought motivated students to submit high quality business plans for enterprises they wish to start. ESP leaders have taken our vision to other parts of the world including Turkey, Egypt and Azerbaijan. In the current global economic turmoil, the message and purpose of ESP has attracted a lot of attention and many regions of the worls are interested in implementing the program. The five year vision is to have 50 ESP centers running,with an annual addition of 50,000 new jobs. For this to happen, we need your bold support. Please join our cause and sponsor a ESP award, to be named after you. For $750, you can sponsor a onetime seed capital that is sufficient for many grass roots businesses to start and employ a few individuals. Or you can contribute $25,000 and have a permanent annual ESP award named after you. Please donate online or contact tbpoffice [at] thebostonpledge [dot] org for information. As a US 501(c)(3) philanthropic organization, all donations to The Boston Pledge are tax deductible.
ESP Program Contacts:
Inder Monga imonga [at] gmail [dot] com (781.820.4198)
Chitro Neogy, chitro [at] mit [dot] edu (508.740.7847)