Emergence of EDII
In the late 1960s and early 70s, Government of Gujarat’s Technician Scheme announced 100% finance without collaterals to promote business ventures. The takers were many but limited success of these enterprises raised a question on the competency level of entrepreneurs.
An investigation revealed that these entrepreneurs failed because of lack of knowledge and skills and it was construed that an Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) could well provide such inputs. Training and counselling potential entrepreneurs in managing and sustaining an enterprise became a necessity. EDPs were, therefore, adopted as a strategy and they gradually started showing results. To cater to the increasing demand, a Gujarat level Institute was set up ( Centre for Entrepreneurship Development) but soon with several states coming up with the demand of EDPs, need for a National Resource Institute was set up and was thus born, the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, popularly known as EDII. EDII was set up as a National Resource Institute in 1983 with support from national level financial institutions, viz; IDBI Bank ltd, IFCI Ltd, ICICI Ltd, State Bank of India and the Govt. of Gujarat which pledged 23 acres of land towards infrastructure.
EDII began by conceptualising Entrepreneurship Development Programmes, and subsequently launched these to test their result-orientedness. The outcome led to further fine tuning and a tested training model for New Enterprise Creation, popularly known as EDII-EDP model, thus emerged. From efforts to create New Enterprises, EDII strategy gradually expanded nationally and internationally covering the areas of policy advocacy, entrepreneurship education, cluster development, business development services, micro & small enterprise development, CSR project implementation and institution building.
EDII expanded its strategy to impact various sectors and sections of economy including potential & existing entrepreneurs, minority and disadvantaged communities, MSMEs and support system officials, so that entrepreneurship could become a strong premise for country’s growth.
Keeping pace with the market requirements, the Institute went on to launch the ‘Small Industry Management Assistant Programme (SIMAP)’ to produce a cadre of trained youths who could assist in managerial work in small industries. The programme is now implemented by reputed institutions, including IITs and also state ED institutions. Subsequently this programme evolved into ‘Intrapreneurship Development Programme’ to cater to the needs of entrepreneurially inclined managers/executives.
Against the same backdrop, EDII also emphasised on the need for taking entrepreneurship into education and implemented skill-based activities for youths and teachers besides holding regular awareness camps to sensitise society at large about the charms of being an entrepreneur. The success achieved prompted the Institute to launch a unique, first of its kind course to train students in New Enterprise Creation, Family Business Management and Social Entrepreneurship.
To enhance the impact of EDPs, the Institute introduced industrial and artisanal cluster development model (including cluster development executives' concept) leading to formulation of cluster development scheme. The informal sector was gradually brought into the fold of the cluster mechanism. Rural and urban poverty alleviation also became a priority with the models getting widely replicated. Today, EDII designed integrated programme for start-ups (Village Entrepreneurship) is being replicated nationally. EDII hosted and DST, Govt. of India catalyzed Technology Business Incubator, CrAdLE, is focused on incubating start-ups in the potential areas of food/agri business, renewable energy and healthcare.
EDII vision also advocates the strategy of institution-building for concretising entrepreneurship. In order to, therefore, replicate the success story of promoting first generation entrepreneurs through training and counselling interventions, the MEA, Govt. of India assigned to EDII the prestigious task of setting up EDII-like Entrepreneurship Development Centres (EDCs) in Lao PDR, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar (CLMV nations) and Uzbekistan. The Centres in these regions are functioning well. Presently the Institute is working towards setting up centres in five selected African nations. In the same bid to create a sound economic structure, internationally, EDII implemented a series of activities to strengthen entrepreneurial capabilities in trade negotiations and regional integration in Greater Mekong Sub-Region. Simultaneously, new enterprise creation, enterprise upgradation and investment promotion also got a thrust in Mozambique, Sudan, Yemen and Lao PDR as a part of activities under the ‘Inter Regional Centre (IRC) for Entrepreneurship and Investment Training, sponsored by UNIDO and Govt. of India. The Institute has also been selected by the ITEC division of the MEA, Govt of India to share its expertise with developing countries in specialised areas.
EDII has always remained conscious of the importance of knowledge generation through research and has converted itself into more of an applied research cum development centre in entrepreneurship. Setting up of Centre for Research in Entrepreneurship Education and Development (CREED) is a testimony to this.
It is worth highlighting that EDII has not just conducted a set of market – driven programmes; it has also always risen to the need of the hour with special projects and programmes with social responsibility. During 2001, when Gujarat was shaken by earthquake, EDII rose to the occasion and came up with a development model which targeted enterprise development and revival in the region. Successful and satisfactory completion of the work even helped develop a replicable model for economic regeneration of disaster – struck regions across the globe and thus earned development status to entrepreneurship. EDII model of economic regeneration was replicated by other multilateral agencies in Tsunami affected regions.
Today the Institute conducts a variety of programmes and projects under its in-house Departments of Policy Advocacy, Knowledge and Research, Entrepreneurship Education; Projects; Business Development Services & National Outreach and Developing Economy Engagement.
The Institute continues to ensure successes and self sustaining – deep rooted growth at national and international levels.