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Genesis of National Foundation for Entrepreneurship Development (NFED): A Socialist Perspective

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By Prof. R. Ganesan

The advent of communism and socialism during the nineteenth century and their attendant ideologies resulted in considerable socio-economic growth and prosperity for many mighty nations across the globe: Russia being the classic example. Russia was built by the great communists and autocratic socialists in the early 1920s after the Revolution. These leaders kept their entire focus on the nation’s development and lived a more or less selfless life. One could cite the examples of other neo-socialist and communist nations like China, Cuba, Venezuela, etc.

Social enterprises must be conceptualized with the notion of selflessness, coupled with conscientious and strenuous efforts. It has to address the welfare of people, communities, and workers in their respective localities, dominions or in the larger world. Social enterprises need to congregate people and induce them for collective emancipation in terms of better education, economy, structuring, health, systems, innovation, and growth. The above-mentioned communist/socialist nations may have left diverse legacies but the ideology of collective prosperity through work is still regarded as an ideal that we must strive to achieve. For social enterprises to exist and excel, they must be guided by such a vision.

The Founder-Chairman of the National Foundation for Entrepreneurship Development (NFED), India, was guided by ideals of socialism during its initiation and formation. It is headquartered in the Coimbatore District of Tamil Nadu State, India. Since 2003, NFED has been functioning as a virtual organization. During this period, its activities focused on research, training, awareness, extension, etc. It is in 2013, we decided to spearhead all its activities in real-time and congregated a group of wise academicians and professionals to institute NFED as a trust.

Its prime objectives are: Facilitation of Entrepreneurship Development & Research through inculcating New Vistas in Entrepreneurship Theory, Practice, Education and Perspectives, thereby attaining Economic Empowerment. It tries to render whatever possible assistance it is able to within the means of its Development Fund generated through programmes and activities at various institutions. It also mobilizes the use of state of the art technology in support and pursuance of promoting vibrant entrepreneurs. The use of technology makes possible the synergy between people in the rural and the urban areas.  It promotes entrepreneurship development among different segments of the society, communities, the downtrodden, poor, and needy, irrespective of caste, creed, religion, and sex, in order to support and enhance their self-realization, welfare, rehabilitation, promulgation, and developmental activities. NFED abides by its non-profit motive to provide socio-economic sustenance through entrepreneurship, as envisaged by the Board of Trustees.

NFED upholds four facets (true track) for creating a progressive self-realized society: orderliness in regulations, perfectionism in work, commitment to values, and timeliness in action. It is strongly committed to creating an enterprising culture, rather than producing mere entrepreneurs, who are without value and regard. Hence, its ideology is to set in motion a process for the realization of one’s ‘self’, in order to become enterprising, while, at the same time, enhancing skill development.

NFED strongly emphasizes the importance of social awareness and self-realization. Keeping these at the forefront, it aims to build a knowledge-society. In its new mandate, NFED has instituted national level awards for Teachers, Entrepreneurs, Women, and Children. However, it has been celebrating Teachers’ Day awards since 2010. On 5th September every year, it presents awards to school teachers, college and varsity professors, entrepreneurs as social teachers, and social entrepreneurs. Its Teachers’ Day award has gained national recognition for its significance. It intends to motivate young, senior, and distinguished teachers and faculties from different segments of society in India. In addition to that, it endeavors to create a sense of organic belonging to the social system.

In a given calendar year, the other national level awards are Women’s Day Awards, Entrepreneur Awards, and Children’s Day Awards. All these awards are instituted with the intention of encouraging meaningful work for social upliftment. Out of four awards under NFED, two provide monetary rewards and the other two are symbolic/honorary. The women’s day awards are forthcoming. The purpose behind the award is to encourage and acknowledge the contributions of inspiring women across different sectors: Academics, Research, Entrepreneurship, Services, Social Services, and Professionals/Free-Lancers.

The Entrepreneur Award focuses on young and distinguished entrepreneurs among all the segments of society across the nation. The award primarily acts as a source of motivation and inspiration to many nascent and budding entrepreneurs with the purpose of acknowledging enterprising citizens for an economically productive nation. Finally, the Children’s Day awards have been instituted for motivating children from schools and orphanage homes. One of our focuses is on the disabled and socially oppressed children, sheltered by the non-governmental and voluntary organizations.

All these awards symbolize and emphasize the ability for self-realization through social entrepreneurship in one form or another. The awards have earned social good-will and, currently, are a part of our self-realization and skill acquisition campaigns.

NFED believes in relentless multi-faceted leadership, combining it with utmost benevolence and cultivation of values. Despite turbulent and bewildering times, since its inception, it has kept this strategy for implementing many of its developmental activities. There are so many odds that NFED has surpassed to progress and grow. This progress has been made possible because of the socialist ideas that have been propagated by its key office bearers, who willfully render honorary services.

The other aspects covering the programmes and activities of NFED will be highlighted in the forthcoming piece.

                                                                                                                                                             To be contd…

Pic-credit: Here

Author:

Professor R. Ganesan is the Chairman/Presidium Chair of National Foundation for Entrepreneurship Development, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. He obtained his Ph.D. in entrepreneurship development from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. Email: chairman@nfedindia.org/chairmannfed@gmail.com

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