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Harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit

The state of Manipur, or more precisely, the enterprising people of the state are slowly but surely beginning to make their presence felt, not only in the myriad spheres of trade and commerce in the state, but also outside of Manipur. That we have seen a spurt in entrepreneurial activities encompassing almost every facet of commercial venture would be an understatement. This positive development in an otherwise bleak environment, made worse by the callous and indifferent financial support system in the state, should be made to catch on in a big way for the aspiring youths to start taking entrepreneurial activities seriously and consider an alternative means of earning rather than vying for the very limited Government jobs. But that can prove easier said than done. Even when a handful of success stories have shown that entrepreneurship can be a successful alternative to the beaten track of running after white and blue collar jobs, yet their paths are still fraught with danger and uncertainty with every step. Promises made by various heads of state have been noted for a long time now, yet precious little have been done till date to ease or reduce the innumerable hurdles- financial, logistics, support or legal, let alone encourage their risky ventures with deeds. The challenges of turning an idea, most of which are yet unproven, into a profitable venture is the driving force behind every beginning, while the sheer pleasure of seeing the transformation of a dream is what keeps an entrepreneur going, despite every possible hardship one may encounter. The state now has enough brilliant minds who have seen the world and are informed enough to make diligent decisions. The government should now embark on a proactive mission to develop an atmosphere conducive to the development of entrepreneurial minds and spirit. Providing financial assistance, though a very vital ingredient of development of an enterprise, should not be the only focus of the government. Making assistance available in the form of mentors and incubation centres where an idea can be polished and refined further until it becomes a financially viable proposition should be the main concern. The various aspects or components of a business model should be made to be understood by the aspiring entrepreneurs as well as the risks and inherent uncertainties involved in any venture. A dedicated incubation centre with adequate facilities will be of immense help in providing an impetus to the increasing entrepreneurial activities in the state, given the dismal state of facilities being made available at present, from the erratic power supply, considered the most vital resource of any commercial setup, to the uncertain supply of water and the pathetic conditions of roads and limited transportation facilities which is compounded by regular blockades and bandhs which target transport vehicles carrying economic resources, often leading to delays and destruction. The numerous entrepreneurship awareness programs, being generic in nature, needs to be backed up with a more comprehensive and hands on assistance of promising entrepreneurs for a successful transition to a profitable venture. A sustainable and viable financial assistance plan that can ensure smooth and swift delivery of funds in time will boost the morale and prevent delay in implementation of business plans. A robust support system for exploring markets of the products and promotion of the uniqueness of these products will help in expanding the market, thus ensuring progress and prosperity in the state.

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