SBERTC-NEN

Entrepreneurship Research and Case Development Grant Program 

Background

As entrepreneurship emerges as the major determinant of economic growth in knowledge based economies, adequate and quality research becomes highly significant to ensure that entrepreneurship takes a strong hold in the Indian academic curriculum. Over the last decade, some progress has been made in entrepreneurship research, but the progress has not been commensurate with that of the requirements of our country, losing, as a result, an important opportunity for synergies between practice and research. There is low level of understanding about key issues and challenges in the entrepreneurship ecosystem and researchers are disconnected from practical knowledge. Therefore, research questions often do not stem from insights generated in practice and, in return, research findings do not actually answer real challenges and problems. Further, limited connections and networking among researchers in the entrepreneurship research community has led to the deficiency of a common knowledge base where individual knowledge can be amalgamated. And, in terms of the entrepreneurship curriculum, the growing need for Indian cases that help faculty to simulate relevant venture situations in the classroom remains unmet. This is because the difficulty of access to real time entrepreneurs, dearth of training in case writing and need for financial resources to develop cases make it unappealing for Indian entrepreneurship faculty to develop cases.

Program Description

To fill such gaps that exist between practice and research among entrepreneurship researchers and educators, Syndicate Bank Entrepreneurship Research and Training Centre (SBERTC) at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur and NEN (National Entrepreneurship Network) plan to offer Research and Case Development Grants to deserving members of academia. The Grant Program will be funded by SBERTC-IITK and run in collaboration with NEN. Over the course of time, they aim to cultivate and develop a network of top entrepreneurship researchers and case developers.

The program envisions :

    • Providing a platform for Researchers and Case Writers: Foster a world class entrepreneurship research platform by bringing together researchers, faculty members, case writers and practitioners; providing resources and support in the form of funding and catalyze collaborative research endeavors.

    • Connecting Practice and Research:  Launch appropriate research programs that enable and establish direct link between research and practice that will lead to current challenges and issues in entrepreneurial ecosystem to be addressed.

    • Encourage high-quality Indian Entrepreneurship Case Publications: Enable and support faculty who are inclined to entrepreneurship case development. Give them opportunities to improve case writing skills and also support with financial resources for case development.


The overarching goal of the program is to bring about positive change and contribute to improving the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country.

Objectives and Target Audience

The primary objectives of the program are:

-          To build a community  of  high quality entrepreneurship researchers and their capacity to engage in  valuable and relevant research

-          To bridge the gap between real issues in entrepreneurship and the usefulness of research findings  by exposing researchers to real world problems

-          To create a repository of world class Indian cases in entrepreneurship topics

The program will focus on academicians and researchers as the target audience and reach out to practitioners, planners and experts who can help execute effective research and case development programs. It will include Incubators, Banks, VCs, Angels and other relevant stakeholders to understand the challenges, needs in the entrepreneurial eco system and gain proximity to the various players in the eco-system.

Program Content

The program would comprise of two major segments viz.,

I) Research Studies and II) Case Development

I)  Research Studies 

a) Research Dialogue: Formal interaction will be initiated among the active, leading researchers on the prevailing challenges and problems faced today in entrepreneurship sector. This will also encompass primary research around existing issues in entrepreneurship practice to arrive at the research objectives and agenda. All the indications will be collated and made available for exploration by the research community.

b) Research:  Interested and suitable researchers will be identified to conduct research in the focus areas that emerge out of the research dialogue.  6 select researchers will be provided grants through a grant commission under the program. Selection of recipients of the grant will be based on their research potential, research experience and proposed / current research projects. The progress of the research projects will be monitored under the program continuously. Continuous exposure to new developments in entrepreneurship and opportunities for research will be facilitated through knowledge partnerships. Opportunities for training to refine research methodology and collaboration with other researchers will also be provided.

II) Case Development:  Entrepreneurship faculty and practitioners already engaged in case writing and those interested in case development will be invited to apply for the program. 20 participants will be selected on the basis of their proposals and work they have already done in the area of case development. They will undergo a formal case writing training program (a Case Writeshop) post which 6 of them will be provided a grant to develop their cases further. They will be encouraged to develop cases that will emphasize internal aspects relevant to entrepreneurs and their ventures as well as the external aspects related to other stake holders in the ecosystem. All participants will be supported and mentored throughout the program by case writing experts who will review their work periodically.

Key enabling components in the program are:

Training

The primary objective of the program is to build research capacity of the participants and to facilitate their understanding of entrepreneurship by providing the most up-to-date information in the sector. Workshops will be conducted to provide a hands-on experience of :

—           Rigorous research methodologies and instructions of conducting surveys, data analysis, etc.

—           Case writing skills

Platform for Publication

The participants will present the results of their research in the form of research papers and cases in the Annual Global Conference on Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation (AGCETI) at the end of the one year program. These research papers and cases will be published in the form of an annual journal. NEN will recommend the cases and research articles in the faculty community.

Support

-      Advisory Committee: A committee of advisors consisting of 3-5 members will be formed. This committee will oversee the program, its implementation, progress and its outcomes.

-      Grant: SBERTC-IITK will provide research funding to selected researchers and faculty case writers.  A grants committee will be appointed to allocate funds to the selected research projects and case development projects.

-      Network:  Participants will be able to collaborate with one another and get opportunities to network with the NEN community viz., entrepreneurs, investors, experts and other entrepreneurship educators.

Program Participant Selection

Given the extent of financial and non-financial support the participating researchers would receive over the course of the program, the selection process will be highly rigorous and competitive.  Relevant experience and potential of the candidates will be determining factors of selection for admission and participation in the program.

It will be open to all Indian researchers who are currently researching, or are interested in researching in entrepreneurship and to faculty members working on publishing cases on Indian entrepreneurs and ventures. All candidates applying for the program will be interviewed by admissions committee to determine their eligibility.  20 people will be selected for the participation in the Case Development program out of which only 6 will be given the grant post the Case Development Training.

 Grant Criteria 

    • Research fellowship grants will be given to 6 researcher participants on the basis of research proposals that demonstrate sufficient rigor and relevance of research work as deemed by the grants committee

  • Case development grants will be given to 6 deserving participants based on :

    1. participant’s potential as a case developer / writer as demonstrated in case submitted during application for the program

  1. participant’s performance in the case writing skill development workshop and follow-up assessment done by the case writing mentors
Grant Value

    • 6 Research fellowship Grants of Rs. 25,000 each

  • 6 Case Development Grants of Rs. 25,000 each 

Total Rs. 4,50,000 (Rupees Four lakh Fifty Thousand Only)