Entrepreneurs in the South and Central Asia can provide a bridge between new market opportunities and (talent and natural) resources, driving innovation in the region to an all-time high. Such an attempt is being made by the South Asia Connect entrepreneurs’ training program for building regional cooperation for enhancing intra-regional trade and investments.
The South Asia Connect (SAC) program is funded by the US Department of State and operated by IC2 Institute of the University of Texas (at Austin) out of the Nexus Start-up Hub in the American Center, New Delhi. It aims to support implementable start-up concepts in five countries of South Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka. There is a laid thrust to impart training to atleast 25% Women Entrepreneurs through this program.
The program was formally launched by US Ambassador to India on February 8th, 2018 and the team has sensitized entrepreneurs, leaders of entrepreneurship organizations, early stage investors, government officials and other stakeholders in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India since then.
Ten leaders of entrepreneurship organizations attended the orientation program in New Delhi to build regional cooperation and connecting to regional networks, mentors, training, and venture opportunities from April 1st to 5th, 2018. These 10 leaders will receive three one-week visits with travel funding at the Nexus Startup Hub at the American Centre in New Delhi for networking and resources planning.
The program will choose 160 traditional and technology entrepreneurs from five countries to get online and in-person training, mentoring and networking. Entrepreneurs with receive best-practice training, ongoing mentorship, and access to networks that can advance their ventures.
Of the entrepreneurs completing the online training, 40 entrepreneurs will be selected to attend a one-week session at the Nexus Startup Hub in the American Centre, New Delhi with travel funding support. The first group of 20 entrepreneurs will receive training from May through July, while the second group of the remaining 20 entrepreneurs will receive training from September through November.
The programme has a timeline of choosing entrepreneurs from till April 30th, 2018. Upon completion, entrepreneurial leaders and entrepreneurs will receive certificates from the IC2 Institute of the University of Texas (Austin), along with connection to regional networks to implement their start-up concepts. Interested entrepreneurs can apply to the program here.