The U.S. Consulate General Kolkata, Contact Base Launch Program to Provide Support to Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Four Cities of East India

Ranchi – The U.S. Consulate General Kolkata in collaboration with the social enterprise Contact Base, is launching a youth entrepreneurship initiative – Y4BIZ (Youth for Business) in four cities in East India (Guwahati, Patna, Ranchi and Kolkata). The program in Ranchi is being organized in association with the Jharkhand Government.

The Y4BIZ program aims to support a promising group of 50 young entrepreneurs, and transform their business ideas from the initial stage to a sustainable business model. The 50 entrepreneurs will be selected by a rigorous screening process after the launch events in all four cities.  This will be followed by an online capacity building and mentoring program run by the IC2 Institute, University of Texas, Austin. A group of ten mentors will also be selected to be trained at the Nexus Incubator Hub, which is housed inside the American Center in New Delhi.  Finally, the top 10 business ideas will be showcased before industry leaders, investors and policy makers; to celebrate entrepreneurship and recognize the youth leaders in 2018.

The Director of the American Center and Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Consulate General Kolkata Jamie Dragon said, “Youth entrepreneurship development is a proven strategy that positively impacts the lives of young people.  This project seeks to foster a culture of entrepreneurship in eastern India and to strengthen linkages between American and Indian youth leaders.”

This initiative is launched during the celebration of the November 13-17 Global Entrepreneurship Week, and is part of a series of activities leading up to the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) that is scheduled for November 28-30 in Hyderabad.  Organized annually since 2010, GES is the preeminent annual entrepreneurship gathering that convenes over one thousand emerging entrepreneurs, investors, and supporters from around the world.  This year’s summit, hosted jointly by the United States and India, will be held for the first time in South Asia. The theme for GES is “Women First, Prosperity for all,” and will focus on supporting women entrepreneurs and fostering economic growth globally. Ivanka Trump, Senior Advisor to the President will headline the United States delegation to the summit. ‎

Add – note from Jharkhand Government with a quote…

The Director of Nexus in New Delhi American Center, Erik Azulay mentions, “Nexus and the IC2 Institute of the University of Texas look forward to working with the American Center in Kolkata and Y4Biz to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Eastern India.  We are glad to share our expertise in innovation and entrepreneurship with a partner such as Y4Biz which shares our vision and passion for supporting startups.”

Suman Mukhopadhyay, Director & Vice President (Finance & Strategy) of Contact Base mentioned, “An entrepreneurs’ journey is a journey of loneliness. For first generation early stage entrepreneurs this can be a daunting challenge to surmount. If one is attempting to start an enterprise in the eastern region of India, odds are stacked too unfavorably. An initiative like Y4BIZ, that intends to create a network of mentors, entrepreneurs, incubators and policy makers; that will work closely with the stakeholders towards evolving favorable environments for startups. This can help transform the landscape of entrepreneurship in this region”.

​​The next Y4BIZ website will be launched on November 21 during the Kolkata event.