With colourful canopies going up, students talking business and generally, getting their entrepreneurial buzz on, it is beginning to look like the Entrepreneurship Week at Mount Carmel College in Bengaluru. In its third edition, the 68-year-old college is prepping for the vibrant MCC Santhe on February 18, a fete that not only encourages student entrepreneurs across the city and those that seek alternate careers but also paves way for collaborations with the community!
The college’s Entrepreneurship Cell, Initium, is responsible for getting the show on the road. “This seeks to serve as a unique platform for student entrepreneurs to not just interact with customers, but also be offered an opportunity to engage with mentors in the field,” says Sumita Kumar, an associate professor of the Business Management department and a co-ordinator of the E-Cell.
Having worked in association with the National Entrepreneurship decade for over a decade now, the college seeks to create an environment to foster the startup culture. “We try to add a new element to this flea market year after year and this time, we’re opening our doors to other colleges as well,” says Kritika Mimani, a final year BBM student and part of the six-member organising team. “The fest is usually buzzing with everything handmade – cards, crafts, custom gifts, fashionable jewellery, delectable cupcakes, flower wreaths, home décor items and homemade pickles and snacks,” she says about the thousands who gather to celebrate creativity and innovation on the college’s basketball court. This will be followed by a food truck festival too!
What’s better than shopping at this fete? The added advantage of free and fabulous mentorship! As girls flit from stall to stall collecting questionnaires with the vendor’s problem areas, mentors from campus and outside seek to address them over the year. “I remember this one time when we’d gone down to MCC for a mentoring session and we were brought some snacks. The best part is that these weren’t bought from outside campus, but from one of the girls running a stall. That’s the level they take their entrepreneurship to – it’s real life experience that books cannot teach,” says Mala Mary Martina, CEO of I Love Mondays and one of the mentors.
Students seem to be lapping up this mentorship as it helps give flight to their dreams. For instance, it was at the MCC Santhe that Preksha G Mehta’s venture, Tiaaarara took off. The 21-year-old who now has over 10,800 followers on Instagram, hand makes wreaths and tiaras all priced between `100 and `300, something that is worn by crowds across the country. “I picked up on a trend and saw a huge demand for them at fetes organised in malls. I spoke to my mentors at college and they gave me a nudge,” she smiles, now set to put up a stall not just at her alma mater, but a couple of malls too....