NEN - India


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Established in 2003, the National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) is Wadhwani Foundation’s flagship initiative with a mission to create and support high growth entrepreneurs, driving job-creation and economic growth in India. Co-founded by IIT-Bombay, IIM-Ahmedabad, BITS-Pilani, SP Jain Institute of Management & Research-Mumbai and Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology –Bangalore, NEN is primarily supported by the Wadhwani Foundation. Since inception, NEN has resulted in 2,000 new startups with 12,000+ direct and 50,000+ indirect jobs and is now tracking 1,500+ new companies each year. NEN has built a strong network with 600 colleges, 4000 mentors and 3200 faculty in India that continue to inspire, educate and support emerging entrepreneurs.

Thousands of practicing entrepreneurs and startups are also supported through NEN’s Entrepreneur Academy that features hundreds of short videos from experienced entrepreneurs, angels, VCs along with dozens of longer video courses and blog posts.

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NEN’s model for advancing entrepreneurship rests firmly on its partnership approach, making it both scalable and effective. Rather than deliver support directly, NEN partners with academic institutes to help them build an effective and a vibrant entrepreneurship eco-system on campus to develop and support entrepreneurs. Institutes that NEN partners with are those that are already motivated to provide entrepreneurship programmes to their students and who appreciate the investment NEN makes towards enhancing their ability to do so.

NEN builds the entrepreneurial eco-system in 2 specific ways:

1. Build capacity for ‘creating’ new entrepreneurs – get students inspired, impart knowledge, develop skills and build networks to enable them to pursue entrepreneurial careers.

2. Strengthen eco-system for ‘supporting’ existing start-ups – increase their access to experts who can provide relevant, high quality knowledge & skill-building programs, mentoring & networks for funding and hiring.

NEN has demonstrated notable success in creating institutional capacity in the educational eco-system by developing entrepreneurs and job-creators, alongside of job-seekers. Building on its strong institutional capacity platform, NEN is now extending its value propositions to early and early-growth stage entrepreneurs through ‘Entrepreneur Support’ services provided both face-to-face and via online modules.

NEN works closely with entrepreneur educators, start-up coaches and mentors as ‘enabling the enablers’ is key to the delivery of entrepreneur support services. NEN entrepreneur support programmes are continuously reviewed, refreshed and guided by the active participation of our Educator Panel and Mentor Panel which are comprised of both entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship practitioners. This ensures that our content and methodologies remain fresh and relevant. With prestigious partners like IBM, SAP and ANDE, various support models are being piloted and insights being consolidated. NEN offers the following support services for entrepreneurs:

Mentor Platform
NEN plays the critical role of understanding the entrepreneur need and matching it with a suitable expert. Some of the major mentoring formats used are Mentoring Connect (one-on-one face time meeting sessions with industry leaders and domain experts). Mentoring Clinics (in-depth discussion with entrepreneurs, expert panel and domain experts) Entrepreneur Academy The Entrepreneur Academy ( offers video lessons from seasoned entrepreneurs angels, VCs and mentors which are built around topics based on the life-cycle of a venture to help startups grow. This falls into two categories, Courses (NEN already offers these at offline workshops) comprising of multiples video capsules of 5-7 mins each and short videos that provide answers to specific questions. The Academy currently has thousands of subscribers, hundreds of short videos and dozens of blog posts.

Entrepreneur Training
The NEN Entrepreneur Workshops are designed to cover key business concepts of a venture’s life cycle. The format comprises of 1 or 2 day workshops led by entrepreneurship educators and industry experts.
Webinars led by established entrepreneurs, industry experts are run every fortnight cover different aspects of venture, issues and current trends. The platform has proved to be extremely effective as participating entrepreneurs around the world can get their queries answered by renowned experts.

Women Entrepreneur Development Program
The NEN-ANDE ‘Dream to Destination’ six month program is open for women entrepreneurs who actively own and run businesses with potential for growth. It helps them improve the fundability, scalability and revenue through robust enterprise-development support. Leveraging NEN’s content, networks, and online platforms, the program delivers knowledge and skills through intensive workshops, online courses and courseware, and mentoring support. The ‘Dream to Destination’ programme structure includes need assessment, cohort selection, development planning, plan execution and culmination.

NEN trains and certifies faculty to produce entrepreneurship educators & mentors who can design and run high-impact entrepreneurship programs on campus. As part of institution capacity building, institutional infrastructure like e-cells, campus companies, innovation centers and incubators are developed. It includes a Resource Bureau comprising experienced volunteers of more than 3000 entrepreneurs, professional experts, angels and venture capitalists. In addition, NEN facilitates an on-ground consulting practice and more importantly training the faculty through the NEN Faculty Development Courses to equip them with practice-oriented methods of teaching.

The Institutional capacity build-up involves:

People Capacity
• Faculty Development Programs to build a result-oriented entrepreneurial eco-system on campus
• Mentor Platform comprising of a suite of offline and online programs with experienced entrepreneurs, mentors and professionals

Program Capacity
• Content & Curricula for high-quality entrepreneurship teaching
• Campus Company, the experiential learning program (in the form of enterprises) run by students within academic institutions
• Advocacy & Recognition programs like ‘Entrepreneurship Week India’ (country’s largest & globally one of the biggest entrepreneurship awareness campaigns) and ‘Tata First Dot’ (India’s first National mentoring and recognition platform for student start-ups)
• E Leader and E Cell Workshops connect students from different institutes and help them understand and use NEN resources effectively

Infrastructure Capacity
• Expert Bureau & Networking with a wide spectrum of coaches, incubators, entrepreneurs, NEN faculty and domain experts
• Innovation and Incubation Program Support as guidance to qualify, prepare & apply successfully for funding from government and non-government sources





The Tata Conglomerate


The Cherie Blair Foundation


Fab Women Foundation Trust

Goldman Sachs

Government & Multi-lateral organisations




Industry Groups


HeadStart Network

The Indus Entrepreneurs


NEN represents India’s largest and most vibrant entrepreneurial community. The backbone of this community is formed by member academic institutes and intense entrepreneur support engagement, wherein lie myriad success stories.
Success Stories

Entrepreneurship Education Conclave
NEN in partnership with Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), the British Council and Intel is organizing a first-of-its-kind ‘Entrepreneurship Education Conclave’ on March 12th in New Delhi. The conclave will feature leaders in academia across India including top entrepreneurship educators & policy makers, practicing mentors, incubator heads, entrepreneurs, officials from Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Vice-Chancellors, and Directors & Deans from institutes in order to engage them in a dialogue on entrepreneurship development. The primary objective of the conclave is to foster, promote and support innovators and leaders with entrepreneurial talent and to provide recognition and endorsement to budding entrepreneurs. The sessions at the conclave will be highly interactive and engaging with a mix of keynote talks, panel discussions, un-conferences, and model & impact presentations.

To find out more about the Entrepreneurship Education Conclave, please visit

The Wadhwani Foundation Entrepreneur Coaches Program

The Wadhwani Foundation Entrepreneur Coaches Program is designed to develop individuals including entrepreneurship faculty, entrepreneurs, professionals and investors to coach existing entrepreneurs. The program provides its participants input in concepts, frameworks, tools, and delivery methodologies in training and mentoring entrepreneurs. Additionally, it provides content frameworks, and best practices relevant to emerging economies to enable coaches to design training programs for entrepreneurs in their countries. The program uses class-room based interactive sessions, field exercises, engagement with entrepreneurs, live cases, panel discussions and interviews to advance the knowledge, skill of participants to enable them to be effective Coaches.

Find out more about the program at

To register for the WF Entrepreneur Coaches Program, please visit

E Week

For one week, lakhs of people across the country will come together to celebrate Entrepreneurship Week. Designed to build public awareness and support for entrepreneurship, E Week focuses public attention on today’s biggest opportunities and encourages participants to reflect on their role as leaders and innovators. The campaign is led by the National Entrepreneurship Network and supported by the Wadhwani Foundation and other partners. By far the largest entrepreneurship activity in the country, E Week’s dramatic results in the past - building support for entrepreneurs - is encouraging ever more participation. The campaign will see active involvement of many organizations that support entrepreneurship; corporate entities; industry captains, experts, non-profits, and faculty leaders to inspire, encourage, and guide students.

To know more about E Week, please visit

TATA First Dot Powered by NEN

‘TATA First Dot Powered by NEN’ is India’s first national mentoring and recognition platform for student startups. A unique initiative that promotes, mentors and showcases India’s youngest and most dynamic entrepreneurs, TATA First Dot is run by the collaborative efforts of TATA group of companies and NEN Trust. TATA First Dot Powered by NEN brings to current and aspiring student entrepreneurs a powerful mix of business support, industry networking, and national recognition. Through a series of events and activities running over eight months, the platform aims to inspire and support India’s high-potential student entrepreneurs to become tomorrow’s high-impact innovators and job-creators. Launched in 2012, the TATA First Dot Powered by NEN platform has grown dramatically to become the definitive platform for discovering and supporting India’s next-generation high-growth entrepreneurs.

For more details about TATA First Dot, please visit