Patna– The United States Consulate General, Kolkata, in collaboration with the social enterprise Contact Base, on Thursday launched a youth entrepreneurship initiative in four cities of east India — Guwahati, Patna, Ranchi and Kolkata.

The programme, Y4BIZ (Youth for Business), in Patna is being held in association with a local organisation, Bihar Vidyapeeth Centre for Incubation and Entrepreneurship.

The Y4BIZ programme aims to support a promising group of 50 young entrepreneurs and transform their business ideas from the initial stage to a sustainable business model, said a press release.

The 50 entrepreneurs will be selected through a rigorous screening process after the launch events in all the four cities.

This will be followed by an online capacity building and mentoring programme 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 in 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 recognise the youth leaders in 2018, according to the release.

Director of the American Center and Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Consulate General, Kolkata Jamie Dragon said while launching the event in Guwahati: “The 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.”

The scheme is part of a series of activities in the run-up to the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), which is scheduled for November 28-30 in Hyderabad.

Organised annually since 2010, GES is a pre-eminent annual entrepreneurship gathering that convenes over a thousand emerging entrepreneurs, investors and supporters from around the world.

This year’s summit, being 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 head the United States’ delegation to the summit.

Suman Mukhopadhyay, Director & Vice President (Finance & Strategy), Contact Base said: “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, which intends to create a network of mentors, entrepreneurs, incubators and policy makers, will work closely with the stakeholders towards evolving favourable environments for startups. This can help transform the landscape of entrepreneurship in this region.”(IANS)