Local Entrepreneurship Advance Programme (LEAP) saw 175 student trainees from Government ITIs across Kerala put up business projects for evaluation at a two-day LEAP Entrepreneurs State Summit 2024, jointly organised by the Kerala State Industrial Training Department and Udhyam Learning Foundation, and supported by Amazon.

The best among the 100 projects presented were awarded at the summit. Udhyam Learning foundation is a not-for-profit organisation based in Bengaluru.

Rolled out in 2022-23

An official spokesman said efforts are on to create 1,000 student entrepreneurs from Kerala government ITIs. LEAP had rolled out the programme in 104 government-run ITIs as a student-led model from 2022-23. The State Summit that began on Wednesday witnessed interactive learning sessions on design thinking, role of finance, basics of marketing and brand management, communication and building self-confidence. On the concluding day, trainees pitched their projects for evaluation. The best three were announced at the valedictory function. 

Top three projects

An agarbatti production project by Athul Manoj and Harikrishnan J from Govt ITI Kalamasserry, Ernakulam, won the first place, while a multi-lock compressing soil bricks project by Sminurath PA of Govt ITI Pallickathodu, Kottayam, came second. A coconut shell craft products project by Abhiram M of Govt ITI Kuttikkol, Kasaragod bagged the third. Veena N Madhavan, Director of training, Industrial Training Department was the chief guest at the closing ceremony.  

National Challenge

The State Summit honoured four ITIs and eight teachers for their contribution towards engaging with the LEAP student-led curriculum and encouraging trainee business projects. Top three projects/teams will now attend the Sarvo Udhyam National Entrepreneurs’ Challenge at Delhi. Sarvo Udhyam is an alumni network of young entrepreneurs who were part of various state level programmes of Udhyam Learning Foundation across the country and are currently running businesses. Selected teams will be offered flight travel, food and accommodation to attend the event. They will vie for prizes worth ₹10 lakh offered as part of the Sarvo Udhyam National Entrepreneurs’ Challenge. 

Expert sessions

The event sessions saw experts including Gopinath Muthukad, Executive Director, Different Art Centre; Lakshmi Menon, Social Entrepreneur, Pureliving; Dileep Varkey, Mind Power Trainer, Active Minds; Manoj AS, Head-Planning, Competency Management & Innovation, ICT Academy of Skills; Arun JS, Assistant Professor, Mar Baselios College of Engineering and Technology; Jijiosh, CEO, Techazel media; Sajan S Nadhan of Grant Ideas; Manuf Khan and Anantha Krishnan, Managing Partners, Explore World; Anna Mariam, Founder, Anna Bakes; and others.