Local pioneering university and NGO announce development of a new UNESCO-endorsed grassroots entrepreneurship centre to help Udaipurites turn their artistic gifts, inventive ideas and/or environmental concerns into creative sustainable livelihoods.
Udaipur’s Janardan Rai Nagar Rajasthan Vidyapeeth University (RVU) and Big Medicine Charitable Trust (BMCT) have just signed a three-year collaborative MOU to create India’s first eco-cultural entrepreneurship centre and business incubator at RVU’s Manikya Lal Verma Shramjeevi College campus.
Provisionally called the Mewar Creative Economy Centre, the facility will open in early 2017 and include a 1500 seat amphitheatre & stage complex as well as studios, classrooms and exhibition areas. Centre plans include basic biz creation courses, live video classes with foreign schools, startup labs & cabins, community media training, a rural/urban networking hub, engaged art & green tech exhibits, a desi organic café, and many other unique features.
BMCT project adviser Ekling Nath Paliwal explains, “Udaipur has many fine business and commerce schools that teach students how to work for big companies, but not how to create rewarding businesses of their own. We want to fill that gap, especially for young artists, activists and aspiring social entrepreneurs as well as expose their inspiring efforts to the world.”
Besides offering practical entrepreneurship training for inventive students, artists, and eco-activists, the centre will also strive to become an exciting green cultural destination for all Udaipurites and talented foreign visitors.
As promoted by UNESCO, “Creative Economies” signify that a region’s most valuable natural resource is the creativity of its people; and the more a community values and nurtures their diverse talents the more it will flourish and sustainably evolve. The project has therefore been endorsed and offered cooperation by UNESCO-Delhi, Japan’s Doshisha University and the Rajasthan Tourist Dept.
BMCT began preparation for the centre nearly two years ago after inviting a Creative Economy exchange team from Japan’s Doshisha and Kyoto Universities; and the plan took final form at UNESCO’s social entrepreneurship workshop in March 2016 at Udaipur’s World Living Heritage Festival. Initial collaborative partners include Art Junction, Banyan Roots Organics, the Bindaas Community Media Academy, eChai Entrepreneurship Network, Eco Hut, Jagran Jan Vikas Samiti, Manav Manthan, Martand Foundation, Merijanmbhumi, Millets of Mewar, Rajputana Society of Natural History and Shakti Caravan.
BMCT founder trustee Rita Dixit-Kubiak stated, “We are extremely grateful to RVU for partnering with us and the creative youth of Udaipur to launch this model centre. RVU’s precocious introduction of college night school, remote education, and rural/tribal outreach centres reflected Pandit Janardan Rai Nagar’s farsighted appreciation of new egalitarian technologies. We hope to humbly build upon his visionary legacy and generate new livelihood possibilities for hundreds of talented and socially engaged Udaipur citizens.”
RVU Vice Chancellor S.S. Sarangdevot added, “Our founder Janu Bhai was always looking for new ways to offer meaningful educational opportunities to youth from all backgrounds… We hope this centre will help develop fruitful new entrepreneurship training techniques that we can incorporate into our own business and commerce curricula to benefit many more citizens.”
The project team continues to seek creative allies, especially iconic local entrepreneurs to act as mentors, guides and sponsors. Citizens wishing to help or participate or simply learn more are invited to contact them at