SMEs support only 11% of employment in India

Mass entrepreneurship refers to the type of entrepreneurship which emerges in an economy where a favourable climate of motivation and encouragement exists for developing a wide range of entrepreneurship among the general public or masses.

We first witnessed mass entrepreneurship as a phenomenon during the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries in Britain wherein alongside a massive growth in wealth and wages, there was also a “mass flourishing” amongst the people with a majority engaged in meaningful work, self-expression and personal growth. As more and more people began tinkering with methods or products, or dreaming up new ones, pioneering entrepreneurs multiplied, and the industrial revolution took off. And since then this phenomenon has spread to America and a similar revolution is now underway in China.

Keeping this in mind, when we look at the burgeoning unemployment crisis across the globe, there is a pressing need to create jobs that are aspirational allowing more participation from the workforce. The need of the hour is to recreate a mass movement based on innovation and enterprise that leads to job and wealth creation. And the one word answer for that is entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship has a key role to play in solving the global job crisis and has been a key point of discussion between job-seekers and job-creating entrepreneurs. But is it possible to intentionally create such a movement of the people and by the people?

Why Mass Entrepreneurship?

Even if we take the case of India, the labour force participation has shrunk between 2017 and 2022, from 46 percent to 40 percent. The ongoing demographic transition in India translates to about 12 million additional people joining the working age category between 15 to 65 years leading to intense competition. There is also a steady migration out of agriculture of 4 – 5 million people/year. Manufacturing sector is shedding jobs while tech startups are unable to create adequate jobs. MSMEs are critical to address the employment crisis in the country but at present they are unable to reach their full potential of driving growth & large-scale job creation. Add to that the jobs being created are of poor quality and come with low wages. Given all this, India will need to create 90 million non-farm jobs by 2030 to employ those in the working age category.

This was the burning question that led to the birth of GAME in 2018. The primary objective of setting up GAME therefore was to see if mass entrepreneurship as a nation-wide movement could help rewrite the growth story of a country by creating employment opportunities for the public that can be stirred and accelerated with focused interventions and support.

Therefore, GAME has made it their mission to catalyze an India-wide movement of mass entrepreneurship and favourable conditions for the growth of both existing and new enterprises, resulting in 50 million new jobs by 2030. Entrepreneurship aspiration is vibrant in a few pockets/communities and is a prevalent career option. However, overall, entrepreneurship is a less desirable career choice, especially compared with other developing nations (e.g. Brazil, China, S. Africa). Only 11% of our population b/w 18-64 years is engaged in early-stage (nascent) entrepreneurial activity. This is due to several reasons like underlying socio-economic issues and cultural norms, absence of role models, success stories and growth insights. GAME intends to build the mass entrepreneurship narrative among ecosystem actors and inspire an entrepreneurial movement nationally such that entrepreneurship is among the top 5 career choices.

The 'Missing Middle'


Government schemes, MFIs, and livelihood programs have helped create 75 million individual entrepreneurs (set to double in 20 years)

Experts regard the majority of these entrepreneurs to be underemployed, effectively forming the ‘hidden unemployed’

Mass Entrepreneurs

who hire or improve the incomes of 5 plus people, use local inputs or solve local problems

11% Mass Entrepreneurship in India compared to a global average of 30-40%

Fast Growth Start-Ups

  • 30

    New academic incubators established under ‘Start-up India Stand-up India’ initiative in 2016

  • 350

    Start-ups founded by young students in 2016

  • 650

    Total number of start-ups funded in 2016 by dedicated institutions

  • $40 Billion

    Flow of funding to start-ups in 2016

To do that GAME decided to focus on the missing middle i.e. enterprises that are growth oriented, start out formal, and can grow to midsize or large firms, capitalizing on the many opportunities presented by the global economy. GAME intends to create spatial hubs of entrepreneurship which support, celebrate and nurture MSME growth and innovation. By creating an ecosystem for MSMEs to thrive, we help them increase their top line profitability by leveraging and navigating opportunities which in turn creates potential for job creation. A National Entrepreneurship Mission with a focused approach to building MSMEs is critical to unlock jobs and to reach the $5 trillion economy target by 2030 and become “Aatmanirbhar”.

GAME has identified 3 focus areas that we intend to direct our efforts and attention towards in the future to ensure we reach our goal of 50 million jobs by 2030.

The three areas are:

  1. Access to Finance: GAME intends to identify financing gaps in the ecosystem and address them through the creation of schemes favouring MSMEs. We also hope to improve access to low-cost formal finance through creation and adoption of financing schemes/programs, strengthening the ‘middle mile’ of NBFCs /FinTechs, and providing thought leadership around policy.
  2. Women entrepreneurship: Women Entrepreneurship (WE) at GAME intends to create enabling conditions, co-create a shared narrative and to bring innovation into the ecosystem of women entrepreneurs. It is our mission to make interventions that improve the economic participation of women so that at least a quarter of new entrepreneurs are women. 
  3. Youth entrepreneurship: Youth entrepreneurship is a critical tool that leads to sustainable economic growth and social development while offering self-reliance to the young entrepreneurs and job opportunities as a positive spillover effect. GAME aspires to bridge the gap between the industry and the youth.


Mass Entrepreneurship

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