ASCENT is a 'not-for-profit' foundation set up by Mr. Harsh Mariwala, the founder and M D of Marico, as a personal social responsibility, to identify entrepreneurs who are on the path to growth and support them in accelerating the scaling up of their enterprise.
ASCENT invited the Center for Entrepreneurship to serve as a consulting partner for selecting entrepreneurs who will constitute the Trust Groups. 10 Trust Groups with 101 entrepreneurs were launched on 15th August. Another 100 entrepreneurs will be added to ASCENT by January. Mr Mariwala, Mr Manak Singh, Chief Evangelist for ASCENT (and ex-Executive Director TiE Mumbai) and Prof M Suresh Rao comprised the selection team.
In Mr Mariwalas words We select entrepreneurs who are ambitious, keen to learn and want to give something back to other entrepreneurs, and we form Trust Groups with them in a non-compete environment. A lot of peer learning takes place through these groups. We will also have knowledge gurus talk to the Trust Groups on preparing a business plan, attracting talent, risk management and innovation. Later we will have consultants, representatives of banks and angel funds, coaches and mentors come and speak to the groups and even work with some of the entrepreneurs. The idea is to create an eco-system with entrepreneurs whose business model is proven.
The innovation attempted by ASCENT is to leverage peer group sharing and learning, supported by the eco-system, for enabling growth. The selection process for the next 10 Trust Groups is on. Entrepreneurs can apply online by logging on to www.ascentfoundation.in
The Center for Entrepreneurship conducts the Grow Your Business for first generation entrepreneurs hungry for sustainable growth. The program is conducted over 7 weekends and culminates with the entrepreneurs presenting their Growth Plan to a panel of investors and mentors. Rishab Mariwala, who participated in the last GYB program, had this to say - Very hands-on approach, guidance from a panel that is very much on the ground. The less theory and academia approach puts this program way above the other programs (HBS Executive Education, ISB, Harvard OMP Program, Insead Executive Education) that I have attended. It is my thought process in business and working that has been impacted positively through this program.
More Information on the Grow Your Business Program is available at gyb.spjimr.org .