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Business Blasters- World’s Largest Startup programme for School Students

Business Blasters encourages students to become job creators rather than job seekers.In 2021-22, 300,000+ students of grades 11 & 12 of 1000+ Delhi Government schools received seed funding of ₹2000 (about $25 USD) each for a business idea that they developed in a team with the objective of either earning profit or creating social impact. Most of these students belong to the most disadvantaged socio-economic communities.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

Business Blasters is the world’s largest startup programme for school students. As part of the Business Blasters program, students work in teams, brainstorm, identify business opportunities, prepare business plans, and implement their business ideas in the real world. It is a part of the Entrepreneurship Mindset Curriculum introduced in all Delhi Government Schools. In the year 2021-22, during the first cycle of the program, we witnessed more than 300,000 students form 51,000 teams and implement their business ideas using the seed capital of ₹600,000,000 (about $7,370,000 USD) provided by the government. Of these 51,000 teams, 1000 teams with the most viable ideas and business plans progressed to round 2 of the program. These 1000 teams were then matched with Business coaches and experts from various fields who helped them in taking their businesses to the next level. Finally, panels of investors and entrepreneurs hand-picked the top 100+ investment-worthy teams that are well on their way towards building profitable and scalable business. The details of each round is as follows:

  • Round 1: Formation of teams and brainstorming on a business idea. The first round involved student teams developing their ideas under the guidance of their school teachers and/ or local entrepreneurs. The teams ideated on market opportunities or social problems they wanted to work on. Guidelines were shared with school teachers to facilitate the process in a step-by-step manner.
  • Round 2: Intense Coaching and Improving the Plan and the Idea. The 1000+ teams which progressed to the second round received more intensive coaching from identified Business Coaches or mentors to develop their projects and business plans. The coaches were entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs/senior executives, business consultants, and entrepreneurship/MBA students. The coaches gave their time voluntarily. In all, a total of 1000 Business coaches worked with the 1000 teams.
  • Round 3: Showcasing the Business to Investors - The final round involved showcasing and pitching the projects in an investment summit, to companies and entrepreneurs, potential investors and philanthropists, representatives from incubators, universities, etc. A large stadium was booked for exhibiting the businesses and providing an opportunity for the investors to meet and talk to the selected teams. The event was called the ‘Business Blasters Investment Summit and Expo’. In the one-week run-up to the expo, the 126 teams received further coaching to refine their business demonstrations and pitches. With live coverage on radio and Television Channels, the expo not only provided a platform for the teams to explore opportunities for collaborations, investments, and business partnerships with the interested visitors in the event, but it also created a lot of enthusiasm among the parents and their children for entrepreneurship.

Business Blasters Televised events (, an 8 episode series, was also aired in November- December 2021 and telecasted over 8 national TV channels. The grants and orders provided to the 24 teams which appeared on the events totalled to approximately ₹2,500,000 (about $30,700 USD).

Business Blasters is a bold attempt to change the very core of our education system. Our theory of change is that sustained exposure to a program like this which is specially designed to achieve an entrepreneurial mindset will lead to more entrepreneurs emerging from our schools and colleges. It is important to note though that the program is critical not only from the point of producing more entrepreneurs but is also the biggest opportunity for tapping into children's entrepreneurial mindsets, which will help students irrespective of the careers they chose. We are aware that in today's world, skills have a very short shelf life, so while learning some foundational skills is essential, education must focus primarily on building mindsets which will enable our students to learn new skills throughout their lives and succeed in a world that is rapidly changing. Business Blasters is a major step towards that paradigm shift in how students will think about their careers.

Innovation Description

What Makes Your Project Innovative?

Business Blasters is the world’s largest startup programme for school students. The scale of this program is truly path-breaking and can potentially transform the future, not just for Delhi government schools, but for the country; 300,000+ students, 50,000 ideas and ₹600,000,000 (about $7,370,000 USD) seed capital provided by the Delhi Government.

The program has paved the way for a multi stakeholder collaboration - mentors and volunteers from across fields helped student entrepreneurs with specific questions by sharing their knowledge and contacts harvested through their years of experience.

This program will leverage India’s demographic dividend and can create a powerful proof point of the economic model that India has to adopt to make the leap towards a prosperous nation.

Business Blasters employs behavioral economics to nudge an entrepreneurial mindset in students and teachers and intends to inspire adoption of the curriculum in other states of India

What is the current status of your innovation?

The program has already completed one full cycle spanning 6 months (October 2021- March 2022). The second cycle of the program has been launched in schools. There are multiple learnings from the first round, which we are incorporating in the second round, and experimenting with some ideas to see how it affects the program.

Innovation Development

Collaborations & Partnerships

  • Business Blasters is an initiative of the Delhi government. It is housed under State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), Delhi.
  • The design and execution is supported by implementing partner, Udhyam Learning Foundation.
  • Approx. 1000 citizens with a background in entrepreneurship mentored the teams to refine their ideas.

Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

Students are the biggest beneficiary of the program. It has benefited them in the following ways:

  • It made students realize that the idea and possibility of being a businessperson is not the stuff of fables anymore, the prospects of becoming one came much closer within reach
  • It led to an enhanced clarity of their own interests, which in turn has led to forming a stable sense of self
  • This step into the real world provided girls with the unique opportunity to explore public spaces

Innovation Reflections

Results, Outcomes & Impacts

In April 2022, an early stage assessment study was conducted on the Business Blasters programme by Sambodhi- an independent organisation providing monitoring and evaluation solutions. A psychometric Test was conducted to measure advancement of competencies among students. The competencies assessed were - grit, independent thinking, self-awareness, trying new things, collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creative thinking.

The design of the psychometric test included two types of questions- (a) Self Report Belief Questions and (b) Situational Judgement Questions. A total of 581 students from 52 schools participated in the Psychometric test assessment out of which 268 were girls. Stratified random sampling was adopted for the purpose of student selection. The strata include division based on students’ progress as part of the Business Blaster Program.For those who reached the top 126, the overall average score was 81.6, as against 75.0 for those who did not participate.

Challenges and Failures

Several mentors and coaches dropped out citing that they did not have the time or that they needed some travel support to meet the school teams at the time allotted by the school. It is important to note that because the children participating are minors, all conversations that the mentors or coaches had, were required to be done during school hours and in the presence of a teacher of the school. This meant that the mentors had limited degrees of freedom in fitting their schedules around the mentoring sessions.

Round 1 of the program was interrupted by multiple events - school closure due to pollution, exams, festive season etc. To avoid the same, the second cycle of the program has been started much earlier in the academic calendar. The selection of students for round 2 (top 1000) was hampered by the Covid wave. In the absence of being able to meet teams physically it became difficult to gauge the team motivation, viability of the business etc.

Conditions for Success

The Business Blasters program has shown that while individual and institutional initiatives may be successful in creating impact at the micro-level, for a wider influence and formalization of such initiatives, a careful top-down specification of procedures and accountability needs to be put in place. The success of such an implementation is also significantly influenced by the political will and bureaucratic support as well as the implementation team. Very often good ideas can remain at the pilot stage unless the muscle of the state is not put behind them.


The program is a one of its kind in the country and is in fact the world’s largest start up program. It has not been replicated in other states of India as yet. India faces a massive skill gap. Many young people leave school without the skills they need to succeed in the real world. Opportunities for young people to apply learning in a real and relevant context are crucial to the development of skills and mindsets, however these are often limited within educational setting. Teaching students entrepreneurial skills from a young age is expected to help them tap their untapped ambition, across geographies of India, including the relatively more deprived communities. Imparting entrepreneurial education in this regard can help India fulfil its goal of being a $5 trillion economy with a dynamic business environment and job market. Furthermore, the adoption of similar programs across state education boards can create a revolution in India’s education sector.

Lessons Learned

  • Mentoring benefits students especially those from underprivileged backgrounds, who are talented and need guidance.
  • Three pillars — government, civil society and business — must work in tandem with each other to sustain the process of building a nation. The government alone cannot accomplish this, therefore paving the way for multi stakeholder collaboration, which is going to make India progress by mentoring future entrepreneurs in schools.
  • Sustained exposure to a curriculum like EMC which has been specially designed to achieve the entrepreneurial mindset will lead to more entrepreneurs emerging from our schools and colleges, and give us confident and courageous students, who believe in their ideas. Many students are already formalized their ideas into companies.
  • The Business Blasters initiative shows that business education can be started early. It is not necessary to wait until college for business and entrepreneurship education.

Anything Else?

While it may be too soon to comment on the long-term impact of this large-scale experiment which would be discernible only in the next three to four years, the immediate effects of the program were evident in the kind of energy it created in the system. We believe that a program such as this can also help change the way education in general, and entrepreneurial education in particular, is transacted and thought about at the school level.

Supporting Videos

Year: 2021
Level of Government: National/Federal government


  • Implementation - making the innovation happen

Innovation provided by:

Date Published:

18 January 2023

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