The Startup India project launched by the Union Government in 2016 has been a great support in building a strong startup ecosystem and financially supporting emerging startups. Startup India is controlled by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) with a vision to promote industrial and domestic business. The Startup India project has more than 100 schemes. Let’s take a look at Startup India Schemes for enterprises that are moving ahead despite hardships induced by COIVD-19.
Startup India Seed Fund
Launched on January 16, 2021, the ‘Startup India Seed Fund’ has announced a Seed Fund of Rs 1,000 crore to assist startups and ideas from entrepreneurs. The scheme is an important step to ensure sufficient capital for startups in India.
A Scheme for Promotion of Innovation, Rural Industries and Entrepreneurship Or ‘ASPIRE’
Since 56% of the Indian population lives in rural areas, the government encourages entrepreneurship and innovation in rural areas. The ‘ASPIRE’ project aims to increase employment, reduce poverty and promote innovation in rural India. The growth of the agribusiness industry is important. The Ministry of MSME seeks to enhance economic development from the grass-root levels.
Micro Units Development Refinance Agency or MUDRA
Mudra Bank aims to increase credit facilities and boost the growth of small businesses in rural areas. The Bank provides start-up loans of up to Rs 10 lakh to small enterprises, non-corporate businesses and non-agricultural small/micro enterprises. Such loans are categorised as Tarun, Kishore and Shishu.
Atal Incubation Centre
This is an innovative funding scheme to encourage entrepreneurs to bear capital operating costs. Selected startups will be funded up to Rs 10 crore over five years. Students, researchers and newly formed organisations from the fields of transport, health, energy, education, agriculture, water and sanitation can apply.
Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund
The Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme aims to create self-employment opportunities in the dairy sector and to increase milk production, storage, protection, transportation, milk processing and marketing. Loans from NABARD can be availed by dairy unions, multi-state milk cooperatives, state dairy federations, milk-producing companies and others who meet the eligibility criteria under the scheme.
Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises
The Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises was established to provide business loans to micro-level businesses, small businesses and startups. These are zero collateral loans. Through this scheme, carried out under collaboration with SIDBI, the Government provides a maximum of Rs 1 crore for the development of new ventures and revival of existing ones.
In 2017, the Department of Science & Technology introduced the New Generation Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Center (NewGen IEDC) programme. The event is organised by the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad. It provides mentorship, guidance and support to tech startups. NewGEN IEDC is based out of academic institutions where students can work on innovative projects for five years.
MSME Market Development Assistance
Startups, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and retailers registered with the Directorate of Industries can take advantage of this scheme to expand their businesses around the world through international trade fairs and exhibitions.
Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP)
Launched by the Finance Commission, WEP is for emerging and existing women entrepreneurs across India. Women who are in the ideation stage or run a startup can register for the scheme. Corporates, NGOs, organisations and incubators who support women in any form can also apply. WEP offers incubation and acceleration support for startups where women are founders or co-founders.
Venture Capital Scheme for Agri-Business Development
Launched by the Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC), the scheme aims to promote agricultural development in the country, provide a market for producers and help farmers and agricultural graduates increase their participation. Individuals, farmers, producer groups, partnership/proprietors, self-help groups and agri-entrepreneurs are eligible.
Remember, Government Nodal Agencies like the Startup India and Kerala Startup Mission upholds professionalism. Even if the founders seem to be convinced of their idea and prototype, an experienced selection committee should validate its scalability and use to the community. Therefore, strong project pitch decks should be prepared before approaching such funding opportunities.