India is witnessing a startup boom across all sectors including technology, innovation, health, robotics, automobiles, food, education and so on.
There are a total of 50,000 startups currently in India and as per the estimations, our country will add another 50,000 by 2024!
To encourage budding entrepreneurs to kickstart innovative businesses that will eventually create employment opportunities, the government offers innumerable schemes to make the process easy.
The schemes provide financial assistance to potential individuals and organisations in the form of subsidies and loans.
Below are 10 schemes for people aspiring to become entrepreneurs:
- Atal Incubation Centre (AIC)
Started by the NITI Aayog in 2016, AIC is an innovative funding scheme to promote entrepreneurs by covering their capital operational costs.
The selected startups will be granted funding up to Rs 10 crore over a period of five years.
Students, researchers or newly formed organisations from fields including transport, health, energy, education, agriculture, water and sanitation can apply.
The AICs can be set up either in Public funded institutions or Private sector funded institutions or in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode.
The candidate will have to provide at least 10,000 sq. ft of space for the infrastructure such as laboratory and workshop facilities, utilities, support services, pre-incubation services, networking, mentoring and other facilities within a period of six months from the date of release of funds for capital and operational expenditure.
The scheme can be availed online at: http://www.niti.gov.in
- NewGEN IEDC
In 2017, the Department of Science & Technology (DST) introduced the New Generation Innovation And Entrepreneurship Development Centre (NewGen IEDC) programme.
The programme is implemented by the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), Ahmedabad.
It promotes “knowledge-based and technology-driven start-ups” through mentorship, guidance and support.
The NewGen IEDCs are established in academic institutions where students can work on innovative projects over a period of five years. In its first year, the DST was successful in establishing 14 NewGen IEDCs.
A one time cost of Rs 25 lakh will be granted in phases.
The institution should be a University/Deemed University or a premier Institute/College offering Engineering, Technology, Science courses at degree level or above for at least 5 years.
They must provide a space of about 5000 square feet for housing the NewGen IEDC with basic amenities like electricity, water, telephone and internet connectivity.
- MSME Market Development Assistance
Startups, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and retailers registered with Directorate of Industries/District Industries Centre can avail this scheme to expand their businesses across the world through international trade fairs and exhibitions.
Companies registered with Directorate of Industries/District Industries Centre can get up to 100 per cent reimbursement on air-fares and cost of placing their stalls in such fairs/exhibitions, all over the world.
The scheme, by Office of the Development Commissioner, offers reimbursement of 75 per cent of the one-time registration fee, airfare by economy class and 50 per cent space rental charge.
- The Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP)
Launched by the NITI Aayog, the WEP is for budding and existing women entrepreneurs across India.
It is divided into three aspects:
- Iccha Shakti: motivating women entrepreneurs to start their business
- Gyaan Shakti: Provides knowledge and ecosystem
- Karma Shakti: Provides hands-on support to entrepreneurs to set up or scale business
Women at the ideation stage and established startups can register for the scheme. Corporates, NGO, organisation, incubators can also apply provided that they are supporting women in any form.
WEP also offers incubation and acceleration support to startups founded or co-founded by women.
The scheme will include benefits like free credit ratings, mentorship, funding support to women entrepreneurs, apprenticeship and corporate partnerships.
- Self Employment Lending Schemes Credit Line 2 – Micro Financing Scheme
The National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC) scheme provides loan at the doorstep of the beneficiaries. Only NGOs and Self-Help Groups (SHGs) are eligible to apply.
Persons from the lower economic background and women from the minorities will be given preference. Applicants should belong to households with an annual income of Rs 6 lakh.
Each member of the organisation will get small loans up to 1.50 lakhs and 30 lakhs per group of 20 women. The loans will have to be repaid within a period of 36 months.
The interest rate for men will be not more than 10 per cent p.a. and 8 per cent p.a for women beneficiaries.
- Swarojgar Credit Card
Small artisans including micro-entrepreneurs, Mall artisans, Handloom weavers, Service sector, Fishermen, self-employed persons, rickshaw owners, other micro-enterprises are eligible for the Swarojgar Credit Card.
Under this scheme, a loan of Rs 25,000 will be given per person and the interest and margin will be as per RBI’s norm.
The applicant will also be given a credit card along with a passbook for working capital requirements. The charge of issue or processing card will not be more than Rs 50.
The scheme is normally valid for 5 years subject to satisfactory operation of the account and renewed on a yearly basis through a simple review process.
- Venture Capital Scheme for Agri-Business Development
Started by Small Farmer’s Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) this scheme aims to promote agricultural development in the country by providing a market to producers and assisting farmers and agriculture graduates to enhance their participation.
Individuals, farmers, producer groups, partnership/ Proprietary firms, self-help group, Agripreneurs are eligible for the scheme.
The cost of the proposed agribusiness project has to be above Rs. 50 lakhs.
The amount of Venture Capital that SFAC will be 10 per cent of the total project cost of 26 per cent of the project equity of Rs.75 lakhs whichever is lowest.
The beneficiary is expected to repay back the Venture Capital in a lump sum to SFAC after full repayment of the Bank’s term loan.
- Raw Material Assistance scheme
In order to encourage entrepreneurs to improve the quality of their products, this scheme under the National Small Industries Corporation finances the purchase of indigenous and exported raw materials.
The scheme covers the material procurement in bulk and cash discounts for a period of 180 days
Only entrepreneurs of micro, small and medium scale industries can apply for the scheme. scheme.
Once the application form is submitted, the NSIC will conduct a unit inspection and then sanction the limit post.
- Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana
To support the micro-enterprise sector MUDRA scheme provides loans up to ten lakhs without collaterals. Enterprises wanting to expand in fields of technology up-gradation or other projects can also take advantage of this scheme.
The scheme is divided into three modules:
- Shishu : covering loans upto Rs 50,000/-
- Kishor : covering loans above Rs 50,000/- and upto Rs 5 lakh
- Tarun : covering loans above Rs 5 lakh and upto Rs 10 lakh
- Sustainable Finance Scheme
This scheme provides financial assistance in the form of loans for sustainable development projects that contribute to energy efficiency and cleaner production.
All sustainable development projects such as renewable energy projects, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) star rating, green microfinance, green buildings and eco-friendly labelling, etc. are applicable.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)