Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the Rs 10,000 crore fund of funds created by the government will ensure funding to the tune of Rs 1 lakh crore for startups, which are now mushrooming in smaller towns and also in unconventional segments like agriculture and social sectors.
He said the Rs 10,000 crore fund has helped venture capital funds provide assistance of Rs 7,000 crore to startups. This fund, he said, in the long run will ensure funding of Rs 1 lakh crore to startups in the country.
To strengthen the ecosystem for budding entrepreneurs, the government too has created an ecosystem, he said.
Starting from the availability of funds, the government has worked on areas like setting up of tinkering labs, incubation centres, removing regulatory hurdles, providing tax incentives and support in the field of legal issues and intellectual property rights.
These initiatives have helped entrepreneurs even in smaller cities, towns and villages and these areas are emerging as vibrant startup centres, the Prime Minister said while interacting with young entrepreneurs from across the country, including cities like Dehradun, Guwahati and Raipur.
“Adequate capital, courage and connecting with people are required for excelling in the startup sector,” he said.
Modi said there was a time when startups meant only digital and technology innovation but now things are changing and we are seeing startups in various other fields, including agriculture.
“We have started an Agriculture Grand Challenge. We invite more youngsters to ideate on how to transform our agriculture sector,” he said.
The government has launched the Startup India Action Plan to promote budding entrepreneurs in the country. The plan is aimed at giving incentives such as tax holiday, inspector raj-free regime and capital gains tax exemption.
Emphasising on the importance of startups, he said these are growth engines of the future. “Today’s big companies were startups at some point. I urge the people of India to keep innovating,” he said.
Modi added that the youth in India are creating jobs and the government is committed to harnessing the demographic dividend.
To promote the products of young entrepreneurs, he said the government has eased public procurement norms for them.
He also said that along with Make in India, Design in India too is important for startups.
Modi said India is a young nation where 65 per cent of the population is below 35 years of age and this demographic dividend would become a driving force for the country.
“In the last 4 years, we have worked in this direction. To promote and support innovation, we started Startup India scheme,” he said.
Under this initiative, startups have been registered in about 419 districts in 28 states and 6 UTs so far, out of which 44 per cent are in tier 2 and 3 cities. This shows that youth from small cities and villages can contribute to the country’s growth story, he said.
“Today in the country, 45 per cent startups are started by women and one startup on an average provides job opportunities for 12 people,” he said.
Talking about the steps being taken by the government, Modi said it is working in the direction of providing market for startups and asked them to join the Government e-Marketplace (GeM).
He also said that trademark and patent registrations have increased multiple times since 2013-14. About 68,000 trademark registrations happened in 2013-14 and now this number has increased to over 2.5 lakh, Modi said.
Similarly, patent registrations too have jumped to over 11,500 from 4,000 in 2013-14.
He also called upon people to share stories about persons who are working on innovative ideas with the hashtag ‘#innovate India’.
“Let’s start a movement. You must also have an idea, share those with us with this hashtag,” he said, urging people to make ‘innovate India’ a mass movement.
In the future, startups will help drive innovation and contribute to the country’s growth prospects. Emphasising on the importance of innovation, he said if “we will not innovate, we will become stagnant”.