Sustained efforts by the Government have led to an increase in the number of recognised startups in the country from 471 in 2016 to 72,993 in 2022 (till June 30).
The Startup India Initiative was launched in 2016 with the objective of building a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship in the country. All initiatives in this regard are implemented across states, cities, towns and rural areas, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Prakash informed Parliament recently.
Moreover, 52 regulatory reforms have been undertaken by the Government since the inception of the initiative to enhance ease-of doingbusiness, ease-of-raising-capital and reduce compliance burden for the startup ecosystem.
Additionally, the Department of Science and Technology, under its National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) programme, has been nurturing ideas and innovations into successful startups, the minister informed.
The NIDHI initiative has a plethora of programmes, ranging from providing fellowships to the students opting for entrepreneurship through Entrepreneurs-In-Residence (EIR) Programme; Promoting and Accelerating Young and Aspiring Innovators and Startups (PRAYAS) programme by providing financial support for converting ideas into prototypes; availability of early-stage Seed support to incubated ventures; providing mentoring and investment readiness support through Accelerators; and creating Centres of Excellence (CoE) in incubation.
In another statement, laid on the table of the Lok Sabha, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology Dr Jitendra Singh, said, 604 aspiring entrepreneurs or startups have been supported so far under the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI)-Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) programme.
EIR aims to inspire and provide support to qualified persons who have an innovative idea and aspire to be an entrepreneur. The main objective of NIDHI-EIR programme is to encourage graduating students to take entrepreneurship instead of seeking jobs. According to official statistics, since the launch of NIDHI-EIR, a grant of Rs 19.03 crore has been disbursed to 604 aspiring entrepreneur or startups.
Today, no country can ignore the role startups and technology play in growth and development. The picture is even truer for developing nations. India has the third largest startup ecosystem. India with a population of 1.3 billion people, according to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), presently has its largest-ever adolescent (ages 10-19) and youth (ages 15-24) population.
In the last few years, the Modi Government, through its Startup India initiative, has invested heavily with an aim to build a stronger ecosystem for nurturing a startup culture that would further drive the country’s economic growth, support entrepreneurship, and enable large-scale employment opportunities.
In an interaction with more than 150 startups at an event early this year, the Prime Minister underlined the role of empowerment by entrepreneurship in addressing the problems of development and regional-gender disparities. He mentioned that today, there is at least one startup in each of the 625 districts of the country and more than half of the startups are from Tier-II and Tier-III cities. “These are converting ideas from ordinary poor families into businesses and lakhs of young Indians are getting employment,’ he said.
One of the key aspects of the Startup Initiative is to connect Indian startup ecosystem to global startup ecosystems. “Don’t just keep your dreams local, make them global. Remember this mantra- let’s Innovate for India, innovate from India”, he had said.