Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced a Start-up India seed fund worth Rs 1,000 crore to enable startups to raise initial funding. “This will help to start and grow new start-ups,” Modi said at the Prarambh Start-up India International summit. Going ahead, the government will also help startups to raise debt capital by providing guarantees, Modi said, adding, “India is trying to create a startup ecosystem which will be based on the key principle of the youth, by the youth and for the youth.”
Modi said India today has the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem. The country has more than 41,000 startups of which more than 5,700 startups are in the IT sector. As many as 3,600 startups operate in the health sector, while nearly 1,700 startups are present in the agriculture sector, the PM said, emphasising that these startups are changing the “demographic characteristics of businesses”. “The biggest USP of the startup world is its disruption and diversification capacity,” Modi said.
Through the GeM portal, local startups have been given the opportunity to participate in government tenders at par with big companies.
Modi said about 8,000 startups have registered on the portal so far and done business of nearly Rs 2,300 crore. He lauded the startups for coming up with innovative solutions during the pandemic and supporting the government’s efforts to normalise economic activity. More than 10 startups across sectors ranging from beauty to payments turned unicorn in 2020 against nine in 2019.
The two-day Prarambh Startup India International Summit marks the fifth anniversary of the Startup India initiative launched by the Prime Minister on January 16, 2016.