Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the government’s Start-up India programme today to encourage entrepreneurship in the country. While there has been commendable growth in the start-up ecosystem—India ranks third among global start-ups with 4,400 new-age companies—it is still concentrated in the technology domain and is located largely in Bangalore, Mumbai and the National Capital Region. The Prime Minister’s plan must now focus on extending it to other sectors and spread across the country.
One of the major bottlenecks in enabling start-ups is funding, which remains patchy. In a Niti Aayog survey of economically backward youth, 97% respondents stated that access to capital was a barrier to entrepreneurship. The initiative must also address regulatory issues like entry and exit norms, give tax incentives and help develop skill sets which will lead to innovations. Industry too, must collaborate with educational institutions to fund research and development and develop products that can help change society and lifestyle.