Prime Minister Modi while addressing the BIMSTEC countries at the ‘Prarambh Startup India International Summit’ on 16Th Jan 2021 announced that the government will launch an Rs1000 crore Startup India Seed Fund. The fund aims to provide startups with initial capital to start and grow their business. He also said that going forward startups will also be given guarantees to assist them in raising debt capital.
Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Corporation, or BIMSTEC is a group of countries in Southeast and South Asia- India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bhutan, Nepal, and Thailand.
PM said that India has the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world which has helped many upcoming entrepreneurs to come up with innovative technologies and grow as big corporations. The ‘Startup India Seed Fund’ will support startups and help potential entrepreneurs pursue innovative ideas. PM showed confidence that the growth of startups will not only help in creating more job opportunities but will also improve the lives of people in that region.
Prime Minister said that the government is trying to create a startup system that is based on the mantra ‘of the youth, by the youth, for the youth’. The Startup India Initiative which was launched five years ago by PM on this day in 2016. He added that the aim for the next 5 years should be that Indian startups should become global giants.
Presently there are more than 41000 startups in the country, of these 44% are recognized officially. Out of the total, more than 5700 are information technology startups, around 3600 are in healthcare and more than 1700 startups are agriculture-related. PM said that these startups are changing the demographic character of business.
In 2020, despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, 11 startups climbed to the status of unicorns. Now more than 30 startups in the country are valued at more than $1 billion as compared to only 4 startups in the unicorn club in 2014. PM said that over 8000 startups are registered with GeM (Government e-Marketplace) on government procurement.
Modi also added that when big companies were struggling to survive globally amidst the pandemic, startups powered the country’s drive for being self-reliant. Various demands during the pandemic were met by various startups-from e-health to e-grocery, online education to e-commerce startups played a pivotal role and now they are not restricted to only metro cities.
On Jan, 15th, Mr. Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for railways, consumer affairs, and commerce & industry urged Indian investors to eye the BIMSTEC countries for bigger engagement through investments, support, and mentoring to nurture a bigger ecosystem for startups in the region. He also said that skill development will play a vital role to boost confidence of young entrepreneurs to sail through failures. At the ‘Prarambh Startup India International Summit’ he invited the startups in the country and the BIMSTEC nations to work together and help the world come out of the dark phase of pandemic into a golden era.