As we celebrate our 75th Indian Independence Day, we need to revisit the freedom we have achieved in the business world. Venturing into any business is much more flexible in modern India. A few years ago, entrepreneurs would give up on their business even before they shared their start-up idea. But now, entrepreneurs are springing up from the remotest parts of India and coming up with the most unconventional, disruptive, and innovative business models.
Freedom start-up policies
States and Union Territories in India have crafted their own policies which have given start-ups in India much more leg room to diversify and innovate in business. Each state’s policy is equipping start-ups with funding, mentorship, and market access support to enable their contribution towards the state and national economy as well as to help them create jobs. As of today, a total of 30 states and Union Territories have formulated their very own Start-up policy.
Here’s a brief insight into the policies of three key states from different corners of the country and how they are promoting entrepreneurial freedom.
Gujarat is nurturing a very free start-up ecosystem with a diverse portfolio of start-ups across categories and industries. Innovators at various stages along their growth receive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives in the form of sustenance and marketing allowances, infrastructure and marketing assistance.
Karnataka’s start-up policy gives start-ups across multiple sectors their freedom in the form of fiscal benefits including patent and tax incentives, and marketing assistance.
The state of Manipur has reserved special funding support for the following start-up categories:
- Student start-ups
- Women led start-ups
- Idea and Revenue stage start-ups
They will receive fiscal benefits in the form of funding and mentorship. Besides, Manipur’s start-up policy provides special incentives at three key stages namely,
- Product development
Start-ups in these stages receive fiscal incentives in the form of funding and reimbursements.
Uplift your state
So far, the idea of starting a business entailed moving to a crowded metro city like Bengaluru or Mumbai. It was perceived that certain industries like Technology or Media could only thrive in these states or cities. As a result, aspiring entrepreneurs from Tier II and III cities who did not have the means of relocation had no option but to give up on their entrepreneurial goals. Due to lack of support or opportunities in their home state, most struggled with their business or accrued losses leading to eventual shut down. Another problem involved with mass flocking of entrepreneurs to Tier I cities is that it creates a false inflation problem in the country. By headquartering your start-up in your respective home state, you are not only uplifting your state but mitigating the problems of overcrowding and cutthroat competition in Tier I cities.
Metro and Rural India engulfed under entrepreneurship ecosystem
The central and state governments have rolled out a lot of policies, schemes, and benefits for rural entrepreneurs among tribal communities, farming communities, and marginalised sections of society to take up business. An example for this is ASPIRE – a government scheme for promotion of rural entrepreneurship. States like Uttarakhand have rolled out economic stimulus packages for small businesses in the religious tourism sector. The recent PMFME scheme (Prime Minister’s Formalisation of Micro Food Enterprises) promotes entrepreneurship among impoverished rural farmers. States like Tamil Nadu and Telangana are fighting to foster entrepreneurship through their respective policies by coming up with programmes like the StartupTN Mission and the Telangana Innovation policy. These state policies are freeing micro entrepreneurs from the clutches of traditional and regressive business practices and enveloping both Metro and Rural India under the country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Spirit of Entrepreneurship
Freedom start-up policies by state governments are fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship by giving entrepreneurs the freedom to innovate, improvise, and tap into unconventional, niche markets without having to worry about validation. Business incubators like iCreate, T-Hub (Technology hub) and KSUM (Kerala Start-up Mission) are actively encouraging innovation among start-ups in the most advanced technologies and giving entrepreneurs across all categories the freedom to spread their wings and come up with the most unique ideas in business.
Each state’s policy is equipping start-ups with funding, mentorship, and market access support to enable their contribution towards the state and national economy as well as to help them create jobs.
What’s in it for me? You, Your District, Your State, and India Grows
We are currently at our 21st unicorn start-up for 2021. India also got its first female-led unicorn IPO in Nykaa. There is no doubt that the Start-up world is the answer to GenZ and Millennials who are struggling from job losses and pay cuts. Entrepreneurship and small business are the way forward for financial freedom and growth in the country. State-wise start-up policies are giving wings to entrepreneurship development as it creates a tumble down or domino effect.
If each individual discovers their entrepreneurial prowess in their own home states and districts, they will pave the way for fellow entrepreneurs in their vicinity. This will lead to the eventual growth of the district, state, and the country at large. No matter what remote corner of the country you are from, technology penetration and Government support are strong currently in India. It’s a saving grace for our economy which has been disrupted due to the pandemic and a runway for the financial and professional lives of our countrymen to revive and take flight.