The Manipur Startup policy was initiated in 2016 to make Manipur emerge as one of the top startup destinations in the Northeast region. The policy was then launched in March 2018 and aimed to enable the youth and unemployed persons in the State to take up new ventures with new and creative ideas. The policy missions included active encouragement of entrepreneurship as a career choice to the youth through appropriate learning modules, entrepreneurship development programs in vocational institutions; supporting and strengthening business incubators and accelerators in the state, setting up a platform for accessing avenues that provide financial support to start-ups, and to establish an ecosystem that facilitates up to 200 start-ups in the next five years. The four major stages of a start-up that the policy targets are as follows:
In this stage, the state will aim to nurture the seeds of entrepreneurship in institutions and create a Network of Entrepreneurship Development Centers (NEDC) with Universities and higher educational institutes across the state. It will also promote capacity building of NEDC partner institutions through collaboration with leading business incubators in the state.
In this stage, the government will assist in creating business incubators in the state to enable the incubation of a number of start-ups while also providing mentorship to the new incubators. As part of the policy, it will also facilitate preferential lease of land from the State Government as per its land policy.
The policy aims to enable the youths and unemployed persons in the State to take up new ventures with new and creative ideas.
Product Development Stage
For start-ups at this stage, the government will set up an Innovation Enabler Mechanism (IEM) to address statutory compliance issues or legal hurdles. It will also assist start-ups in enabling legislation or clarification from the government on a fast track-mode.
At this stage, the State will facilitate access to a network of registered angel and venture capital funds through a digital platform. This platform will connect all the eco-system stakeholders, network of support, funding and service providers to enable seamless access.
Under the policy, the State will fund expenditure upto Rs. 10 lakhs to colleges in the state to create an Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC). It will also create a network of kick-starter funds for sustenance or early stage funding to start-ups and assist them in covering costs for certification and manufacturing pilot devices, etc. A beneficiary can avail up to Rs. One crore with 30% subsidy depending on the scale of their business.
What’s in it for me?
Three rounds of selection of beneficiaries have been conducted so far since 2017-18 and assistance provided to 877 start-ups. At the Manipur Startup Conclave 2020, monetary assistance of Rs 525.09 lakh was handed over to 272 start-up beneficiaries. The state government is planning to provide bank loans to around 20,000 vendors whose business adversely affected by the prolonged lock-down. Aspiring entrepreneurs can volunteer for registration at the official website and apply for the fourth round which the government hopes will provide opportunities to those who have returned from outside the state after leaving their jobs due to the pandemic.