PM Modi (Reuters, file photo)
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched a Rs 1,000 crore seed fund for the start-up sector assuring there would be no shortage of funds for the sector and said the Centre will help them raise equity through guarantees.
“This will help in starting and growing new start-ups. Fund of funds scheme is already helping start-ups raise equity capital. India is working for a start-up ecosystem based on the mantra ‘Of the Youth, By the Youth, For the Youth’, We have to fix our goals for the next five years and these goals should be that our start-ups, our unicorns should emerge as global giants and lead in the futuristic technologies,” Modi told the virtual Start-Up India International Summit.
The PM also said future technologies and entrepreneurs should come together in Asia as it is also the century of Asia. He urged Asian countries to join hands, collaborate and take responsibility for leading this effort.
Modi said the biggest USP of the start-up world is its disruption and diversification capacity. “The greatest feature of this ecosystem is that it is guided more by passion than pragmatism. This ‘can-do’ spirit is evident in the way India is working today,” he said.
He cited the example of BHIM UPI which has revolutionised the payment system and in December last year, 4 lakh crore worth of transactions took place through UPI in the country. Similarly India is leading in solar and AI sector. The PM said the start-ups are changing the demographic characteristics of businesses. Citing data, he said that 44% recognised start-ups have women directors and number of women working in these start-ups is high.
He said every state is supporting and incubating start-ups as per local possibilities and 80% of districts of the country are now part of the Start-Up India mission. Youth from all types of background are able to realise their potential in this ecosystem.
The PM said this helped change mindsets and attitudes. “From ‘Why don’t you do a job? Why a start-up?’ to ‘Job is alright, but why not create your own start-up!’. In 2014, only 4 Indian start-ups were in the ‘unicorn club’ now, more than 30 start-ups have crossed the $1 billion mark,” he said.