NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced a seed fund worth Rs 1,000 crore for startups to provide them with initial capital to start and grow their business, and said that guarantees would be given to help them raise debt capital going ahead.

“In order to provide initial capital to startups, the country is launching a Startup India seed fund worth Rs 1,000 crore. This will help to start and grow new startups,” Modi said in his address to the BIMSTEC countries at ‘Prarambh: Startup India International Summit’, organised by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

BIMSTEC, or the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, is a grouping of countries in south Asia and Southeast Asia – Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.

He said that through the Fund of Funds, startups are already receiving assistance to raise equity capital and going forward, the government will also help startups to raise debt capital by providing guarantees.

“We are trying to create a startup system which is based on the mantra ‘of the youth, by the youth, for the youth’,” Modi said, adding that the StartUpIndia movement is completing five years on the very same day that India kick-started its biggest vaccination drive.

“The aim for the next five years should be that our startups become global giants,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that India today is one of the biggest nations in the start-up ecosystem with more than 41,000 start-ups who are involved in one mission or the other in the country with nearly 5,700 in the IT sector, 3,600 in the health sector and 1,700 startups in agriculture.

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Emphasising that these startups are changing the demographic character of business, Modi said: “Earlier, on hearing about a startup people used to ask ‘why don’t you do a job?’. But now people say why not create a startup instead of doing a job.”

Modi said that in 2014, only four startups in India were in the Unicorn Club but today, more than 30 startups have crossed the $1 billion of which 11 startups joined the Unicorn Club in 2020, during the Covid-19 crisis.

On government procurement, he said that more than 8,000 startups are registered with the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) and have done business worth Rs 2,300 crore of the Rs 80,000 crore total business done through the GeM portal.





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