Shri Thaawarchand Gehlote, Hon'ble Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment launched the "Ambedkar Social Innovation and Incubation Mission (ASIIM) under Venture Capital Fund for SCs" through Video Conferencing on September 30, 2020 with a view to promoting innovation and enterprise among SC students studying in higher educational institutions.1 The ASIIM initiative will be implemented by the Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes (VCF-SCs) which was set up in 2016 with the Fund size of INR 500 Crore.
The main objectives of the ASIIM initiative are2:
- To promote entrepreneurship among the SC Youth with special preference to Divyangs.
- To support (1,000) innovative ideas till 2024 through a synergetic work with the Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) set up by Department of Science and Technology.
- To support, promote, handhold the start-up ideas till they reach commercial stage by providing liberal equity support.
- To incentivize students with innovative mindset to take to entrepreneurship with confidence.
As reported by Press Trust of India, under this fund, 117 companies promoted by SC entrepreneurs have been sanctioned financial assistance to set up business ventures. Additionally, 1,000 SC youth would be identified in the next 4 years with start-up ideas through the Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) in various higher educational institutions. They will then be funded INR 30 Lakhs in 3 years as equity funding so that they can translate their start-up ideas into commercial ventures. Successful ventures would further qualify for venture funding of up to INR 5 Crore from the Venture Capital Fund for SCs.
The minister said that this initiative under VCF-SC will promote innovation in the SC youth and would help them to become job-givers from job-seekers; and would further give fillip to the 'Stand Up India' initiative.
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