The Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises has launched the ‘Ideas for New India Challenge 2020’ scheme, with the aim of promoting entrepreneurship through innovative solutions for local problems. Under the scheme, the ministry has invited unique ideas from startups, technocrats, and students, for issues like e-waste management, wastewater from household, and usage of crop residue.
Once shortlisted, the approved ideas will receive funding support of up to Rs 15 lakhs, along with incubation support for one year, through their chosen business incubators.
The ministry published a set of guidelines for the scheme, which said, “The main objective of the scheme is to promote & support the untapped creativity of the individual and to promote adoption of the latest technologies in manufacturing as well as knowledge-based innovative MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) that seek the validation of their ideas at the proof of concept level.”
In addition to this, the scheme will also work to improve engagement with enablers who will guide these MSMEs in scaling up their businesses, through design, strategy, and execution support.
The scheme has been designed to be a contest that is open to all MSMEs, startups, Indian companies, students, and professionals. Those looking to participate can send in their submissions before February 20. The winners will be announced by the ministry by the end of the month.
The government has recently introduced a number of initiatives and policies that support startups. In fact, the Union Budget 2020, presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday, also consisted of several measures that support MSMEs. In her speech, she highlighted the critical role of innovative technologies like AI, IoT, 3D printing, Drones, Quantum computing, and more, in disrupting established business models and creating news opportunities.
The finance minister also proposed increasing the auditing threshold for MSMEs to Rs 5 crore from Rs 1 crore, and stated that a new seed fund would be established specifically for early-stage startups.