ASPIRE Yojana is a scheme under the Indian Government to promote innovation, entrepreneurship, and Agro-industry. ASPIRE Yojana is announced by the Ministry of Micro, Small, and medium enterprises. Coir, khadi, bamboo, and other traditional industries are prominent means of livelihood for millions of Indians’. However, unemployment is on the rise amidst the coronavirus. ASPIRE is the hope for these industries in the current scenario.
The MSME ministry has been adamant about implementing A Scheme for Promotion of Innovation; Rural Industry & Entrepreneurship (ASPIRE Scheme) for creating new jobs in traditional and agri-based industries. The ASPIRE Yojana aims to promote India’s entrepreneurship culture, boost grassroots economic development at the district level, facilitate innovative business solutions for unmet social needs, and promote innovation to strengthen the MSME sector’s competitiveness further.
As we can see this far, the plan of ASPIRE Yojana is inclined towards MSMEs. MSMEs being the backbone of the Indian economy must be guarded with implementing tools for their growth and development in the long run. ASPIRE Yojana acts as a catalytic factor for MSMEs. Despite multiple schemes, regulations, and measures, few tools are still missing to overcome the emerging issue of unemployment, poverty, and migration. The scheme’s main aim is to secure employment in the MSMEs and maintain stability by ensuring a rural crowd’s livelihood.
ASPIRE Yojana got launched back in the year 2015. In the year 2015, our Hon’ble Finance Minister announced, “To establish Technology Centre Network to promote Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Agro-Industry. The Government of India proposed to set up a fund with a corpus of Rs.200 crore. Under the scheme,” A nationwide “A District level Incubation and Accelerator Program” would be taken up to incubate new ideas.
The scheme shall be providing support for accelerating entrepreneurship. The ASPIRE Yojana is a result of the announcement aimed at promoting innovation, Entrepreneurship, and agro-industry. The ASPIRE Yojanaprovides the necessary skill set for setting up a business and facilitating the market linkages available to the entrepreneurs. Last but not least, it includes hand holding for a critical period to ensure self-sustainability.
The development of the rural economy is the prime concern for the Government of India. Accordingly, efforts were initiated to improve the economic and social well-being of people in rural areas. Despite the sincere efforts, poverty, unemployment, and migration still exist in the rural economy. It is the sheer need to address these issues by creating employment opportunities in rural areas. We can solve this issue by setting up small enterprises in the Agro-based industry sector more.
There is a plethora of scope for innovation, value addition, and entrepreneurship development in the small sector. It is possible only by skill up-gradation, handholding, mentoring, incubation, and credit support aimed especially at rural youth and women, providing them employment opportunities in rural areas. The ASPIRE Yojana aims at solving the problem and creating employment opportunities through entrepreneurship in rural areas.
The primary objective of the ASPIRE Yojana is to enhance the wave of entrepreneurship culture across the Nation. However, other aims and objectives shall include:
All of the objectives of the ASPIRE Yojana mentioned above are interlinked. The Government is using different tools and methods to achieve these objectives. There are various ongoing programs to utilize the available tools in isolation to acquire one or more of the goals in one go.
The ASPIRE Yojana fund has an Rs.200 crore corpus, dedicated for the following uses:
The ASPIRE Yojana aims at strengthening the base of MSMEs. It does so by implementing incubation and commercialization of the Business Ideas Programme through some technical/research institutes, including those in the agro-based industry. These would be designated as Knowledge Partners & would help incubate new/existing technologies for commercialization.
ASPIRE Yojana includes three major components, i.e., Livelihood Business Incubators (LBI), Technology Business Incubators (TBI), & funds to be managed by Small Industries Bank of India (SIDBI).
We shall look into details of the various components of ASPIRE Yojana and its working mechanism:
The main aim/objective of LBIs is to create job opportunities at the local level & reduce the unemployment rate by creating a favorable ecosystem for entrepreneurship in our country. The primary focus area under LBI is to take up those commercial activities that are need-based and help create enterprises in the country’s rural areas.
The LBI is implemented through the National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), Coir Board, or any other institution/agency of the Central or State government. These organizations will promote entrepreneurship and skill development and pursue live demo projects. Its significant area is taking up commercial activities and leading it for the betterment of society.
As per the government guidelines on ASPIRE, such centers will see a one-time grant of 100 percent of the cost of page two plant & machinery (other than the land & infrastructure, or an amount up to INR 100 lakh, whichever is less) provided by the Government.
Private partner institutions can also set up livelihood incubation centers under PPP mode with the institutions above, namely, NSIC, KVIC, or Coir Board, or any other institution/agency of Government of India/State government. A one-time grant of 50 percent of the plant and machinery be provided in the current case. A total number of 150 such centers are in the pipeline to be set up under this component, with an estimated INR 135 crore’s estimated financial outgo.
The Ministry of MSME under ASPIRE supports the existing incubation centers, currently operating under different ministries and departments of India’s Government. It includes national/regional level institutions of GoI/State governments to set up centers dedicated to incubation & enterprise creation in the area of agro-based industries. The ministry supports Technology Business Incubators to encourage enterprise technology innovations with the incubators’ existing infrastructure.
The ministry helps set up new incubation centers by eligible institutions, including industry associations, R&D laboratories, universities, other government entities, and technology parks.
A one-time grant of 50 percent of the plant and machinery cost supports 20 existing incubation centers under different ministries to set up centers dedicated to incubation and enterprise creation agro-based industry. Also, a one-time grant of 50 percent of the cost of plant and machinery (excluding the land & infrastructure, or an amount up to INR 100 lakh, whichever is less) provided for setting up of new incubation centers by eligible agencies dedicated to incubation and enterprise creation in the agro-based industry.
SIDBI handles funds. The ASPIRE fund under SIDBI with a corpus fund of INR 60 crore is to be augmented with INR 250 crore, making the total corpus worth INR 310 crore. The ‘Fund of Funds’ is utilized by SIDBI to contribute to various venture capital funds (currently known as Alternative Investment Fund, or AIF) for investing in start-ups or early-stage enterprises. Under ASPIRE Yojana, investment by AIF is made only in rural & agro-focused companies, not in companies that are exclusively information technology enterprises. The start-up promotion targets those knowledge initiatives that require support & nurturing to succeed in developing technology and business enterprises in innovation, entrepreneurship, forward and backward linkages, etc. in the agro-based industry.
In the year 2014-2016, 80 Livelihood business incubators were to be set up by NSIC, KVIC, or Coir Board or any other agency of GoI/State Govt. on its own or by any agency for the promotion of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Agro-Industry organization of the M/o MSME.
The Budget 2019 proposed to set up 80 livelihood business incubators & 20 technology business incubators in 2019-20 under the ASPIRE Yojana. “The primary aim is to develop and train 75,000 skilled entrepreneurs in agro-rural industries,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said.
ASPIRE Yojana acts as a driving factor for the Agriculture sector reforms. The agriculture sector provides food for approximately 1.3 million people in India and supports over 60 percent of their daily living. The Agricultural industry plays an essential role in the sustainable growth of the country’s economy. Initially, agriculture got looked down on as a low-tech industry with limited dynamics, primarily controlled by many small families. Over the years, it paid attention to improving crop yield rather than looking at it as a money-making module.
Due to the prime importance of the Agricultural sector in our Nation, there is a need to bring transformation by efficient schemes and tools. They need to consider their agriculture as their businesses. Entrepreneurship must be encouraged in agriculture as innovation would help farmers improve crop productivity and create new avenues for rural youth.
Entrepreneurship under ASPIRE Yojana involves entrepreneurial skills, models, and innovative ideas. The scheme mitigates issues in the farm sector and increases its profitability with sustainable, community-oriented, legitimate farm practices. It is not just an opportunity but an imperative to achieve the Government’s target of doubling agriculture income by 2022 by integrating the latest technology & innovation.
Agriculture entrepreneurship can help face information dissemination, farm management, capital availability, mechanization of farms, and the agriculture supply chain. There are some successful examples of transforming agriculture practices with technology in the US, China, and Israel. The countries have demonstrated an assortment of technology to increase productivity and farm incomes, says a report put by the National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management, which comes under the Agriculture Ministry.
Agri-tech start-ups have many opportunities to solve critical farm-related challenges. These opportunities range from availing a fair price to the farmer to many other yield estimation mechanisms. The Agricultural Entrepreneurship is useful for farmers to boost productivity by removing inefficiencies.
Agricultural entrepreneurship acts as a stepping stone to success for small entrepreneurs. The ASPIRE Yojana plays an active role in motivating many rural people to take up Agricultural entrepreneurship considering its scope.
All the traditional enterprises, MSMEs, and other small sectors and start-ups are eligible for benefits under ASPIRE Yojana. MSMEs must have an Entrepreneurs Memorandum (EM) registration to avail of the services of ASPIRE Yojana.
The application is required to be sent to the ASPIRE Yojana Steering Committee, Ministry of MSME. The Scheme Steering Committee shall be responsible for overall policy, coordination, management, support, etc. Secretary, Ministry of MSME shall chair the council. The entire application process shall be dealt with by the committee itself, and the enterprises shall benefit if they fulfill the eligibility criteria.
The Aatmnirbhar Sena plays an exemplary role in providing constant and everlasting assistance to the curious entrepreneurs for availing benefits of ASPIRE Yojana. We are a full-fledged organization with services like LLP Registration, Company Registration, GST Registration, Copyright Registration, ISO Registration, Trademark registration, FSSAI License, etc. We are aiding and supporting budding entrepreneurs who wish to opt for ASPIRE Yojana. We shall lay our guidance at each step till they have their dreams turned into reality. We have been organizing professional workshops to train the entrepreneurs for a better tomorrow. We conduct vocational training and sessions for those who wish to avail of the fruits of ASPIRE Yojana and secure their lives. We are a link between budding entrepreneurs and ASPIRE Yojana. We extend our services to make people in general aware of the benefits of the scheme.