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ASPIRE Scheme

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A Scheme for Promotion of Innovation, Rural Industries and Entrepreneurship (ASPIRE) is an initiative of Government of India and promoted by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). It was launched to set up incubation centres and network of technology centres for enhancing entrepreneurship across India. It seeks to promote start-ups for innovation in the agro-industry.

In India, the majority of the population is dependent on the agriculture industry even to this day. The Government introduced many schemes with innovative initiatives, yet poverty and unemployment problems prevail across the country. To curb this, the Government launched this scheme to generate employment and set up enterprises in the agriculture industry.
ASPIRE was launched in 2015 to provide knowledge to the entrepreneurs for starting up their businesses and becoming job providers. It was introduced to create new jobs and promote start-up enterprises for innovation in rural areas and traditional agro-industries.

ASPIRE aims to impart the necessary skill set required for setting up a business enterprise and assist during their critical period to ensure self-sustainability. This scheme also facilitates the available market linkages to the entrepreneurs. It was launched keeping in mind the ‘Make in India’ call, which identifies and creates a favourable ecosystem for encouraging start-ups and driving the manufacturing units and sustained employment opportunities.

Objectives of ASPIRE Scheme

The objectives of ASPIRE are:

  • Creation of new jobs and reducing unemployment
  • Grassroots economic development at the district level
  • Promoting entrepreneurship culture in India
  • Facilitating innovative business solutions for meeting the social needs of the people
  • Promoting innovation for further strengthening the competitiveness in the MSME sector

Scope of ASPIRE

The assistance provided under this scheme is used for the following purposes:

  • Automation of agricultural practices and related activities.
  • Addition of value for agriculture and forest produce.
  • Recycling of agricultural pre/post-harvest wastages, animal husbandry, off-farm but linked to farm activities, etc.
  • Business models for value addition and aggregation relevant for rural areas, for social impact and the generation of local employment in rural areas.

Eligibility for ASPIRE Scheme

The following are eligible for obtaining the benefits under ASPIRE-

  • Any entrepreneur who intends to set up start-ups.
  • Any technical/university/research institutes including those in the field of rural and agro-based industry.
  • All MSMEs with Entrepreneurs Memorandum Registration.
  • Any institute/agency under the Government of India or any State Government in the field of technology, business management, rural development and entrepreneur development or any body corporate under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode can set up Livelihood Business Incubation (LBI).
  • Any existing incubation centres operating under different Ministries and Departments of Government of India and institutions which include National/Regional level institutions of Government of India or any State Government for setting up centres dedicated to incubation and enterprise creation in the area of agro-based industries.
  • Any new incubation centres to be set up by eligible private institutions including industry associations along with academic institutions, universities, government entities, R&D laboratories and technology parks.

The application for this scheme is to be submitted to the Aspire Scheme Steering Committee of the Ministry of MSME. Scheme Steering Committee is responsible for coordination, overall policy and management support.

Components of ASPIRE Scheme

The components of this scheme are-

Livelihood Business Incubation (LBI)

The main objective of Livelihood Business Incubation is setting up business incubators to incubate, provide skill development training to youth, impart entrepreneurship and facilitate funding for empowering the entrepreneurs to set up their business enterprises. The main focus of these incubators is creating jobs at the local level and reducing unemployment. These incubators create a favourable ecosystem for the development of entrepreneurship in the country. The LBI’s create enterprises on a large scale by taking up those commercial activities which are already established.

Technology Business Incubation (TBI)

Technology Business Incubators are an effective economic development tool. TBI promotes the growth of an enterprise through the application of technology, innovation and supporting economic development strategies for small business development. They also encourage growth in local economies and provide mechanisms for technology transfer.
The TBI’s mainly focus on those technologies that require support for commercialisation and future proliferation. The programmes under TBI include support and setting up incubation centres, incubation of ideas, creation of business enterprises out of innovative ideas and accelerator programmes for incubators.

Start-up Promotion through Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI)

The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) enables ideas/innovations that have creativity and scalability to come ahead and convert these into commercially viable enterprises within a specified period with specific outcomes through innovative means of finance. The innovative means of finance of SIDBI include equity, quasi-equity, venture capital fund, angel fund, challenge fund, impact fund, etc. A fund of funds is also created under SIDBI for achieving the purpose of converting ideas/innovations into commercially viable enterprises.

This component targets knowledge initiatives which require support and nurture to succeed in the development of technology. It also targets the business enterprises in the areas of innovation, accelerator support in Agro-based Industry vertices, entrepreneurship and forward-backwards linkage with multiple value chains of manufacturing and service delivery.

Nature of Assistance under ASPIRE

The nature of assistance provided under ASPIRE are-

  • For the LBI which is to be set up by – National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) or – Coir Board or – Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) or – Any other institution or agency of the Government of India/ State Government on its own or by any agency

A one time grant of 100% of the cost of Plant and Machinery other than infrastructure and land or an amount of up to Rs.100 lakh, whichever is less is provided.

  • For setting up of incubation centres under PPP mode with – National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) or – Coir Board or – Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) or – Any other institution or agency of the Government of India/ State Government on its own or by any agency

A one time grant of 50% of the cost of Plant and Machinery other than infrastructure and land or an amount of up to Rs.50 lakh, whichever is less is provided.

  • For supporting existing incubation centres under TBI by various Ministries or Departments or Government funded institutions such as – Department of Science & Technology – Department of Biotechnology – The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) – The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)

A one time grant of 50% of Plant and Machinery other than infrastructure and land or an amount of up to Rs.30 lakh, whichever is less is provided to set up centres dedicated to enterprise creation and incubation in the area of Agro-based Industry.

  • For setting up of new incubation centres under TBI by eligible agencies dedicated to enterprise creation and incubation in the area of Agro-based Industry, a one time grant of 50% of Plant and Machinery other than infrastructure and land or an amount of up to Rs.100 lakh, whichever is less is provided.

Funding Pattern Of ASPIRE

The budget of 2014-2015 allocated a corpus of Rs.200 crore to ASPIRE. The budget of 2019 proposed to set up 80 LBI and 20 TBI in 2019-20 under this scheme. The allocation of the corpus of this scheme are as follows-

Sl.NoItemsAmount
1Creation, maintenance and updation of the database of the Technology Centres networkRs.2 crore
2Capacity Building, including Engagement of Consultants, Surveys, Awards, Exposure Visits,  Studies, Monitoring and Evaluation, etc.Rs.17.75 crore
3Fund for setting up of Incubation Centres by NSIC, Coir Board, KVIC or any other institution or agency of the Government of India/State GovernmentRs.62.50 crore
4Fund for setting up of Technology Incubation Centres (TBI)Rs.61.50 crore
5Administrative cost @ 10% of the item mentioned in the 3rd row of this table aboveRs.6.25 crore
6Fund of Funds for Start-ups to be managed by SIDBIRs.60 crore

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