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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.
The objectives of ASPIRE are:
The assistance provided under this scheme is used for the following purposes:
The following are eligible for obtaining the benefits under ASPIRE-
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.
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.
The nature of assistance provided under ASPIRE are-
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.
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.
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.
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-
|1||Creation, maintenance and updation of the database of the Technology Centres network||Rs.2 crore|
|2||Capacity Building, including Engagement of Consultants, Surveys, Awards, Exposure Visits, Studies, Monitoring and Evaluation, etc.||Rs.17.75 crore|
|3||Fund for setting up of Incubation Centres by NSIC, Coir Board, KVIC or any other institution or agency of the Government of India/State Government||Rs.62.50 crore|
|4||Fund for setting up of Technology Incubation Centres (TBI)||Rs.61.50 crore|
|5||Administrative cost @ 10% of the item mentioned in the 3rd row of this table above||Rs.6.25 crore|
|6||Fund of Funds for Start-ups to be managed by SIDBI||Rs.60 crore|