What Is Aspire Scheme | How Startups Can Benefit From It?

Anik Banerjee Anik Banerjee Atish Ranjan Das Atish Ranjan Das
Sep 27, 2022 5 min read
What Is Aspire Scheme | How Startups Can Benefit From It?

We all aspire to do something huge. Regardless of whether we are a student, a business professional, a startup founder, or an entrepreneur to be, our aspiration is what propelled us to greatness.

The Indian government also realized the importance of our aspirations and has launched the β€œASPIRE” scheme. The naming of the scheme is also entirely significant, which refers to β€œA Scheme for Promotion of Innovation, Rural Industries and Entrepreneurship” when the acronym is expanded.

Coming under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India, the ASPIRE scheme was launched in 2015, and is aimed to help foster entrepreneurship. Like other innovative Government of India schemes that the Modi-led government has launched, the ASPIRE scheme also has a huge potential to improve the industrial sectors and bring in a period of growth for the country. Much like the growth of Indian startups and unicorn companies of India, which make interesting reads, the schemes of India, which strive to gear up for the new age, Atmanirbhar Bharat, shall also be known thoroughly. This is why StartupTalky has come up with this article that is solely dedicated to the ASPIRE scheme of the Indian government.

What is the ASPIRE Scheme?
Objectives of the ASPIRE Scheme
Eligibility for the ASPIRE Scheme
The Goal of ASPIRE | What did the GOI Decide via ASPIRE Scheme?
How can Startups Reap the Benefits of the ASPIRE Scheme?

What is the ASPIRE Scheme?

The ASPIRE scheme is designed to set up a network of technology centers and incubation centers, with which the Indian government wants to accelerate entrepreneurship and also promote startups in India for innovation in the agro-industry.

Furthermore, the scheme is also aimed to provide financial support to set up Livelihood Business Incubators (LBI) or Technology Business Incubators (TBI). The 3 main components of the ASPIRE scheme can be summed up:

  • LBI, or Livelihood Business Incubation - Under this, the ASPIRE scheme will help create jobs at the local level and reduce unemployment there, by building a favorable ecosystem for the entrepreneurial development of the country. The Livelihood Business Incubators would help business incubation, offer skill development to the youth, help them stand as entrepreneurs, and extend adequate funding to the entrepreneurs to set up their enterprises.
  • TBI, or Technology Business Incubation - In this category, the ASPIRE scheme will help the incubators of technology tap into the potential technology-related ideas and innovations by utilizing the existing infrastructure and expertise that are available already with the incubators. TBI would encourage the growth of enterprises through the application of technology and innovation. Besides, it will also support economic development strategies for small business development. Also, the TBI incubators would foster growth in local economies and extend mechanisms for technology transfer.
  • Promotion of Startups via SIDBI referred to as the Small Industries Development Bank of India - SIDBI would usher in creative scalable ideas/innovations and strive to convert them into commercially viable enterprises. A fund of funds is also created under SIDBI, which it can utilize to invest in startups and other early enterprises, thereby converting such ideas/innovations. These investments would only be in the startups that belong to the rural/agro-based industries. There will be no investment for the companies that run on the basis of technology.

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Objectives of the ASPIRE Scheme

The objectives of the Government of India’s ASPIRE scheme can be summed up as:

  • It aims to build new jobs and reduce unemployment
  • The ASPIRE scheme would encourage the entrepreneurship culture in India
  • It aims to further grassroots economic development at the district level
  • It helps facilitate innovative business ideas and solutions for social needs that are unaided or unfulfilled
  • The ASPIRE scheme promotes innovation to further strengthen the competitiveness of the MSME sector
  • It strives to provide monetary aid, which can be utilized to buy plants and machinery other than land and infrastructure, or an amount of INR 100 lakhs, whichever is less.
  • It also aims to provide practical business experiences to the budding entrepreneurs

Eligibility for the ASPIRE Scheme

If you are wondering about β€œwho are eligible for the ASPIRE government of India scheme?” then all the startups and the traditional enterprises are all in luck because are eligible to reap the benefit of the ASPIRE Yojana.

In the union budget of 2019 that was presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the government of India stated that around 80 livelihood businesses and up to 20 technology business incubators will be generating close to 75,000 skilled entrepreneurs in the agro-rural industry industries under the ASPIRE Scheme.

As soon as a company fills out an application for the ASPIRE scheme, it is sent to the committee of the ASPIRE Scheme that deals with such applications under the Ministry of MSME, which is entitled to provide support to any companies/startups who want to learn about the scheme.

Now, after a specific company/startup fulfills all the eligibility criteria for the ASPIRE scheme, the Ministry of the government of India which deals with these schemes proceeds with the general processes and offers all the benefits to the beneficiaries under the scheme.

The Goal of ASPIRE | What did the GOI Decide via ASPIRE Scheme?

Funding Allocation of ASPIRE
Funding Allocation of ASPIRE

Under the ASPIRE scheme, the Government of India wanted to build 80 Livelihood business incubators via NSIC, KVIC or Coir Board, or any other institution/agency of the Central or State government on their own or via any of the agency or scheme. This is to be done with the sole aim of promoting innovation, and entrepreneurship and boosting the growth of the agro-industry.

How can Startups Reap the Benefits of the ASPIRE Scheme?

Both traditional enterprises and startups are eligible for the benefits under the ASPIRE scheme. Now, if you are also associated with enterprises and startups that are eligible for ASPIRE, then you should urge the company to send an application to the ASPIRE Scheme steering committee, which works under the Ministry of MSME. This committee will extend support in the overall policy, coordination, management, and more. It will first deal with the general process and would then percolate the benefits to the enterprises that fulfill the eligibility criteria.


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Conclusion

Looking at the growth of startups and an increasing sense of passion among entrepreneurs, the Indian Government is trying to make as many efforts as possible to support them. Therefore, the ASPIRE Scheme is yet another initiative by the government of India to promote entrepreneurship and innovative startups in the agro-industry. The above article will help you understand the goals and objectives of the scheme, its eligibility criteria, and how startups can take advantage of it.

FAQs

When was ASPIRE Scheme launched and Why?

The ASPIRE scheme was launched in 2015 and is aimed to help foster entrepreneurship.

What does ASPIRE stand for?

ASPIRE stands for A Scheme for Promotion of Innovation, Rural Industries, and Entrepreneurship.

Which Government body controls ASPIRE scheme?

ASPIRE scheme falls under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India.

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