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Pankaj Tyagi
| Updated: 30 May, 2022 | Category: MSME

ASPIRE Scheme: Everything You Need to Know

ASPIRE Scheme
Reading Time: 5 minutes

ASPIRE is an abbreviation for the A Scheme for Promotion of Innovation, Rural Industries and Entrepreneurship. GOI has launched this scheme in association with the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). It came to effect to establish a network of technology centers and incubation centers for improving entrepreneurship pan India. It seeks to advocate start-ups operating in the agro sector.

Reasons for introducing ASPIRE Scheme

In India, the majority of the populace is dependent on the agriculture sector even to this day. The GOI has launched various schemes with innovative initiatives, yet unemployment and poverty prevail nationwide. To counter these severe problems, the GOI introduced the ASPIRE scheme to create job opportunities and establish entities in the agriculture sector.

  • ASPIRE came to effect in 2015 to provide knowledge to aspiring entrepreneurs for commencing their businesses and creating jobs.
  • ASPIRE aims to create new employment opportunities and advocate start-up entities for innovation in rural regions and conventional agro-industries.
  • ASPIRE envisages rendering the necessary skill set required to establish an enterprise and aid during their critical period to ensure self-sustainability.
  • This scheme ensures the availability of required market linkages to entrepreneurs. It was released under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, which specifies and underpins a viable ecosystem for advocating start-ups and driving the production facilities and sustained job opportunities.

ASPIRE Scheme: Underlying Objectives

  • New jobs creation and undermining unemployment
  • Economic development from the Grassroots level
  • Advocating the culture of entrepreneurship
  • Ensuring the availability of unique business solutions for catering to the social needs of the people.
  • Promoting innovation for improving the MSME sector’s competitiveness

Scope of ASPIRE Scheme

The assistance provided under ASPIRE is utilized for the given purposes;

  • Embedding automation into the agricultural practices
  • Inclusion of value for forest and agri produce
  • Recycling of wastages coming from agricultural pre/post-harvest,
  • Revival of animal husbandry, off-farm but associated with farm-related undertakings, etc.
  • Business models for value addition
  • Aggregation is relevant for social impact for rural areas and the creation of employment in the rural area

Eligibility criteria for accessing the benefits of ASPIRE Scheme

The followings are the eligible for accessing the benefits under ASPIRE-

  • Any entrepreneur who wants to establish start-up;
  • Any research institutes/universities including those functioning in the rural and agro-based sector
  • Entrepreneurs Memorandum Registration holders
  • Any government institute/agency or any State Government in the field of business management, business management, entrepreneur development and rural development or anybody corporate under PPP, i.e. Public-Private Partnership mode, can establish LBI, i.e. Livelihood Business Incubation.
  • Any prevailing incubation centres functioning under different government departments and institutions, which include Regional/National level institutions of GOI or any State government for establishing incubation centres in the region of agro-based industries.
  • Any new incubation facility to be established by eligible private entities, including industry associations, universities, academic institutions, R&D laboratories, and technology parks.
  • The application for ASPIRE scheme is to be filed with the Aspire Scheme Steering Committee. Steering Committee is liable for overall policy, coordination, and management support.

Components of ASPIRE Scheme

The components of this scheme are-

Livelihood Business Incubation (LBI)

The primary objective of LBI is to establish business incubators to;

  • Facilitate skill development training for young entrepreneurs
  • Impart entrepreneurship
  • Facilitate funding to entrepreneurs for business establishment

The centralized focus of such incubators is generating employment at the local level.

These incubators underpin a viable ecosystem for entrepreneurship’s development across the nation.

The LBIs set up enterprises on a significant scale via commercial activities, which are already in effect.

Technology Business Incubation (TBI)

Technology Business Incubators, i.e. TBIs, refer to a productive economic development tool. TBI aims to promote the growth of an enterprise via innovation, technology and supporting economic development planning for small business development

They also incentivize growth in local economies and facilitate methods for technology transfer. The TBIs primarily emphasize those technologies that require aid for commercialization and future proliferation.

The programmes under TBI include the establishment of incubation centres, incubation of innovative ideas, and creation of newer enterprises backed by innovative know-how & accelerator programmes for incubators.

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

The SIDBI, i.e. Small Industries Development Bank of India[1], support ideas that are unique and have the potential to turn into commercially viable enterprises within a specified duration with specific outcomes via innovative means of finance.

SIDBI’s innovative means of finance include the following;

  • quasi-equity
  • equity
  • venture capital fund
  • impact fund
  • angel fund
  • challenge fund

A fund of funds (FoFs) is created under SIDBI for fulfilling the object of transforming ideas into commercially viable enterprises.

This component emphasizes knowledge initiatives that seek to bolster success in the technology’s evolution. Besides, it also focuses on the following;

  • Businesses in the areas of innovation
  • Accelerator aid in Agro-based Industry vertices
  • entrepreneurship and forward-backwards linkage with diverse value chains of service delivery and manufacturing

What is the type of assistance provided under the ASPIRE scheme?

One-time disbursement of 100 per cent of the cost of Plant and Machinery (excluding infrastructure and land) or the sum of Rs.100 lakh, whichever is lower, shall be provided for LBI, which is to be established by;

  • Coir Board or;
  • National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) or;
  • Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) or;
  • Any government agency, either central or state-driven

1. A one-time disbursement of 50 per cent of the cost of Plant & Machinery (excluding infrastructure and land) or the sum of up to Rs.50 lakh, whichever is less, is provided for establishing incubation centres under PPP mode with;

  • National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) or;
  • Coir Board or;
  • Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) or;
  • Any other government institution or agency, either central or state-driven

2. A one-time disbursement of 50 per cent of Plant & Machinery (excluding infrastructure and land) or a sum of up to thirty lakhs rupees, whichever is less, is provided to establish centres dedicated to incubation & enterprise creation and in the domain of the Agri sector. The said credit shall also be provided for supporting existing incubation centres falling under TBI by various Departments or Ministries or Government-backed institutions such as;

  • Department of Science & Technology
  • Department of Biotechnology
  • International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics
  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)

3. A one-time disbursement of 50 per cent of Plant & Machinery (excluding infrastructure and land) or the sum of up to Rs.100 lakh, whichever is lower, is provided for establishing new incubation facilities under TBI by qualified departments aiming for enterprise creation and incubation in the domain of Agro sector.

Funding Pattern Of ASPIRE Scheme

The budget of 2014-2015 earmarked the funding worth Rs.200 crore to ASPIRE. The budget of 2019 envisaged establishing 80 LBI and 20 TBI in 2019-20 under ASPIRE scheme. The following table depicts the corpus allocation for this scheme.

Sl.No Items Amount (INR)
1 Creation, maintenance & advancement of the database of the Technology facilities network 2 crore
2 Capacity Building, including Engagement of Surveys, Consultants, Exposure Visits, Awards, Studies, tracking & Evaluation, etc. 17.75 crore
3 Fund for establishing of Incubation facilities by NSIC, Coir Board, KVIC or any other agency of the GOI/State Government 62.50 crore
4 Fund for establishing of Technology Incubation facilities (TBI) 61.50 crore
5 Administrative cost @ 10 percent of the product cited in the 3rd row of this table above .6.25 crore
6 Fund of Funds (FoFs)for Start-ups to be administered by SIDBI 60 crore

Conclusion

The primary objective of the ASPIRE scheme is to underpin the network of incubation and technology centers to speed up the wave of entrepreneurship nationwide. Also, it aims to encourage and support startups for innovation in Agro sector.

Read our Article:What are The Government Schemes Launched by MSME?

Pankaj Tyagi

Pankaj has a diverse experience of writing research papers, blog, and articles during his college time. Earlier, he was working as a tax consultant in a financial firm, but his interest in writing drives him to pursue a career in the writing field.

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