The West Bengal government has been proactively promoting new ventures by first-time entrepreneurs. A new chapter began with the announcement last January of the setting up of a corpus of Rs 200 crore for helping less-resourceful entrepreneurs make their dreams come true.
The corpus has the contribution of the state government, SIDBI Venture Capital (SVCL), the wholly-owned asset management company of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), an independent financial institution aimed to aid the growth and development of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs), and other private investors. The state government has contributed Rs 100 crore, or 50% of the fund, to the kitty, SVCL, Rs 30 crore, or 15% of the fund, and private investors the rest.
Later, the West Bengal government came up with a plan to help the entrepreneurs to spend the money wisely. For this, it tied up with IIM Calcutta’s start-up incubation centre, called IIM-C Innovation Park (IICP). The two entities will hand-hold the entrepreneurs through the entire process – from screening the proposals to suggesting suitable modifications to the plans to make them commercially viable.
A website has also been created especially for this purpose – www.msmebengalinvest.in. A potential entrepreneur can log in to the website and submit the proposal which will later be screened by the IICP.
The National Stock Exchange (NSE) has also been roped in by the government, to enable the small and medium enterprises to help raise money from the market. NSE will provide these companies with necessary support and know-how to take them to the level of coming up with IPOs.
To add to these efforts, now the state government has now come up with another idea – a television show called ‘Egiye Bangla’ (or, ‘Bengal Ahead’). The show will target young entrepreneurs with unique business ideas and help them to achieve their dreams. To make it a hit, no stone is being left unturned. The show is going to be hosted by one of the favorite sons of Bengal – former national cricket team captain and Indian Super League team co-owner, Sourav Ganguly. The theme of the show is ‘Shilpa Korun, Bangla Gorun’ (‘Create Industry, Build Bengal’).
The episode winners will be able to apply directly to the state government’s Rs 200 crore corpus mentioned earlier. Suitable ideas will get the venture capital funding.
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