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What Economic Survey 2020-21 says about India’s Startup Ecosystem

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According to the Economic Survey 2020-21, tabled in Parliament on Friday, the government acknowledged 41,061 start-ups as of December 23, 2020. Of that, 4,70,000 jobs have been identified by more than 39,000 startups, the survey said, without disclosing data.

India is currently home to the third-largest start-up ecosystem in the world, with 38 companies valued at over $1 billion, or what are referred to as unicorns. In 2020, amid the damage to the economy caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the nation minted about 12 such unicorns.

There are more than 40 start-ups working on space and satellite projects with funding, teams, and structure, with the government opening up the space sector to private players, the survey said, citing industry estimates.

It also noted that in the coming years, the number is expected to increase further as technology plays a big role in unlocking the space potential of the country.

The government has taken several steps in recent years to help start-ups, including the expansion of the concept of start-ups, the simplification of regulations, the provision of income tax exemptions, and the creation of a Rs 10,000 crore fund for start-ups run by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi).

Sidbi has pledged Rs 4,326.95 crore to 60 Sebi-registered alternative investment funds as of 1 December 2020. (AIFs).

The survey said these funds raised a corpus of Rs 31,598 crore, extracted Rs 1,270.46 crore from the Fund of Venture Funds, and invested Rs 4,509.16 crore in 384 startups.

It also noted that income tax exemptions have been given to about 319 start-ups until November 2020.

The government also approved the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) with a corpus of Rs 945 crore on Friday to provide startups with financial assistance for proof of concept, prototype creation, product testing, market-entry, and marketing.

In 2017, Startup Yatra, a Startup India initiative to hunt for entrepreneurial talent in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, was carried out in 207 districts across 23 states, affecting 78,346 aspiring entrepreneurs.

A total of 1,424 incubation offers were offered to startups as part of this initiative, the survey noted.

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Written by Jasspreet Kaur

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