IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, in collaboration with Assam State Rural Livelihood Mission (ASRLM), launched the National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP) Incubator Program in Assam led by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD).
A first of its kind initiative, the program aims to strengthen women-owned or women-led enterprises in the rural pockets, help them unleash their growth potential and create more local employment opportunities in the process.
Over the years, the Self Help Group (SHG) driven enterprises have emerged as a large livelihood creator in rural India and have contributed significantly to its socio-economic development.
IIM Calcutta Innovation Park is entrusted to implement the program by setting up an incubation model designed exclusively to support these women-led rural enterprises in the non-farm sector and turn them into role models for the rest to follow.
The 20-month program will support 150 SHG-led rural enterprises with funds up to Rs. 10 lakhs in form of a grant or interest-free loans, market connect, financial linkage, promotion and visibility, and high-quality training and business support from IIM Calcutta Innovation Park. This in turn is expected to help the enterprises achieve at least 15% annual growth in revenue.
The NRETP Incubator Program will play a pioneering role in reinforcing comprehensive development through grassroots penetration and facilitating innovations to resolve some of the key challenges infesting the rural livelihood development sector of India.
The application portal for the Program was unveiled by Smti Krishna Baruah, ACS, State Mission Director, ASRLMS, during a launch event organised at Assam Startup – The Nest today.
In her address, the State Mission Director urged the District Project Managers of ASRLM attending the event to make proactive efforts and ensure a meticulous screening process so that the most promising rural growth enterprises are selected for the incubation program.
Dr Subhrangshu Sanyal, the Chief Executive Officer of IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, encouraged the co-creation of a pioneering model for rural development by combining the B-School Incubator’s business expertise and network with the ASRLM officials’ grassroots access and experience of working with the rural entrepreneurs on the ground.
"Let us create role models from rural Assam. Let Assam show the country how rural entrepreneurship can be done,” Dr Sanyal said.
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