IIM Calcutta launches incubator program for women-led businesses in rural Assam

Guwahati: IIM Calcutta Innovation Park collaborated with Assam State Rural Livelihood Mission (ASRLM) to launch the National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP) Incubator Program in Assam.

The program is led by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) and is a one-of-a-kind initiative that aims to strengthen women-owned or women-led businesses in rural pockets, helping them unlock their growth potential and create more local employment opportunities. In the process.

Over the years, Self-Help Group (SHG)-led businesses have become an important livelihood creator in rural India and have contributed significantly to its socio-economic development.

IIM Calcutta Innovation Park is responsible for implementing the program by setting up an incubation model designed exclusively to support these rural women-led businesses in the non-agricultural sector and turn them into role models for the rest.

The 20-month program will support 150 SHG-led rural businesses with funds of up to Rs. 10 lakhs in the form of grant or interest-free loans, market connection, financial linkage, promotion and visibility, and high-quality training and business support from the IIM Calcutta Innovation Park. This in turn should help companies achieve annual revenue growth of at least 15%.

The application portal for the program was unveiled by Krishna Baruah, ACS, State Mission Director, ASRLMS, during a launch event held at Assam Startup – The Nest on Monday.

In her remarks, the State Mission Director urged the ASRLM District Project Managers present at the event to make proactive efforts and ensure a meticulous selection process so that rural growth enterprises promising ones are selected for the incubation program.

Dr. Subhrangshu Sanyal, Managing Director of IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, encouraged the co-creation of a pioneering model for rural development by combining the business expertise and network of the B-School incubator with access and the background experience of ASRLM officials in working with rural entrepreneurs on the ground. “Let’s create models from rural Assam. Let Assam show the country how rural entrepreneurship can be done,” Dr Sanyal said.

The NRETP Incubator Program will play a pioneering role in enhancing holistic development through grassroots penetration and facilitation of innovations to address some of the key challenges plaguing the rural livelihood development sector in India.

Also read: Assam maintains downward COVID-19 trend with 13 new cases



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