How to get Government financial support for startups through MSME Business Ideas challenge

Do you have unique business ideas for India? Citizens of India can pitch their solutions for a New India for the incubation support offered by the Ministry of MSE, Govt. of India. This article provides complete information on how to participate in the 'Business Ideas for New India' challenge and the eligibility requirements for it.


The Office of Development Commissioner, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Govt. of India invites people to submit an innovative business idea for the challenge under the program 'Support for Entrepreneurial and Managerial Development of MSMEs through Incubators'. You have to essentially submit a feasible solution to a problem under a program that will support entrepreneurial and managerial development through incubators (host institutions). The solution should be a pioneering one in any sector, be it agriculture, security, robotics, healthcare, sports, education, media, textiles, enterprise software, etc. An applicant can apply for one idea only and can submit only one project. The idea must be submitted till 20th February 2020 to be considered for Incubation support under the scheme.

MSME Business Ideas for New India Challenge banner
[Image source: Print advt. in Hindustan Times, Mumbai edition, 3rd February 2020.]

Any professional institute, technical college, a university, an R&D institute, an NGO that is involved in relevant activities, an Entrepreneurs Development Centre (EDCs), an MSME-Development institute or technology centre, or any institute/organization of the Central/State Govt. can apply for HI and set up a Business Incubator (BI). Those who registered under a previous scheme will be required to re-register online. Institutes in the North East Region will be given priority for supporting BIs.

What an Incubatee will get

The selected idea will get working space as well as enterprise support with the development of the idea in a Host Incubator (HI). Seed capital support to the Incubates will be given, with possible financial assistance in the form of a soft loan, an interest-free loan, equity participation, etc.

Additionally, Grant-in-Aid will be provided to the Host Incubator to develop and nurture the selected idea up to Rs.15lakhs. There will also be Grant in Aid (this will be released in two installments) for the HI to procure and install relevant tools and machines including hardware and software etc. which is required for technology-related R&D activities and relevant common facilities for the incubatee of BI.

Eligibility requirements for MSME Business Ideas challenge

Any individual and organization can apply, including students and technocrats. The minimum age criterion is 18 years and only citizens of India can apply. You should be ready to set up a small startup or business or you should already have one. You should also have the ability to lucidly explain the business model and conduct the entrepreneurial opportunity.

Students of the third year and the fourth year of undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduates of professional courses as well as Researchers can also apply. They will be required to submit documentary proof at the time of the presentation.

Note: MSMEs/StartUps/Companies/Student StartUps will be required to provide originals of their documents and registration certificates during the presentation of the Idea.

MSME Business Ideas challenge focus sectors

While the following are indicative sectors to focus on for the startup/business solution, you are welcome to come up with solutions in other fields as well, as long as it is relevant to solving a local problem. The indicative sectors are-
  1. Agricultural related solutions, such as aids for mechanization and for giving a boost to agricultural yields.

  2. Processing, preserving and packaging of agricultural products.

  3. Environment-related solutions, such as alternatives to plastic, e-waste and recycling management, etc.

  4. Water-related solutions, such as recycling of household waste water, using potable water in a cost-effective manner, management of sanitation water, etc.

  5. Renewable Energy solutions, Green transportation through environment-friendly vehicles, energy efficient homes, etc.

  6. Medical devices for prevention diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of illness.

  7. Energy efficiency and automation for industrial manufacturing.

  8. Security, Disaster management, Aeronautics and Defence, and related fields.

How it works

The Selected start-up company/incubatee will be hosted and seeded in the incubator for the duration of one year, for which a part of the Grant will be utilised. Two further extensions can be granted for six months each at a time, as per the discretion of the incubation centre, at an overhead cost which shall be directly borne by the incubatee. You are advised to read the official terms and conditions which determine under what circumstances the start-up company/Incubatee can exit and leave the incubator.

Shortlisted candidates will be evaluated and if necessary a presentation will be called for. Incubators are allowed to evaluate and select 10 ideas, but the final approval may be given only on 20th February 2020.

MSME Business Ideas challenge application procedure

You must submit the complete the application at the official website with all relevant and requisite documents, with your name on each document. An incomplete application and one without supporting enclosures will not be reviewed. From time to time you may also be required to provide additional data or documents in case of any doubts as expressed by the incubation centre or by the National Monitoring and Implementation Unit (NMIU).

When submitting a short film about the idea, you must ensure that it does not violate any provision of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957. It should be such that it can be viewed by all age groups, with no objectionable or provocative content.

You will also have to agree to the terms and conditions, including stating that you are the exclusive owner and sole author of the idea, with the idea being your original creative work. Essentially you are not violating any rights of a third party and/or you have obtained prior written authorization to act on behalf of any co-creators of the idea. There should also be no legal disputes related to the idea.

As for the intellectual property rights of the idea, it is advisable to register the copyright/patent of any intellectual property before you submit your idea. This will ensure the protection of your rights under applicable copyright / IP laws. You will retain the ownership and all rights to the entry itself, but for promotional purposes, the officials may use the entry, photos, and creative materials submitted with the idea.

Important dates

Registration opens: 30th January 2020.
Sensitization / Consultative Workshop for HI/BI: 30th January 2020.
Campaign: 30th January 2020 to 20th Feb 2020.
Scrutiny and shortlisting of applications: 5th February 2020 to 22nd February 2020.
Selection and announcement: 22nd February 2020 to 29th February 2020.


Article by Vandana
Vandana is based in India with over 15 years experience as a freelance writer. Writing, no doubt, is her primary passion! Having learned the art of blogging from ISC, Vandana is enjoying the thrills of blogging, taking pleasure in sharing information & getting good pageviews at her various blogs.

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