ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Entrepreneurship at the Grassroots

Taking the view that the official practice of clubbing medium, small, and microenterprises in one category is not sound, this study points out that these categories are substantially different from each other in terms of size, structure, resources, and business perspectives. Microenterprises, in particular, represent a different ecosystem whose nuances must be understood carefully so as to provide suitable inputs for an effective policy on them.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of ‘Startup India’

Promoting high-tech entrepreneurship is widely accepted as a catalyst for economic growth, but outside of developed countries, there has been little independent assessment of these policies. Using a comprehensive set of data sources, we provide the first assessment of the “Startup India” programme launched in 2016. We find that Startup India has had a positive impact in reducing regional entrepreneurial disparities but has been less successful in providing financial support through its fund of funds for startups. Furthermore, the policy has failed to recognise and address the under-representation of marginalised caste groups and women entrepreneurs in the Indian start-up ecosystem.

An Imbalanced Ecosystem

The rapid development of various institutions supporting company creation in India has the potential to generate economic growth, innovation, and economic development. However, this article shows that the start-up ecosystem has unevenly developed across cities and economic sectors, and has failed to empower the overall population, so far. Using a comprehensive database on start-ups retrieved from Tracxn, a business data and analytics company, the authors find that venture capital concentrates amongst graduates stemming from a handful of prestigious education institutes in India and abroad. The article analyses the role of entrepreneurship policies and argues for a shift of focus and resources towards the building of a more inclusive start-up ecosystem.
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