Sambalpur, February 2024.

Today marks a momentous occasion in India’s pursuit of fostering entrepreneurship and empowering its workforce with the launch of the RashtriyaUdyamitaVikasPariyojana by Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Minister of Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Govt of India, in the city of Sambalpur, Odisha. The initiative was also launched virtually by the Hon’ble Minister across 9cities including Bhopal, Kanpur, Indore, Varanasi, Bharatpur, Shillong, Silchar, Dibrugarh, and Guwahati, emphasizing the nationwidescope of this initiative.

Tailored specifically for beneficiaries of the PM SVANidhi scheme, this unique National Entrepreneurship Development Project underscores the government’s steadfast commitment to nurturing job providers across the nation.The RashtriyaUdyamitaVikasPariyojana aims to equip individuals with comprehensive entrepreneurship training, aligning with the vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi of creating job providers rather than job seekers. Recognizing the imperative to adapt to the evolving job market, this initiative focuses on reskilling and upskilling employees to enhance their competitiveness and adaptability in an era of disruptive technology.

The inauguration ceremony also witnessed the esteemed presence of key dignitaries, including Shri Atul Kumar Tiwari, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Shri Rahul Kapoor, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Dr. Tafheem Uddin Siddiqui, Director of Policy, Flipkart Group and Smt. Hena Usman, Joint Secretary, MSDE.

The RashtriyaUdyamitaVikasPariyojana will offer comprehensive entrepreneurship training in over a period of 22 weeks, combining theoretical knowledge with practical exposure through experiential learning. The training will be conducted through offline, online, and hybrid modes, with certificates awarded upon completion, enhancing the course’s credibility and value.

At the launch, Hon’ble Minister of Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan said, “Launch of National Entrepreneurship Development Project for the beneficiaries of PM SvanidhiYojana from Sambalpur, the holy land of Samlei, will help the street vendors and small shopkeepers to become more skilled and will empower them. Under this scheme, the Government of India has partnered with Flipkart to skill street vendors and small shopkeepers. Under the pilot program, street vendors and brothers and sisters of 10 big cities of the country will be given a stipend along with training to expand their businesses.

He further said, “After 75 years of independence, with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the country has got a leader who has taken care of the small vendors and businesses. Today, lakhs of such small shopkeepers and traders are becoming self-reliant with the easy loans of Pradhan MantriSvanidhiYojana. Small shopkeepers and street vendors are getting loans at low interest only on the guarantee of Modi ji. Where there is a double engine government, loans are available even at zero interest. This is the strength of the double engine government. If a double engine government is formed in Odisha too, arrangements will be made to give loans at zero interest. The brothers and sisters who earn their living from small businesses are Modi ji’s priority. It is Modi ji’s guarantee to make the small businessmen of the country big and empower them, including the ones who belong to Sambalpur and Odisha.”

During the event, Hon’ble Union Minister interacted with the beneficiaries of the PM Svanidhi scheme from the ten States. These beneficiaries shared their experiences on how the scheme serves as a catalyst in receiving industry-relevant skill training from renowned organizations and propelling theirbusinesses to newer heights.

An inspiring story of the beneficiary from Varanasi, who owns a cloth shop shared the transformative impact of the scheme on his entrepreneurial journey. Through the scheme, he accessed the loan thrice which empowered him to procure clothes in wholesale and subsequently offered them to large audience at competitive pricing. Another beneficiary from Sambalpur expressed that while he has already availed the benefits under the scheme, the upcoming training from partnering companies will play a pivotal role in expanding his reach to a wider geographical market. He further added that the scheme in itself is a Modi Guarantee and the tangible impact of the initiative in creating economic opportunities and nurturing a thriving business ecosystem is a testament.

A boutique owner hailing from Kanpur also shared her transformative experience empowered by the PM Svanidhi scheme. Twice supported with financial support, she took forward her boutique through two rounds of loans, first Rs. 10,000 and then Rs. 20,000. She was promised the return of interest directly into her account, Gauri now confidently runs her boutique and has also become poised in accepting digital payments. Her experience is a testament to the huge impact the scheme has had on bringing forward entrepreneurs from all corners of the country.

In the pilot phase, the project will be implemented through 20 Centres of National Institute of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD), Noida and 10 Centres of Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE), Guwahati. NIESBUD and IIE will create a pool of trainers and mentors and invite representatives from government, PSUs, industries, banks, and successful entrepreneurs, for interaction with trainees. The Udyamita Kendra will leverage the expertise and experience of the existing pool of resource persons from renowned institutions such as NIESBUD, IIE  and other training institutions that will contribute in enhancing the wealth of knowledge and practical insights to the entrepreneurship training programs

Hon’ble Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s inauguration of the RashtriyaUdyamitaVikasPariyojana reaffirms the government’s commitment to harnessing the nation’s skill potential and realizing the vision of a “Kushal Bharat – Viksit Bharat.”The project will be piloted initially in selected districts, with a focus on ensuring 40% participation by women. A robust monitoring mechanism will track progress, assess impact, and ensure adherence to quality standards.The launch of this project underscores the government’s multi-faceted approach to skill development, including the modernization of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and the establishment of the Skill India Digital (SID) Platform, providing flexible skilling opportunities accessible nationwide.

With a focus on entrepreneurship promotion, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, NIESBUD, and IIE have collectively trained over 17 lakh individuals in entrepreneurship development programs, marking a significant achievement in India’s journey towards fostering a culture of entrepreneurship.