ASPIRE Scheme or Scheme for Promotion of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Agro-Industry is promoted by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. In the 2014-15 Budget, the Hon’ble Finance Minister announced that “To establish Technology Centre Network to promote Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Agro-Industry, I propose to set up a fund with a corpus of Rs.200 crore.” and ”A nationwide “District level Incubation and Accelerator Programme” would be taken up for incubation of new ideas and providing necessary support for accelerating entrepreneurship.”. The ASPIRE Scheme is a result of that announcement aimed at Promoting Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Agro-Industry.
Development of the rural economy has been one of the prime concerns for Government of India. Accordingly, efforts have been made on a continuous basis for improving the economic and social well-being of people in rural areas on a sustainable basis. Despite the sincere efforts, the problems of poverty, unemployment, drudgery and migration still exist in rural economy. There is a need to address these problems by creating employment opportunities in the rural areas and this could be done by setting up of small enterprises in the Agro- based industry sector more so as nearly 56% of the population is still dependent on agriculture. There is ample scope for innovation, value addition and entrepreneurship development in this sector. This is possible only by skill up-gradation, handholding, mentoring, incubation and credit support aimed especially at rural youth and women providing them employment opportunities in rural areas. The ASPIRE Scheme is aimed at solving this problem and creating employment opportunities through entrepreneurship in rural areas.
The main objectives of the ASPIRE scheme are:
The ASPIRE Scheme fund has a Rs.200 crore corpus, which will be dedicated for the following uses:
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