A few initiatives undertaken around the world to promote and sustain startups:
India: ‘Startup India’ initiative was launched to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. Under the Startup India Action Plan, the Government of India has certified 20 private organizations as incubators. The latest to join the incubator list are Nasscom and iSPIRT. As of now, 278 incubators can certify startups. An autonomous body, under the Ministry of Communications and IT (India) is building 1.5 million square feet space across 53 cities in the country. Currently, 65,000 square feet of space is being developed in Gurgaon, ready to be handed over to STPI while 1.4 lakh sq. ft building area at Mohali, Chandigarh is under construction. Moreover around 1.25 lakh sq. ft of space is coming up in Bangalore, 40,000 sq. ft in Mysore and around 1.95 lakh sq. ft in Kolkata.
10,000 Startups is an initiative undertaken by Nasscom to provide funds and support to 10,000 technology startups in India by 2023. It has already set up a warehouse in Vishakhapatnam to encourage budding entrepreneurs to nurture their ideas. Technology startups can obtain a funding of INR 2 crores from incubators, accelerators, angel investors, mentors, venture capitalists and other corporations.
www.startup-india.org is another incubator, angel investor and consultant which aims to provide expertise, coaching, training and network to social entrepreneurs and early-stage social ventures for about two years, thereby providing the necessary impetus for growth. They also aid as incubators in research, impact assessments, supervise outreach, and build models for formulating the startup to be scale and capital ready.
Switzerland: Traditionally known as a banking center, Switzerland has witnessed an unexpected spurt in startups. To boost the scenario, the Swiss Government is providing federal loans to cantons that are providing incentives to new businesses. Loan guarantees of up to CHF 500,000 are available. These incentives are not just restricted to domestic investors but are extended to foreign investors as well. Also, investment companies or venture capitalists, who invest 50% of their fund assets into new companies, are eligible to receive tax concessions. The Swiss Society for Hotel Credit (SGH) is particularly looking after arranging loans and assisting with the drafting of business plans for infrastructure expenditure. Support for IT projects is also available at various places. The Foundation for Technical Innovation (FIT) is assisting high tech projects, and up to CHF 100,000 financial aid. Alongside, there are a number of regional co-operatives that help in sourcing bank funding for new or growing businesses.
United Kingdom: StartUp Britain is a private sector funded national enterprise campaign that provides inspiration and support to aspiring entrepreneurs. With continued efforts, annual startup rates have increased from 440,600 in 2011 to a record-breaking 608,110 in 2015. Additional 342,927 new businesses have registered this year. To boost enterprise and retail growth, the scheme has thrown open empty high street shops to hundreds of startups that do not have an outlet/ office.
Denmark: Start-up Denmark, an initiative undertaken by the Danish Government promotes and supports entrepreneurs who can contribute to growth and employment in Denmark. The business idea is to be approved by the Danish Business Authority and in return entrepreneurs are granted work premises along with residential benefits in return. The business must have high growth potential as well as global market scope in order to get selected.
Vietnam: NATECD (National Agency for Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Commercialization Development), is a national platform provided by the Ministry of Science and Technology that promotes startups. The initiative assists in providing training, mentorship, business incubation and financial aid to new startups and enterprises. Since 2000, about 14,000 IT businesses have been set up in Vietnam. Government has simultaneously introduced many small schemes like NATIF, IPP and Mekong Business Initiative.
Singapore: ACE Startups Grant is a government-led organization that supports first time entrepreneurs. The startup grant program gives up to S$50,000 (US$35,400) to entrepreneurs for differentiated businesses. For selected ventures, the total grant is capped at $100,000. Apart from financial aid given in 2-3 tranches, it also helps match with a mentor, who will support sustainable growth of the startup in its first year.
World over, startups are gaining visibility, bringing in investors and providing employment opportunities on a large scale. Hence, promoting and sustaining the startup economy is but the obvious choice.