Micro-entrepreneurs in rural India have huge potential, says Niti Aayog VC

Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar, and others launched 'Powering Livelihoods', an initiative by CEEW to boost India's rural economy.
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Micro-entrepreneurs in rural India have huge potential for contributing to the country's growth but they suffer from lack of access to infrastructure and credit, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a virtual event organised by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), Kumar further said the government is committed to a self-reliant India.

"There are more than 3.5 crore micro-entrepreneurs in rural India who have huge potential for contributing to India's growth. Despite their potential, they suffer because of certain constraints like access to infrastructure and credit that hinders their growth," he said.

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Kumar noted that India is a leader in clean energy generation. "Access to clean energy needs to be made a mass movement," he added.

Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, along with CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, and Co-Chair of UN-Energy, Damilola Ogunbiyi, and Kumar launched 'Powering Livelihoods', an initiative by the CEEW to boost India's rural economy.

The Rs 22 crore initiative provides capital and technical support to Indian enterprises working on clean energy-based livelihood solutions, CEEW said in a statement.

The initiative also recently offered a cumulative emergency funding of Rs 1 crore to six selected enterprises to help them tide over the COVID-19 crisis, it added.

Earlier this week, IT services major Tech Mahindra said it has collaborated with the Niti Aayog's Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) to support women entrepreneurs across the country.

Tech Mahindra will provide mentorship, co-create solutions leveraging new-age technologies, and support in developing a go-to-market strategy, a statement said.

Through this collaboration, Tech Mahindra and WEP will jointly focus on breeding new ideas, identifying gaps, and providing technological prowess to develop innovative solutions for better positioning in the market and commercial success, it added.

Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant had earlier said the next-big disruption in the Indian startup ecosystem will be driven by women-led entrepreneurs, with digital platforms being the biggest enabler.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

Edited by Megha Reddy

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