How Entrepreneurship Skill Development Programme helps weaker sections of society start their own businesses

40 percent of the target beneficiaries of the programme are from weaker sections of society, such as SC/ST, women, physically-handicapped, and BPL participants.

14th Sep 2019
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Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in India employ over 100 million people. They account for around 45 percent of manufacturing output and more than 40 percent of the country’s exports.


One way to address India's current job crisis is boosting entrepreneurship in this sector by empowering people to start their own ventures.


With this view, the Ministry of MSME and the Office of DC (MSME) conduct a range of vocational and entrepreneurship development activities, broadly classified under the Entrepreneurship Skill Development Programme (ESDP).

Scheme overview

"The objective of the programme is to motivate young persons representing different sections of the society, including SC/ST/women, physically-handicapped, and BPL (below poverty line) citizens to consider self-employment or entrepreneurship as one of the career option," said the Office of the DC (MSME) in an official note about the scheme.


Thus, 40 percent of the target beneficiaries of ESDPs are from weaker sections of society, such as SC/ST, women, physically-handicapped, and BPL participants.


Conducted by MSME-DIs (Development Institutes), the ESDPs are organised to skill people on various aspects of industrial activity and motivate them to start a business and create jobs rather than look for employment elsewhere. They are generally conducted in Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), polytechnics, and other technical institutes.


However, the MSME-DIs and training centres are present only in a few cities and their outreach is limited. To enhance outreach, Enterprise Development Centres (EDCs) are being set up at district levels to implement the ESDPs.


The EDCs and MSME-DIs conduct Industrial Motivation Campaigns (IMC), Entrepreneurship Awareness Programmes (EAP), Entrepreneurship-cum-Skill Development Programmes (E-SDP), and Management Development Programmes (MDP) based on their assessment of the needs of their local industries.

How it works

Web-based Management Information Systems (MIS) are used by the organisers to develop an integrated database of the existing and potential entrepreneurs. All field offices of the Office of the DC (MSME) are involved in identifying the candidates for the programme through inviting applications.


Eligible candidates have to be 18 years or older, and their required qualifications are decided by the Director of the concerned institute. However, the head of the organising institute may grant relaxation in special cases, such as school dropouts, based on his/her discretion. Generally, there is no upper age limit to participate in the training.


Further, preference is given to candidates or SC/ST/women, physically-handicapped, and BPL (below poverty line) participants.


The duration of the ESDPs is usually six weeks, and each programme enrolls a minimum of 20 people. The overall training cost incurred by the organisers is around Rs 60,000.


The training costs Rs 200 for general candidates, 50 percent fee for women and physically-handicapped candidates, and is free for SC/ST candidates.


The training for non-general category participants involves a stipend of Rs 500 per month per candidate under the promotional package for micro and small enterprises. Further, no fee is charged from the candidates under these programmes.

Whom to contact

Deputy Secretary, O/o DC-MSME

Ph: 011- 2306-2215,2431

Email : rk.bharti69@gov.in


For more information on the ESDP, please click here.



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