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According to an announcement made by the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the youth of the state can avail a loan of up to INR 10 lakh at zero interest to use as seed capital for starting their own company. Chouhan spoke at the Startup Conclave in Bhopal, held on September 29, saying that policy changes can be expected and arrangements are in the pipeline, so that the government can buy from startups for upto INR 30 lakh with no tender.

Also, an Innovation Council is to be formed in the state, aiming to use the state as an entrepreneur network. Incubation centres are also being established in the seven smart cities of the state, Bhopal, Indore, Ujjain, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Satna, and Sagar. In selected colleges, incubation centres based on the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model will be run. A venture capital fund has been set up to aid innovative ideas of the Madhya Pradesh youth.

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The startup-friendly move is also to be connected with the Mukhya Mantri Yuva Udyami Yojana. The Madhya Pradesh government started the initiative in 2014 with the aim of helping extend the entrepreneurial culture amidst the youth and involve them in gainful employment.

The Kerala government had also started a similar enterprise in September 2018, where it raised the cap on direct purchase of software products, services, and mobile apps from startups verified by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) from INR 5 lakh to INR 20 lakh.

By 2016, Madhya Pradesh boasted of over 500 startups, mainly located in Bhopal and Indore. While most of them were operating in the IT and services space, many of them were also into e-commerce. Some of the successful startups in the state include, Wittyfeed, Bag2Bag, RackBank, MaalGaadi, My Sanika, My Child App, InkThemes, Bharat Calling, and Ideata Analytics.

The Startup India programme, which is led by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), conducted the fifth Startup India Yatra in Madhya Pradesh. With the help of this initiative, 71 startups obtained 110 incubation offers from seven incubators. Also, the digital payment services company Paytm signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Madhya Pradesh State government in 2016, according to which, a back-end centre was to be set up in Jabalpur.

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To lend a helping hand to the Indore startup ecosystem, Inc42, in collaboration with Amazon India, presented the third instalment of its localised meetup series named BIGShift in 2016. The event gathered major startup founders, influencers, investors, and ecosystem enablers, who engaged and shared their knowledge on themes like the right time to raise funding, challenges of team building etc.

Currently, state governments and the central government are pushing to grow the startup culture in India, while also aiding young startups in entering the entrepreneurial space. While the Ministry of Commerce and Industry led DIPP has released guidelines for the state startup ranking framework, the states are applying various strategies to encourage their startup ecosystem.

Other states determinedly working on their startup ecosystem are Rajasthan, Karnataka, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, and others. Recently, despite political turbulence, J&K has also begun its startup policy.


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