Startup revolution spreads across 80% of Indian districts

India has witnessed a remarkable surge in the startup ecosystem, with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) recognizing an impressive 117,254 startups till December 31, 2023. This thriving landscape has not only contributed significantly to economic growth but has also paved the way for the creation of over 12.42 lakh direct jobs. A noteworthy achievement is the presence of at least one recognized startup in every State and Union Territory, spread across over 80% of the districts in the country. 

Indian start-up and women entrepreneurs tpci

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Indian startup ecosystem is thriving with 117,254 recognized startups driving economic growth and creating 12.42 lakh jobs. Notably, 55,816 startups have women directors, showcasing gender inclusivity. Initiatives like the Fund of Funds for Startups and programs like WING and WEP have helped build a culture of diverse and inclusive entrepreneurship.

Startup India initiative

Launched by the Indian Government on January 16, 2016, the Startup India initiative is seen to have played a pivotal role in fostering innovation, supporting Indian startups, and attracting investments in the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. There has been a substantial increase in the number of recognized startups, showcasing the success of initiatives aimed at nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship.

A key highlight of India’s startup narrative is the growing participation of women entrepreneurs. Till December 31, 2023, DPIIT has recognized 55,816 startups, which have at least one woman director. To further promote women entrepreneurship, the government has implemented various programs and schemes under the Startup India initiative.

The Fund of Funds for Startups Scheme, operated by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), reserves 10% of its funds for women-led startups. This strategic move aims to encourage the flow of both equity and debt to startups founded or led by women.

Top 5 states by recognized startups Top 5 states with direct jobs (self-reported) created by recognized startups.
1. Maharashtra: 5,801 1. Maharashtra: 64,974 jobs
2. Uttar Pradesh: 3,426 2. Delhi: 38,280 jobs
3. Delhi: 3,150 3. Karnataka: 35,066 jobs
4. Karnataka: 3,032 4. Uttar Pradesh: 33,831 jobs
5. Tamil Nadu: 2,810 5. Tamil Nadu: 30,536 jobs

Source: DPIIT, figures for 2023

WING is a unique capacity development program tailored for women-led startups. It serves as a platform for aspiring and established women entrepreneurs across diverse sectors, providing workshops to address challenges and share best practices. The program not only identifies and supports women entrepreneurs but also facilitates discussions on key issues faced by women in the startup journey.

Collaborating with Zone Startups, the government has conducted a Virtual Incubation Program for Women Entrepreneurs, offering pro-bono acceleration support to women-led tech startups. Additionally, a dedicated webpage for women entrepreneurs on the Startup India portal provides comprehensive information on policy measures by both Central and State Governments to support women entrepreneurs.

The Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) serves as an aggregator platform, aiming to overcome information asymmetry in the women entrepreneurial ecosystem. The platform showcases existing initiatives, provides domain knowledge, and empowers women entrepreneurs with valuable resources. The SuperStree Podcast spreads awareness of innovations from women in the Indian startup ecosystem.

Beyond the Startup India initiative, the government has implemented several schemes and programs specifically focused on supporting women-owned Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). These include special drives for registration, fiscal incentives, and skill development programs.

To recognize and promote the achievements of women-led startups, the National Startup Awards (NSA) features a special category and award for women entrepreneurs across various sectors.

On a global basis, Bengaluru moved up two places to 20 in the Startup Genome’s Global Startup Ecosystems Report, 2023. Among the emerging ecosystems, Pune has risen to the 31-40 range from 51-60 in 2022. India is already the world’s third largest startup ecosystem with over 90,000 startups and 107 unicorn companies. However, the country’s overall rank in terms of startup funding has dipped to 4th in 2023 due to the onset of a funding winter since 2022 (defined as a period of reduced capital inflows).

Leave a comment

Subscribe To Newsletter

Get to know of latest happening in TPCI & in the world of trade and commerce