Aspirational population in Sikkim keen on innovation, digitization: CM at Startup 20
Sikkim CM Prem Singh Golay addressing the Startup 2.0 meeting

Gangtok: Sikkim initiated the first day of the Startup 20 meeting as part of G20 events in Gangtok on Saturday. Minister of State for Commerce and Industries Som Prakash attended the inaugural session alongside Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay.

Commerce and Industries MoS Som Prakash highlighted how there are 90,000 above Startups in India registered with DPIIT. “It is an opportunity for youngsters who have ideas and knowledge who can do something for the country. We help them to transform their ideas into reality. India has the third-largest startup initiative in the world. We have exchanges with Startups from other countries. Utmost importance is given to Startups.”

Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay in his address at the Start-Up 20 highlighted how the population of Sikkim is aspirational towards startups. He said, “We have an aspirational population. A population that wants to be a part of the narrative where innovation, digitisation, technological disruptions, and bridging gaps through technological interventions have the potential to leapfrog the economy into greater heights. What we need is local entrepreneurship, their faith in their ideas and those being converted to entities, risk-taking, and finally becoming reasonably strong in absorbing risks. The government startup ecosystem would be best to do the role of initial mentorship, proposing these ventures to financial institutions with a part of funds being provided upfront as initial seed capital.”

Golay highlighted how the people of Sikkim are first-generation entrepreneurs. He said, “There have been major hurdles despite the creation of a favourable ecosystem with only 9 start-ups registered with the Department of Industrial Policy and Internal trade. The people of Sikkim are in a way first generation entrepreneurs, lacking not only the ideas but abilities to take risks and find support infrastructure of finance and marketing and get themselves affiliated to the organic chain of value addition. It is important to overcome the setbacks by ensuring that our entrepreneurs are provided with the confidence and appropriate support from the government.”

Golay highlighted how Sikkim was the first state to ban single-use plastic. Sikkim was also the first state in the country that be declared the first Organic State in India in 2016. The CM also highlighted the One Family, One Entrepreneur scheme which supports youth and rural populace in the state through various schemes by providing technical support and access to finance in the form of back-ended subsidies. “With this scheme, we aim to risk-taking in society and make a shift toward job creators from job seekers”, stated Golay.

Chief Minister highlighted the existence of the Atal Incubation Center under the Atal Innovation Mission at Sikkim Manipal University to further encourage and create a conducive environment for startups.

Also Read | Sikkim to host StartUp 20 Engagement group meeting in Gangtok

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