Kerala government announces Rs 500 crore budgetary support for young entrepreneurs136114092013

CM Oommen Chandy addresses two million students via Google Hangout on Entrepreneurship Day One per cent of the total budgetary expenditure set aside for startup ventures.  Entrepreneurship Development Clubs in all colleges

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 12: Thousands of young aspiring entrepreneurs in Kerala received a major boost on the inaugural Entrepreneurship Day on Thursday when Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Oommen Chandy announced that his government would earmark an estimated Rs. 500 crore as budgetary assistance for them to pursue their dream ventures.

In one of the biggest online connects the state had ever, the CM addressed more than two million school and college students via Google Plus Hangout. He said one per cent of the state’s total budget expenditure will be set aside for extending financial support to young entrepreneurs.

Terming this assistance as the “biggest ever by any state government for young entrepreneurs”, the Chief Minister said that his government will soon come up with a clear-cut policy document to help translate the dreams into reality.

Elaborating on his vision plan for stepping up entrepreneurial efforts by the youth, Shri Oommen Chandy said that the focus area of the new ventures, which was primarily IT and Telecom in the past year, will now also be extended to key areas such as agriculture, health, tourism, and culture.

The Chief Minister added that the government will take the lead in forming Entrepreneurship Development Clubs in all colleges across the state.

“These announcements are our Onam gift to you. Money is not a constraint for such initiatives. We want a Kerala that is made up of confident youngsters who can take forward the development dreams of the state,” he said.

The Kerala government already has a Student Entrepreneruship Policy in place under which 20 per cent grace on attendance and four per cent on marks is provided to youngsters coming up with innovative ventures while still in college. He said Kerala will mark September 12 as Entrepreneurship Day every year.

Shri Oommen Chandy exhorted the youth to embrace the teachings of Swami Vivekananda who strongly believed that the youth of the nation will transform its future.

In his address, Hon’ble Minister for Industries and Information Technology Shri P.K. Kunhalikutty pledged the wholehearted government support for the ideas and ventures mooted by young entrepreneurs, through funds and basic infrastructure.

Such initiatives have the power to address the problems faced by the common man, he said adding that a ‘reverse brain drain’ should happen in the state as young people explore the increasing opportunities here.

Earlier, Shri P. K. Kunhalikutty unveiled the 150 metre long “Startup Wall” set up by the state Public Relations Department outside the Secretariat building, charting the journey of entrepreneurship in Kerala, in particular the achievements of Startup Village and the Technopark Technology Business Incubator (T-TBI).

Speaking to reporters after the inauguration, the Minister said that the traditional industrial sector in Kerala needs the support of modern technology. He said that Kerala requires new generation industrial ventures that are profitable as well as sustainable. Shri P. H. Kurien, Principal Secretary, Information Technology, was present on the occasion.

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