In a noteworthy turn of events, the Tamil Nadu Startup and Innovation Mission (Startup TN), which administers the Tamil Nadu SC/ST Startup Fund, has awarded money to three firms that are managed by entrepreneurs who are members of the Scheduled Tribes. This is the first time that money has been given to tribal firms, marking a significant step towards the goal of inclusive mass entrepreneurship.
M.K. Stalin, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, recently handed over sanction orders for investments totaling 9.75 crores in eight new businesses. These new businesses include three businesses owned by tribal people. Because of this investment, the government now holds a stake in each of these businesses as a shareholder.
The TAMS Tribal Green Fuel Pvt Ltd firm is committed to green fuel and energy, and it is being pushed forward by businesspeople who are members of Scheduled Tribes. A biomass briquettes manufacturing unit is being established up in the Talavadi region of the Erode district. The operation will use an invasive weed called Lantana camara, which is responsible for the destruction of the woods in the area. This financing will assist in the production of cleaner fuel, the creation of work possibilities for tribal villages, and the saving of forests through the process of de-weeding.
Another new company, Sholakar Tribal Creations Pvt Ltd, is concerned with improving the standard of living in rural areas. The tribal community firm in Sholaghar, which is located in the Erode district, is responsible for the production as well as the B2B trading of tribal goods. The company intends to expand and improve its operations after receiving this financing, which will allow them to make necessary upgrades. The third enterprise, Namsanthai Kotagiri Tribal Pvt Ltd, is based in Kotagiri in The Nilgiris and aspires to build a business that would trade coffee and honey that is produced by tribal communities. The amount of funding allocated will shift according to the requirements of each individual project.
The purpose of the Tamil Nadu SC/ST Startup Fund, which was established by the government, is to inspire businesspeople hailing from underserved communities to establish an increased number of new companies. In the fiscal year 2022–2023 budget, it was proposed that the fund have a value of 30 crores; however, in the fiscal year 2023–2024 budget, that value was increased to 50 crores.
Sivarajah Ramanathan, the Director and CEO of the Startup TN Mission lauded the tribal startups and stated that they would play a crucial part in reaching Tamil Nadu’s aim of a $1 trillion economy by the year 2030. In addition, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu presented 25 new businesses with checks representing the first portion of a grant totaling 1.25 million rupees that they will receive from the Tamil Nadu Seed Fund (TANSEED). These new businesses each received 5 lahks, and if they meet the goals that were established for them, they will be eligible for a second round of funding consisting of another 5 lahks apiece. The number of early-stage firms that have received funding from the TANSEED programme, which ranges from ten thousand rupees to ten million rupees for each recipient, has now reached 109.
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