In Nirvana for skilled, Centre to fund their ventures

Aditi Nigam Surabhi New Delhi | Updated on January 12, 2018



NSDC to channel donations from private sector angels to the bottom-of-pyramid

With just about a third of skilled youth actually landing jobs, the Centre is now working on a project to fund their business ventures.

“Not everyone who gets skilled will get a job. So, we are trying to encourage entrepreneurship in the candidates. But in doing so, access to funds is extremely difficult for those at the bottom of the pyramid,” Manish Kumar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), told BusinesLine.

The NSDC is now working to set up a ‘Nirvana Fund’ that will channel donations from the private sector — basically angel investment — to fund ventures of selected candidates trained under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana-2 but have failed to get a job.

Bagchi roped in

“Our board has cleared the proposal and we have had some talks with private sector individuals. The idea behind calling it ‘Nirvana Fund’ is that those who have achieved everything they want in life can put their money in the fund and not expect any returns,” said Kumar.

Subroto Bagchi, Chairman of Mindtree Board of Directors, and Chairman, Odisha Skill Development Board, is likely to head the fund that will work as an angel investor.

“The idea is to target candidates from the bottom 20 per cent of the pyramid. The names can be recommended by the trainers and short-listed candidates may have to undergo a test and further training before they get the loan,” said Kumar.

Factoring in low success

The loan amount may be interest-free in the first year and a minimal interest of about 5 per cent may be charged from the second year. But loan repayment would not be the main concern for NSDC, which is more interested in encouraging entrepreneurial abilities amongst the candidates, Kumar added.

“Typically, such ventures have a low success rate. We know there is high chance of failure in entrepreneurship. But what we are looking at is the candidate’s repayment behaviour and whether he’s serious about returning it,” said Kumar, adding that even if the venture fails but the person has returned a substantial part of the funds, he would be eligible for further loans.

Data from the NSDC show that just 35.77 lakh of the 91.91 lakh people skilled were successfully placed in jobs.

Entrepreneurship development has also been one of the key priorities of the Narendra Modi government, which has rolled out schemes such as MUDRA and Stand-Up India to finance micro, small and medium business ventures. The idea is that new ventures would not only add to economic growth but also lead to further employment generation.

Published on February 12, 2017

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