KSUM partners with Unnathi to promote ventures of SC-ST communities

Step up facilities to back enterprises by less privileged: Minister K Radhakrishnan
Trivandrum / July 14, 2023

Thiruvananthapuram, July 14: In a major social empowerment initiative in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the state’s social empowerment initiative Unnathi for setting up a Startup City to support  a wide range ventures of  Scheduled Caste and  Scheduled Tribe (SC-ST) communities.

The “Unnathi Startup City”, to be developed in the state capital, will provide incubation facilities and support for entrepreneurial ventures promoted by members of  SC-ST communities in multiple sectors.

The MoU was signed between KSUM CEO Shri Anoop Ambika and Shri Prasanth Nair, Special Secretary, SC/ST and Backward Classes Development, in the presence of Shri K Radhakrishnan, Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes and Devaswoms,  at the Institute of Management in Government (IMG) here.

Shri Radhakrishnan said extending all support to the members of the less privileged classes to successfully establish and run entrepreneurial ventures is a key factor in social and economic empowerment.

This initiative will not only improve their standard of living but also enhance  social standing of the beneficiaries. As part of the project, more SC/ST youth should be given a handholding to become entrepreneurs, he said.

Apart from technological ventures, there are also a number of non-technological ventures where youth can set up enterprises and run them successfully.  For instance, the scope of value-addition of agriculture produce from tribal areas and their marketing should be explored. The infrastructure facilities in backward areas should be strengthened for entrepreneurial development , the Minister added.

Shri  Prasanth Nair said this collaboration will help smooth implementation of schemes meant for development of entrepreneurial skills among SC/ST communities. The project will help entrepreneurs to emerge from  SC/ST communities , he said.

Ms D R Meghashree, Director Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Development Department and Shri Murali M Nair, Joint Director in Charge, SC/ST Development Department, were also present on the occasion.

A social empowerment initiative, Unnathi (Kerala Empowerment Society), formulates, promotes and implements projects for better social security and empowerment of the less privileged sections, especially for educational, professional and entrepreneurial advancement of the SC-ST youth.

The agreement will enable Unnathi to develop an incubation center at a 5000 sqft space in its headquarters at Ambedkar Bhavan, Mannanthala ,  in the state capital,  besides conducting programmes with the support of KSUM in Training Employment & Human Resource Management, Shri Anoop Ambika said.

KSUM will extend support to Unnathi to develop a world class infrastructure with excellent work spaces, high-speed internet connectivity, and other essential facilities for a productive work environment, he said.

Startups having a KSUM unique ID, in which scheduled castes and scheduled tribes community members are major stakeholders (51% and above) will be  the primary beneficiaries of the project. Ninety per cent subsidy will be provided for startups in SC-ST category.

The pact will also facilitate unification, collaboration and aggregation of SC/ST entrepreneurs and cooperatives for better functioning, unified branding, marketing and sales, resulting in increased efficiency and scope of business through an aggregator model under the UNNATHI umbrella for various verticals.

 The collaboration also aims at organising activities and schemes that support livelihood development, employment or start-ups or businesses of SC ST community,  identify potential entrepreneurs among them and  supporting  their startups to promote competent technology products and services through upskilling and technology adoption.

For achieving the aims,  skill development and entrepreneurship development programs, leadership workshops, mentorship support, investors meets and other capacity building programmes will be conducted. 

The agreement will  help upgrade existing businesses and increase financial inclusion and credit facility for SC/ST entrepreneurs.

Photo Gallery