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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

PRIME initiatives: A boon for local entrepreneurs

The PRIME start-up hubs are set up in Shillong and Tura that serve as incubation centres supporting entrepreneurs, and support their businesses by creating livelihood in the state.

SHILLONG:

Considering 70 per cent of the population in Meghalaya comes under the age group, 15-35 years, it is not surprising that Dilseng M Marak and Semada Marak are success stories in the world of entrepreneurship.

Dilseng, a self-taught entrepreneur and founder of M/s Hills Products, manufactures compostable plates and bowls out of areca-nut leaves, is known for creating awareness against the usage of plastic utensils, and has expanded his venture to Bangladesh.

He recently received a scale-up innovation loan of Rs 14 lakhs with which he is expanding his unit and buying machinery for a higher production capacity.

Semada, the founder of Seven Cherri, on the other hand, has created a line of sustainable eco-friendly accessories, using natural resources, run entirely by skilful local women.

She was one of the top-25 entrepreneurs of Chief Minister’s E-Championship Challenge (Echamp) in 2019 and has received a Promotion and Incubation of Market Driven Enterprises (PRIME) ID grant of Rs 5 lakhs.

Stories like theirs testify the potential of the state’s youth. And realising this two years ago, the government, on January 2020, had launched the initiative, PRIME, which encourages the youth of the state to become self-reliant entrepreneurs.

The aim of this initiative is to build an environment for budding and aspiring entrepreneurs. Promising entrepreneurs pitch their innovative ideas in front of industry experts, including successful entrepreneurs and government officials, and get patronage.

To date, the initiative has supported budding entrepreneurs with monetary grants – nine through the Kickstart Grant of Rs 5 lakhs, four with a scale-up loan of up to Rs 25 lakhs (interest and collateral-free soft loans) and three through interest-free loans of Rs 3 lakhs – through the North-East Small Finance Bank (NESFB).

The PRIME start-up hubs are set up in Shillong and Tura that serve as incubation centres supporting entrepreneurs and their businesses by creating livelihood in the state. Knowledge sessions in the form of workshops and training are held regularly.

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