Government says yes to Venture Capital fund dedicated to Dalit entrepreneurs

To promote and boost entrepreneurship amongst minorities, market regulator SEBI has registered a dedicated venture capital fund for Dalits. The fund would support businesses run by people from scheduled tribes and scheduled caste. After the registration, Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DICCI) Venture Capital fund can raise funds from both private entities and government’s financial institutions, reports Economic Times.

Earlier in December 2011, Dalit Indian Chamber of commerce and Industries (DICCI) had announced that it will create a venture capital fund with corpus of Rs 500 crore. During that time chamber said that companies like Tata Capital, Forbes, Godrej, Thermax are willing to invest in the corpus.

According to the census of MSMEs in 2006-07, Dalits own about 1,20,000 companies across India, out of which 7.7 % are registered, 1.55 million micro, small and medium enterprises. Tamil Nadu had the most Dalit-owned firms, followed by Karnataka and UP. Importantly, unregistered MSMEs were estimated by the census at a much higher 24.5 million.

DICCI was established in 2005 to motivate Dalit youth to enter the business & industry sector as entrepreneurs and encourage and support them in their entrepreneurial ventures. Currently more than 1000 entrepreneurs and professionals are members of DICCI and has Anu Aga (Director, Thermax), Raghunath Mashelkar (Former DG, CSIR) and Kalpana Saroj (Chairperson Kamani Tubes) as key advisors.

Besides, creating venture capital, DICCI is planning to roll out Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP), DICCI helpline and Dalit Social Responsibility  (DSR).

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