Commerce Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu launches Hirkani Maharashtrachi and District Business Plan Competition

The best ideas will be shortlisted and entrepreneurs given work order by the government: Shri Suresh Prabhu

Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Shri Suresh Prabhu launched two ambitious schemes, namely Hirkani Maharashtrachi and District Business Plan Competition in Mumbai today. Minister, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Government of Maharashtra, Shri Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar was also present for the launch.



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These schemes have been designed with the objective of encouraging entrepreneurship at the district level and providing a platform to budding entrepreneurs.Hirkani Maharashtrachi aims at providing a platform for women’s Self Help Groups (SHGs) and entrepreneurs. Both the schemes will be driven by Maharashtra State Innovation Society (MSInS), with execution support  from the respective districts.

The Union Minister addressed District Collectors of all 36 districts of Maharashtra over a Video Conference. The VC was attended by Ministers of State, Guardian Ministers, Members of Parliament, Members of Legislative Assembly and Zilla Parishad Adhyaksh from respective locations. Important officials of the district like  Zilla Parishad CEO, Project Director – DRDA, District Planning Officer, Assistant Director – Skill Development & Entrepreneurship attended the VC.

Addressing the gathering, the Commerce Minister informed that under District Business Plan Competition, competitors at district level will pitch ideas, out of which five ideas will be selected from agriculture, social service, education and miscellaneous categories. Work order worth Rs. 5 lakh will be given to the 5 selected ideas. He said that under Hirkani Maharashtrachi, women’s SHGs will pitch their business plan at taluka level; 10 groups will be selected from each taluka and Rs. 50,000 will be given to each SHG to implement their idea; five SHGs at district level will be selected & Rs. 2 lakh will be given to each SHG to take the idea forward, said the Minister.

Launching Hirkani Maharashtrachi, the Minister said that the scheme  will be completely backed by the central government. The name Hirkani is because we want the women to come forward in the form of Hirkani and resolve social issues, said the Minister. He said that women’s participation is very important for the successful implementation of the scheme. He said the scheme is different in that people have to themselves come forward with their ideas and innovations and decide what has to be done. Such ideas could not be materialised in the past because of the lack of funding and platforms, but now such Ideas and innovations can be implemented, stated Shri Prabhu. Through these schemes and competition, the best ideas will be shortlisted and such entrepreneurs will be given work order by the government, said the Minister.

Noting that the 150th birth anniversary year of  Mahatma Gandhi is being celebrated, the Minister recalled that Gandhiji always said that the development of India’s villages is essential for national development. The steps taken today will help develop the rural and agricultural sector, contributing to farmers’ welfare. Women being the biggest innovators in our families, they have been kept as the focus point, stated the Minister.

Assuring the Government of India’s full support for the programme, the Minister said that the winners of the District Business Plan Competition will be taken to Delhi and made to interact with the Prime Minister, the President and the Vice President. They will also be introduced on the World Economic Forum. SIDBI will also help financially. The United Nations and the World Bank can also be platforms where they can present their ideas, stated Shri Prabhu.

Stating that Self Help Groups in Konkan were started 25 years ago, Shri Prabhu said that women from such groups have grown their business and have become confident in their lives. He announced that a free platform is being launched on GeM for artisans and women’s SHGs to sell their products.

Hirkani Maharashtrachi

The main aim of this scheme is to provide a platform for women’s Self Help Groups (SHGs)  to showcase their innovations and entrepreneurial skill at the district and state levels. Deserving participants and their ideas will be then provided government support in the form of financial assistance to further develop their ideas and mentorship to transform their ideas into real businesses.

District Business Plan Competition

The District Business Plan Competition is being organized with the objective of encouraging entrepreneurship at the district level and providing a platform to budding entrepreneurs. Competition will be organized at the District level and funded by the District Innovation Fund. However, Division Headquarters has the option of organizing the Competition at the Divisional level. District Collector / District Planning Officer will head the execution committee for this competition and the District Innovation Council will arrange for pitching sessions and meeting with various investors to take forth the ideas/products/services to be launched for the betterment of their respective districts.



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