Most micro entrepreneurs lack training, SC & ST entrepreneurs face greater knowledge gap: survey

The percentage fell down sharply in case of micro entrepreneurs belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC) or Scheduled Tribes (ST)

Less than a third of Micro Entrepreneurs have received any kind of training and more than half are not aware of the factors that go into starting a business, result of a survey conducted showed. The percentage fell down sharply in case of micro entrepreneurs belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC) or Scheduled Tribes (ST).

Micro manufacturing and services units are those which have ₹1 Crore of investment and ₹5 Crore of turnover.

The survey has been conducted by Bhartiya Yuva Shakti Trust (BYST) among over 9300 micro entrepreneurs, out of which over 2800 are from SC/ST category, located in various geographies of India, BYST is a not-for-profit organization. Founded in 1992, It has the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) as a strategic partner.

When asked if they got the proper training/mentoring, only 30 per cent of respondents said yes. Next question was awareness of the cost, time, and minimum capital involved, just 44 per cent replied in affirmative. Among SC/ST entrepreneurs, only 17 per cent and 28 per cent respectively replied in yes, data showed.

Next set of questions were related with challenged in running business. One question was ‘do you know what GST is’? Only 28 per cent of all categories and 20 per cent of SC/ST said yes. Further, only 43 per cent of all and 37 per cent of SC/ST entrepreneurs said that that they know how to manage and file business taxes.  Similarly, only 27 per cent of all and 21 per cent of SC/ST category are aware of the Indian government’s policies for importing/exporting goods.

Next two questions were on raising funds and settlement of NPA (non performing assets). Here just 20 per cent of all and 15 per cent of SC/ST category replied in affirmative when asked if they know how to easily raise more funds and improve credit rating with the banks. However, just 8 per cent of all and 7 per cent of SC/ST category were found aware about how to settle NPA or overdue loans from the banks.

Commenting on the survey result, Lakshmi Venkataraman Venkatesan, Founding and Managing Trustee of BYST said, “Initiatives like the MUDRA Yojana and Stand-Up India Scheme are crucial in promoting entrepreneurship, particularly among young women and men from underserved communities. Therefore, it is essential to improve and update existing policies. For example, in one of our surveys, we found 85 per cent of women micro-entrepreneurs find it challenging to access a bank loan.”

Further, she said that the average MUDRA loan size is ₹38,000. However, the minimum investment needed to create one job is ₹62,000, as per the report published by People’s Commission on Employment and Unemployment. “By providing appropriate financial support along with mentoring and nurturing an enabling environment, the effectiveness of government schemes can be improved multi-fold, to drive economic empowerment and job creation at the grassroots level,” she concluded.

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