India's impressive growth trajectory has not translated into a corresponding increase in jobs. Of the 12 million Indians who join the workforce each year, less than 1 million are able to find meaningful, dignified and adequately remunerative work in the formal economy.

Creating an inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem is critical to ensure the sustainability of the enterprises of tomorrow that will absorb the growing workforce. Job and entrepreneurship opportunities for large sections of the economically active population, particularly youth and women, remain limited. This is closely linked to the lack of an enabling ecosystem for innovation, entrepreneurship and incubation at the individual level and at the economy-wide level, and limited services delivery that underpin development of new economic opportunities.

Over the past several years, a consistent gap in capital and support for rural enterprises has been highlighted. Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Program (SVEP) intends to play a critical role in bridging this gap. The objective of SVEP is to help the rural poor come out of poverty by helping them set up enterprises and provide support till the enterprises stabilize.

It focuses on
  • Providing sustainable livelihoods and self-employment opportunities with financial assistance and training in business management and soft skills
  • Creating local community cadre for promotion of enterprises
  • Building and supporting early-stage rural enterprises by providing them with a range of critical services, such as business development support, mentoring, finance, as well as access to the banking system along with guidance for convergence and integration with other government schemes.

All this is based on the conviction that SVEP will give a push to non-farm livelihoods, especially skill based work and small enterprises, thereby creating jobs and stimulating long-term economic growth and produce social benefits.

Above all, the programme is so designed as to democratise entrepreneurship by putting funding decisions into the hands of community-based organisations themselves.

Enterprises in their early stages and new enterprises, which would otherwise have found difficulty in getting off the ground are being promoted and supported.

This is done with an Information technology based work-flow management system, which is made of a Web-based system as well as a Mobile-based system. This system make managing and offering day-to-day support easy and efficient.

SVEP is a part of the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), a centrally sponsored programme implemented since June 2011. SVEP is a budget announced scheme and was approved in May 2015 as a sub-scheme under the NRLM and the guidelines were issued on 15th June 2015.