The National Innovation Council and the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) have jointly created the India Inclusive Innovation Fund (IIIF). The fund is a unique idea, which combines innovation and enterpreneurial dynamism to solve the problems of citizens at the base of the economic pyramid.
The IIIF will seek to create a new class of capital which helps set up and scale up entrepreneurial skills and innovation. The fund will invest in innovative ventures that are scalable, sustainable and therefore profitable, but also address the social needs of the less privileged in healthcare, food, nutrition, agriculture, education and skill development, energy, financial inclusion, water, sanitation employment generation, etc. The fund will be set up with an initial corpus of Rs 500 crores, with the Ministry of MSME giving to 20 % (Rs 100 crores) and the banks, insurance companies and overseas financial and development institutions contributing the rest.
The fund’s eventual aim is to increase the corpus to Rs 5,000 crores in the next 2 years. The lack of capital has been a major reason why ventures addressing the needs at the less privileged have failed to take off, with IIIF trying to plug this gap. At least 50 % of its investments initially would be to enterprises in the MSME category. The IIIF would also have collaboartion with all participants in this space i.e. incubators, angel groups, public research and development programmes and labs to support the commercialisation and deployment of innovative technologies.