The state of Meghalaya is setting benchmarks across smaller states by fostering the culture of entrepreneurship. Under the able guidance of Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Shri Conrad K. Sangma the startup ecosystem in the state has undergone a colossal transformation.
Speaking about the surge of entrepreneurship in the State, Conrad K. Sangma, said, "Government has put in substantial effort over the last few years towards building an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the State by encouraging young people to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors and recognize their efforts, inspiring them to work harder, and providing them with resources. Our comprehensive program PRIME aimed at enterprise promotion and incubation in a holistic manner has found resonance and support from the citizens of Meghalaya besides changing in the way the youth of this state is shaping up their career paths. Under the PRIME program, today's budding business owners and founders receive comprehensive assistance at every stage of the process. The ASPIRE program aims to instill a sense of self-assurance in our young people by teaching them non-academic skills. I am heartened to discover that the state's entrepreneurs were so dedicated to their work that not even a global pandemic could deter their goals to prosper."
The Founder of GreenNE Origins by Ayoshee Beriwal, one of the top entrepreneurs of Meghalaya, had a dream to make everyone health conscious, by offering a wide range of natural products including Turmeric Power, Ginger Powder, and Pure Raw Wild honey multi-Flora, Cashew nuts- 8J Variety, Black Cardamom, Cinnamon Bark Green Tea besides others. Ayoshee's first sale was a small sachet of Turmeric powder to her family, friends, and coworkers. She explains, "The PRIME initiative changed my perception completely and helped me to trust my instincts to chase my dreams. I quit my job because of COVID 19 but looking back I believe it was a great decision to start my own venture and today I am on course to clock good sales numbers."
GreenNE Origins is doing well because of Ayoshee Beriwal's dedication as well as the support of the Meghalaya government scheme "PRIME". In January of 2020, PRIME was officially launched by Hon'ble Chief Minister of Meghalaya Shri Conrad K. Sangma. Through the establishment of a dynamic and collaborative ecosystem that facilitates the ready availability of credit, relevant technology, incubation, skilling and mentoring support, and access to leverage markets beyond the state, making entrepreneurship the preferred career choice of the youth and people of the state.
Ayoshee joined PRIME in October, which greatly helped her in terms of funding. She received mentoring sessions from Prime Meghalaya to understand today's market trends and demands. It helped her understand the difficulties of the farmers and understand their mode of functioning.
Speaking about her experience, Ayoshee Beriwal says, "I am lucky and fortunate to get the opportunity to go to Bangkok with the PRIME Meghalaya team to promote my products abroad and all over the world."
Tura, Meghalaya, 872 m above sea level, is the most beautiful place where Ayoshee was born and grew up. Ayoshee's goal is to see the women here as self-dependent, so as per capability of the women here, she provides employment to them. Additionally, she gives Meghalaya women a voice of her own. Her GreenNE Origins works to better the lives of farmers and preserve the cultural significance of the regional cuisines of Meghalaya and Northeast India.
The PRIME Fund offers a seed grant of Rs 5 lakh and scale-up innovation loans of up to Rs 25 lakh to help businesses get started.
As a state recognized for its resources in tourism, agriculture, floriculture, handicrafts, and handlooms, Meghalaya's steady rise in the competitive startup race has been attributed to careful planning, optimal resource allocation, and a genuine interest in developing its people's entrepreneurial potential. The establishment of State Government's PRIME (Promotion and Incubation of Market-Driven Enterprises) initiative has helped nurture startups and create a conducive environment for companies to take root. The program envisions making entrepreneurship a preferred career choice for the youth and people of the State. It aims to create a dynamic and collaborative ecosystem that enables easy availability of credit, relevant technology, and access to high leverage markets. It is interesting to see how entrepreneurs from Meghalaya are using the State's ecology and culture to develop new markets. Most companies that have benefited from PRIME are centered around handicrafts, conservation, local produce, and educational development, supporting the local economy and advancing socioeconomic development.
Meghalaya has a long history of matrilineal culture, making it one of the rarest places in the world. Women here lead from the front. This is further evident in the state's substantial support of female entrepreneurs. Women led startups in the State have a valuation of over INR 10 crores. 20% of the funds allocated to the PRIME Kickstart Grant and the PRIME Innovation Scaleup Loan reserved for women-led startups. 40 + Start-ups with mentors, 60 + registered start-ups, 50+ State supported and Private Incubators and 20 +Grassroot Start-ups. 10% of the funds allocated to the PRIME Kickstart Grant and the PRIME Innovation Scaleup Loan reserved for grass-root level innovators. The development of skill-based training and industry-specific incubators has enabled businesses to develop distinctive products and successful strategies, while the youth of the state have benefited from the training and feedback modules built for various phases of the startup process.