A new policy proposal for creating an Udyog Sahayak Enterprises Network (USENET) was released on Saturday. The proposal is the result of a collaboration between Azim Premji University, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
The report proposes the creation of a support system that will improve Ease of Doing Business for largely informal micro and small entrepreneurs. Udyog Sahayak Enterprises will take services such as digitisation and formalisation, availing of government loans, subsidies or other benefits, ensuring compliance with local, regional and national regulations, aiding partnership with digital marketing platforms and digital payment platforms, to the micro-entrepreneurs at their doorstep.
The report estimates that by enabling scale-up, USENET can aid in the creation of an additional 1 crore (10.3 million) jobs over five years going up to nearly 6 crores (56.9 million) over 10 years. Based on value-added per worker observed in this sector and assuming a 12 per cent nominal rate of growth in GVA, these jobs represent an additional economic value of Rs 2,16,000 crores at the end of 5 years and over 19 lakh crores at the end of 10 years.
Inaugurating the event, Anurag Behar, Vice-Chancellor of Azim Premji University, underlined the role played by automation in weakening the connection between growth in value-added and growth in jobs. He observed that “this endeavour is truly remarkable as you are putting a possible solution out there, not only identifying a problem.”
TISS Director, Prof. Sahlini Bharat, noted the resonance with TISS’ mission of fostering socially relevant entrepreneurship and called the proposal “simple in approach but lofty in goal.” She also observed that the idea is an excellent example of supporting technology for society.
Presenting the policy proposal, Chairman FICCI Telangana State Council and co-author of the report, T. Muralidharan underlined the problem of “jobless growth” and pointed out that we are in danger of losing our demographic dividend. He called for giving micro-entrepreneurs their due recognition in the making of the nation.