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Start-up Bengal: an Overview of the State’s Startup Policy

Startups are the newest buzz in the town. With the launch of Start-up India as well as the Union Budget for 2016-17, India’s startup ecosystem is experiencing growth at a very good rate. The states are also doing their share of boosting startups and entrepreneurs by launching startup-friendly policies. In order to boost the startup ecosystem, the state government of West Bengal has launched its State Startup Policy to foster entrepreneurship.

Duration: The policy will be valid till 31st December, 2021.

Policy Vision: To help the state emerge as one of the best startup destinations in the country by providing startup friendly eco-system and nurture entrepreneurial ideas and innovations.


  • To strengthen the startup eco-system by fostering and nurturing startups.
  • Encourage the youth to actively participate in entrepreneurship through training, skill development programs, vocational institutions, entrepreneurship development centres etc.
  • To support and strengthen existing business incubators & accelerators in the State.
  • To encourage setting up new business incubators in the State in collaboration with private sector.
  • To implement a supportive regulatory framework for hassle-free and time bound statutory clearances as well as appropriate infrastructure for all start-ups.
  • To create a platform for accessing multiple avenues that provide financial support to start-ups in West Bengal, including West Bengal MSME Venture Capital Fund, network of registered Venture /Equity funds, bank loans, fiscal incentives etc.
  • To create enabling environment and supporting eco-system that facilitates 10,000 startups in next 10 years.

Main highlights:

Enabling environment:

  • Pre-idea stage – Entrepreneurship Development Centre Network (EDCN) – The state will establish an EDCN in collaboration with Universities and leading higher education institutes across all districts to facilitate information distribution to promote entrepreneurship. Also, these EDCN institutes will provide incentives and concessions to entrepreneurs by providing credit to students pursuing entrepreneurship activities like participating in Entrepreneurship Development Programs, interning in start-ups, workshops, projects etc.
  • Idea / Prototype stage of Start-ups – Business idea incubation – The state very well recognizes the importance of business incubators and accelerators to boost startups. 20% of the total space will be booked for startups in new as well as existing Industrial Estates, SME Clusters and Rural Craft Hub (RCH). MSME Technology Facilitation Centre (TFC) will facilitate startups to have access to the government’s R&D labs. For more information regarding TFC, click here.
  • Idea / Prototype stage of Start-ups- A state-wide Mentor and Expert Network (MEN) for Start-ups will be established where startups will be able to access MEN through a digital gateway.
  • The state also facilitate startups for networking purposes and active linkage programs, Egiye Bangla is one of them which is basically a startup contest cum TV reality show.
  • The government will also create a Fund of Funds to provide incentives to start-ups. Also, a digital platform has been established to connect the whole startup eco-system including stakeholders, incubators, accelerators, legal entities, funding and service providers to facilitate entrepreneurs to grow.


Pre-idea stage-

  • The government will provide funding for capital expenditure up to Rs. 10 lakhs to universities to establish a central Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC).
  • Another, funding will be given to EDCNs for fostering entrepreneurship and promoting innovation up to a maximum Rs. 10 lakhs per annum.

Idea/Proof of Concept stage-

  • The state government will create a network of kick-starter funds to provide funding to early-stage startups.
  • The cost of filing patent will be reimbursed as per the state’s MSME Policy.

Read: A glimpse of MSME Policy of West Bengal

Pilot stage-

  • 20% of the total fund of the state’s MSME Venture Capital Fund will be booked only for startups.
  • Investment bankers will get 1% of the total investment made by registered Venture Capital or Private Equity Fund.
  • Incubators will get special incentive of 2% and TBIs will get 5% of the total investment received by those startups they incubate from SEBI registered Venture Capital/Private Equity Fund.

For more information, click here

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