Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Saturday called for the creation of an international network of mentors, investors and entrepreneurs to strengthen the global start-up ecosystem.
In a video address to the Inception Meeting of the Start-up 20 Engagement Group of G20 here, he said this network must support and inspire start-ups, act as a team to facilitate exchange of ideas, best practices and funding mechanisms and promote collaborations in research and development.
He said it is not just the role of individual nations to support innovation and added that it will have to be the collective responsibility of world nations to nurture a global effort to incubate start-up ecosystems in all parts of the world.
This creates a global start-up ecosystem that is inclusive, supportive and sustainable to address global challenges.
Goyal said India was proud to highlight the progress and potential of the global start-up ecosystem as the host nation of G20. He noted that the Startup20 Group had been established under India's G20 Presidency for the first time, as part of India's special focus on innovation.
Observing that innovation would be the strongest pillar that would help build a developed India in the 'Amritkaal', he said innovation has been a catalytic force for the economy and social and public good.
"Innovation in today's world goes beyond achieving mere economic objectives as it also considers societal inclusion and environmental sustainability," he added.
He said India had begun its start-up journey with the foundation laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016 with the launch of the Start-up India Initiative. In the last seven years, it had helped in fostering entrepreneurship and promoting newer and newer ideas, helping start-ups grow by creating an ecosystem that is conducive for growth, an official release said.
The capabilities of our start-ups in different areas, including energy, financial inclusion, fight against COVID-19 pandemic when remote healthcare and food delivery became very important, helped us face a number of challenges, he said.
Goyal, who noted that the world is facing a multitude of global challenges, from climate change to poverty and inequality, expressed belief that innovation can lead the way in solving these problems.
He said in the Indian start-up context, the entrepreneurs are using their creativity and ingenuity to tackle these challenges. He cited the examples of digital public goods like Cowin and UPI as means to tackle problems and ensure inclusive growth in India. He also highlighted that India had climbed to 40th rank in the Global Innovation Index (GII) of WIPO taking a huge leap of 41 places in seven years.
He gave the Mantra of 'SENSE' - Share, Explore, Nurture, Serve and Empower for growth of start-ups.
He expressed confidence that the discussions during the meeting in Hyderabad would lay the foundation for strong, actionable recommendations for G20 leaders to deliberate and start a global start-up revolution, helping in making a difference to the future of start-ups all around the world.
The Startup 20 Engagement Group has been set up under India's G20 presidency. Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy, Union Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash, G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant, NITI Aayog CEO Parameswaran Iyer attended the inaugural session.
G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant later told reporters that whatever the Startup20 decides will be a very major component of the final communique.
Anurag Jain, Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, said since the launch of Start-up initiative in January, 2016, India's ecoystem has grown to be the third largest, in terms of unicorns, startup ecosystem in the world.
Importantly, the addition of new unicorns is second highest, and the addition of the new start-ups is highest, he said.
Startup20 has three different tracks, namely, foundation and alliance, finance and inclusivity and sustainability.
After the Inception meeting in Hyderabad, there will be three track meetings in Sikkim, Andaman and Nicobar and Bengaluru. The summit meeting would be held in Gurugram.
"This is the overall plan. Hopefully, we will be able to come out with something which will be able to create a framework for driving the global ecosystem to find out solutions for the global problems," he said.