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New Delhi: Gurugram-based startup accelerator India Accelerator (IA) Sunday said it aims to support business growth, mentor and help in accessing formal funding to 500 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) over a period of three to four years.

While in the first year, it shall support 100 MSMEs, the number will be increased to 500 subsequently. The selected MSMEs will undergo the accelerator programme for growing their businesses, they will also get access to bankers and financiers to address their financial requirements.

The program, IA said, shall help MSMEs in growing their sales, inculcating innovation and expand businesses globally. Besides, the MSMEs can take advantage of IA’s startup ecosystem that nurtures and funds young and technically competent talent.

The MSME sector, considered a big job creator, is facing a tough time post the pandemic induced nation-wide lockdown, due to several factors including low sales, poor demand, disrupted supply chains and high cost of capital.

“We shall tool the budding entrepreneurs to put their best foot forward…The program based on practical step-by-step business strategies has been successful and proven to work by tens of thousands of businesses all around the world. Young entrepreneurs, with a mix of classroom sessions and practical workshops, will be empowered with ideas that they can straight away implement in their business, and see a positive return on their investments," said Ratish Pandey, Lead of IA’s MSME initiative.

“Depending upon the success of the project, we will further expand this programme. We have set a target of enriching at least 500 MSMEs in another 3 years," Pandey said.

“The MSME program also aims to merge India’s rapidly growing startup ecosystem with the MSME Sector to leverage ‘Technology and Innovation’ of the Startups and the ‘experience and knowledge’ of MSMEs," AI claimed in a statement adding that the new initiative will handhold MSMEs in areas like “change management, growing sales through innovation, financial modeling and fundraising, digital transformation and supply chain management".

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