Chief Minister Pema Khandu today inaugurated the first ever two-day Arunachal Pradesh Social Entrepreneurship Meet (APSEM) 2020 here at the DK Auditorium of the State Legislative Assembly. The Meet, first of its kind, is an initiative by the Arunachal Pradesh Government to usher an environment of social innovation and entrepreneurship in the state.
In his inaugural address, Khandu lauded the initiative as the first ever to be conceptualized and held by any state in the country and said the two-day meet should be a turning point for the state.
“This should kick-start the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to achieve a 5 trillion economy in coming years,” he said adding that this meet is a platform to connect all start-ups across the country working in social sectors and work together with the state government to promote sustainable development.
Khandu asserted that while development on all fronts is a must, the social sectors should also be taken care of. He called upon entrepreneurs to focus on social sectors like health and education and take up projects for upliftment of these.
“This is the best platform for our local entrepreneurs to get, share and innovate new ideas and shape up the future of Arunachal Pradesh,” he said.
The Chief Minister assured that the state government will not tolerate or allow red-tapism and facilitate entrepreneurs to successfully implement projects and invest in the state. He said the state government is ready to go the extra mile in enabling a conducive atmosphere for entrepreneurships and investments.
“Please come forward and convert your ideas into something which you would be proud of and in the process help the state develop,” he appealed.
Khandu however reminded that development should not be at the cost of environment and nature.
He said Arunachal Pradesh, due to its remoteness and unique cultural diversity has its own challenges which require customized/local solutions. The investment in the state therefore requires innovativeness and an ability to understand the social fabric, which can be possible if there is an additional intent to create products or deliver services which benefit the society at large.
Khandu categorically sited the sectors of Agriculture, Horticulture, Tourism and Textiles and Handicrafts sectors which needs to be leveraged and the benefits passed on to the farmers, weavers, artisans, tour guides etc. who despite their hard work and skills are still unable to get the right value for their products and services.
“I would urge the entrepreneurs to find solution to the problems we face in agriculture and allied sectors particularly demand aggregation and poor market linkages,” he said.
He informed that as a step in this direction, the state govt is encouraging creation of Farmers Producers Organizations (FPOs), Livestock cooperatives, fisheries and sericulture cooperatives etc., under the Chief Minister’s Krishi Samuh Yojana and linking them with markets to ensure that the interests of farmers are protected.
“Social entrepreneurs can play a huge role to supplement these efforts of the state govt. in doubling the income of our farmers by 2022,” he observed.
He also informed about the upcoming Mega Food Park at Banderdewa, which, he pointed would provide a fillip to food processing sector in the state. He requested budding entrepreneurs to explore investment in the Agri-Tech sector which will also boost the crop productivity in the state.
“We have placed a lot of emphasis on attracting investment in Arunachal Pradesh, through creation of a conducive business environment for entrepreneurs and industries in the state. Our cabinet has recently approved the Arunachal Pradesh Industrial and Investment Policy, which aims at incentivizing entrepreneurs along with providing all necessary hand holding for investing in the state,” Khandu revealed.
For the Social Innovation Competition, altogether 111 applications were received from Pan India under two categories – ‘Enterprise’ for registered social enterprise and ‘Ideation’ for aspiring entrepreneurs with tested ideas.
Enterprises representing different states in sectors like – HealthTech, Education and Skill development, Handicrafts and textiles, Tourism and Hospitality, Agriculture, Food Processing and Forestry and Renewable and Clean Energy are attending the Meet.
Main objective of APSEM is to provide an opportunity for young social entrepreneurs from across the country to start up and invest in Arunachal Pradesh. This will be achieved by building a platform for knowledge sharing amongst social innovators within and outside the state, and by identifying and supporting social entrepreneurs.
The events in APSEM 2020 include a Social Innovation Competition aimed towards attracting the best ideas and early stage enterprises in the country. Further, APSEM 2020 will have panel discussion by eminent experts from various backgrounds on topics of social innovation and entrepreneurship. The events will also ensure that innovators and entrepreneurs from around the country will get a chance to connect and interact with the local innovators and entrepreneurs within the state.