(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Financial and Institutional Support for Rural Startups

(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Financial and Institutional Support for Rural Startups


Financial and Institutional Support for Rural Startups


  • Agriculture and allied activities are the mainstay of rural India and around 67 percent of Indian population resides in rural areas. While the contribution of the agricultural sector to GDP has continued to decline over the last 2 decades- from 29 percent in 1990 to 16 percent in FY 2018-19 - it remains a major source of employment, accounting for about 47 percent of the total national workforce.
  • With 65 percent of population under the age of 35 years, India is a youthful country.

Rural Challenges:

  • Unemployment is the major challenge faced by rural youth and more so by female rural youth. A large numbers of rural youth lack the skills required for job opportunities in the ever-evolving manufacturing and services sector.
  • In order to fulfil its aspirations fuelled by rising rural incomes and increased exposure to media, today’s rural youth needs better education, jobs, better lifestyle and economic independence. In addition, for agriculture to continue to remain the mainstay, it needs to modernise itself in order to attract more or at least retain rural youth.

Rise of the Startups:

  • A Startup ecosystem is formed by people, startups in their various stages and various types of organisations in a location (physical or virtual), interacting as a system to create and scale new startup companies. These organisations can be further divided into categories such as universities, funding organizations, support organizations (like incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces etc.), research organizations, service provider organizations (legal, financial services etc.) and large corporations.

Rural Startups:


  • Agri/rural fintech lenders.
  • Tech enabled market linkage for agri produce (disintermediation reduces the number of middlemen by directly reaching the large buyers).
  • Digital commodity trading platform (currently adhatiyas use these platforms but over the medium term FPOs are expected to dominate the trading on these platforms).
  • Digital platform/marketplace for sale of agri-inputs (reduce the dependence of farmers on local retailers).
  • Digital platform/marketplace for equipment rentals (reduce the need to buy agri-equipment including tractors).
  • Digital quality assessments for agri produce/food products (assure food safety).
  • Rapid soil health testing (reduce the usage of fertilisers and other soil nutrients).
  • Satellite data based insights in near real time (reduce water stress by providing real time water maps, help banks/insurance companies to design rural loans/insurance products).
  • Farming as a service (use data-based insights for precise application of inputs, harvesting etc.)
  • Agri information dissemination.


  • Digital platform/marketplace for sale of handicrafts.
  • Tech enabled rural healthcare.
  • Tech enabled classrooms/online classes.
  • Rural ecommerce
  • Digital marketplace (helps in pushing urban goods to rural areas and rural goods to urban areas).
  • Digital services:
  • Digital rural job portals.
  • Social networking for rural.


  • Rural areas have a lot of untapped entrepreneurial potential. Agriculture and rural businesses are the areas of maximum social impact but remain underinvested in India from an equity/start-up investment standpoint.



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Courtesy: Kurukshetra