Golden time for India’s startup ecosystem: Economic Survey 2020-21

economic survey 2020-21

The government has recognized 41,061 startups so far, more than 39,000 of which have reported 4,70,000 jobs, according to the Economic Survey 2020-21.

Indian startup ecosystem, which defied odds during a pandemic-hit year to create record 12 unicorns, has the potential to be the engine of growth in the medium to long run, the Economic Survey said

The government has recognized 41,061 startups as of December 23, 2020, according to the Economic Survey 2020-21 tabled in Parliament on Friday. Of this, more than 39,000 startups have reported 4,70,000 jobs, the survey said, without disclosing details.


Currently, India is home to 38 unicorns – startups with a valuation of over USD 1 billion – as per the Nasscom Tech Startup Report 2021. The US and China have 243 and 227 unicorns, respectively.

“Startups have the potential to be the engine of growth in the medium to long run…The Indian start-up ecosystem has been progressing well, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Faced with a myriad of challenges at the onset of the pandemic, the ecosystem defied the odds and had a record number of 12 startups that reached unicorn status,” it added.


With the government opening up the space sector for private players, there are more than 40 startups working on space and satellite projects with funding, teams, and structure, the survey said, citing industry estimates.

It also noted that the number is expected to further increase in the coming years as technology plays a big role in unlocking the country’s space potential.


In recent years, the government has taken several measures to support startups, including broadening the definition of startups, simplifying regulations, providing income tax exemptions and setting up a Rs 10,000 crore Fund of Funds for startups operated by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi).


As of December 1, 2020, Sidbi had committed Rs 4,326.95 crore to 60 Sebi-registered Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs).

These funds have raised a corpus of Rs 31,598 crore, drawn Rs 1,270.46 crore from the Fund of Funds for Startups and invested Rs 4,509.16 crore into 384 startups, the survey said.

It also noted that around 319 startups have been granted income tax exemptions till November 2020.

On Friday, the government also approved the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) with a corpus of Rs 945 crore to provide financial assistance to startups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry and commercialization.


Startup Yatra, an initiative by Startup India in 2017 to search for entrepreneurial talent in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, has been conducted in 207 districts across 23 states, impacting 78,346 aspiring entrepreneurs.

As part of this initiative, a total of 1,424 incubation offers have been given to the startups, the survey noted.

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