Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), Chennai, is on the verge of completing its training programme for 32 youth identified from the central districts for funding under NEEDS (New Entrepreneur-cum-Enterprise Development Scheme).

The aspiring first-generation entrepreneurs undergoing the programme at St. Joseph’s College are drawn from Tiruchi, Pudukkottai, Peramalur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Dindigul, Thanjavur and Cuddalore districts, official sources said. Six among the trainees belong to Tiruchi district for which the State government has sanctioned Rs. 37.5 lakh towards subsidy. A total of 14 projects requiring subsidy of Rs. 76.9 lakh have been cleared under the scheme in Tiruchi district.

During the training that will culminate in two days, the participants were initiated into simulation exercises to make them understand the nuances of financial dimensions that are highly challenging, one of the trainers said. The scheme is considered unique since it does not place any condition on the economic condition of the prospective first-generation entrepreneurs for availing themselves of loans to a maximum of Rs. 1 crore that involves a subsidy component of Rs. 25 lakh.

Only graduates or ITI qualified or diploma holders are considered eligible to apply. According to the trainers, the participants of the programme have opted for entrepreneurship in several areas, including machine shop, mineral water, readymade garments, corrugated boxes, korai mat, bio fertiliser, paper cup, and fly ash bricks.

“The training, by exposing them to the nitty-gritty of business beforehand, will help them fulfil their dreams of succeeding in their ventures without hiccups. It is a kind of reality check. They may be technically sound, but they also need to know what their margins would be. For instance, after the simulation exercises the participants shall have gained an idea of the profit they will be left with after remitting interest on loans, paying rent, meeting expenditures on counts of power consumption, and paying sales tax. They also gained insights into marketing of their products,” an official associated with the training programme said, adding that district industries centres are expected to provide hand-holding support to the participants after the training programme.

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