Thirty first generation entrepreneurs would be supported under the New Entrepreneur-cum-Enterprise Development Scheme (NEEDS) in Tiruchi district in the current financial year.

The State government has allocated Rs.3.75 crore for the district this year for being disbursed as capital subsidy to the entrepreneurs selected under the scheme, which seeks to provide entrepreneurship training to educated youth, assist them in project preparation, and getting financial assistance through Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation (TIIC) or banks with 25 per cent capital subsidy and three per cent interest subvention.

All economically viable manufacturing and service activities would be eligible to be funded under the scheme, subject to appraisal by the banks or the TIIC. Priority would be given to eco-friendly, energy conserving and export-oriented projects. Food processing, rice mills, solar energy-based industries, readymade garment manufacturing, electronics, and other manufacturing and service sector projects such as clinics or even restaurants could be promoted under the scheme, according to officials of District Industries Centre, which has invited applications from aspiring entrepreneurs.

Projects with an investment of Rs.5 lakh to Rs.1crore would be extended assistance. However, for projects above Rs.1 crore the subsidy component would be restricted to Rs.25 lakh. Project cost would include capital expenditure and margin money for working capital. Self financed projects would not be eligible.

While 20 projects in the district would be financed through banks, the remaining 10 would be financed by the TIIC. While projects financed by the TIIC would be extended three per cent interest rebate, a back-ended interest subsidy of 3 per cent would be extended to projects financed by banks. Educated youth holding degree, diploma or ITI, or vocational training certificates from recognised institutions would be the target group of the scheme. Fifty per cent of the beneficiaries would be women.

Beneficiaries for the scheme would be selected by a district-level task force committee headed by the Collector and the general manager of District Industries Centre as member-convenor.

The lead bank manager, branch managers of the banks and the TIIC, TANSIDCO, TAHDCO, District Employment Officer and representatives of Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), MSME Development Institute, and local MSME associations would be members of the task force.

The age limit for general category of applicants would be 21 to 35 years and for special categories comprising women, candidates from SC,ST,BC, MBC, minority communities and ex-servicemen, transgender and differently abled persons, the age limit would be between 21 and 45 years.

Candidates should be residents of Tamil Nadu for a minimum period of three years and there would be no income ceiling for assistance. Partnership concerns would also be considered for assistance. Selected candidates would have to mandatorily undergo entrepreneurship development training at the EDI, Chennai. For partnership concerns, one partner would have to undergo the training. Aspiring entrepreneurs could obtain the application forms in person at District Industries Centre at the Collector’s Office Road and submit the filled-in applications before January 31. Details could be had by dialling 0431-2460823.