In the bustling marketplace of India, the sheer energy of youth entrepreneurship is unmistakable. From innovative startups in urban centers to dynamic MSMEs in the country’s heartland, young entrepreneurs are not just dreaming big but also forging a vibrant economic future. They are the changemakers, steering India towards a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem and robust economic growth. However, to ensure their ideas take flight, there is a pressing need to make India an easier place to do business.

Fostering Ease of Doing Business and Empowering Young Entrepreneurs

The Indian entrepreneurial landscape has been revolutionized in recent years by substantial efforts from the Government of India, which has made strides in enhancing the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB). Such initiatives have been key to unshackling the entrepreneurial spirit, reducing roadblocks, and enabling young entrepreneurs to successfully establish and run their ventures. The measures undertaken have involved significant reductions in the number of mandatory licenses and permits, fostering a more business-friendly environment and curtailing bureaucratic obstacles.

In parallel, the government has also initiated a shift in credit accessibility. By tearing down financial barriers, entrepreneurs are now more equipped to secure the necessary capital, bringing their innovative ideas to fruition. This simplification of business processes and fostering of a conducive entrepreneurial environment is integral to the thriving spirit of young entrepreneurs in the nation.

However, despite these encouraging advancements, there is scope for more. This rings particularly true within the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) industry, a crucial pillar of the Indian economy. Accounting for approximately 30% of the country’s GDP, 45% of manufacturing output, and about 40% of total exports, MSMEs play an essential role. Nonetheless, they often find themselves entangled in complex regulatory webs and an arduous compliance burden.

Addressing this, the GAME is unwavering in its commitment to transform India into a vibrant hub of job creators. With a focus on enhancing EoDB for MSMEs, we strive to catalyze transformative change, proving that entrepreneurship is not just a mere dream but an attainable reality for India’s youth.

GAME’s EoDB Initiative: Turning the Tide in Punjab

From November 2020 to October 2022, GAME, with its partners, collectively, the GAME Alliance, undertook a pivotal exercise to reduce compliance burdens and promote EoDB in Punjab. The exercise revolved around a ‘rationalize, digitize, and decriminalize’ framework, aiming to foster an environment conducive to entrepreneurial growth.

The project’s evaluation, conducted by the Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS), encompassed wide-ranging consultations with public, experts, relevant government departments, as well as a thorough review of data and secondary literature. The government’s response and actions based on the project’s recommendations signaled a positive change in institutionalizing reforms and reducing compliances.

Lessons Learned and The Roadmap Ahead

The Punjab project taught us invaluable lessons. Clearly articulating the problem statement, developing a comprehensive understanding of governmental procedures, maintaining a sustained involvement with government stakeholders, and allocating resources efficiently emerged as critical success factors.

Armed with these insights, GAME is charting the way forward. The organization plans to conduct Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIA) to gauge the cost of regulations and identify burdensome compliances. GAME also aims to adopt innovative EoDB assessment methods, drawing inspiration from models like the World Bank’s B-Ready framework.

Another area of focus is the use of technology to reduce compliance burdens and associated costs. GAME believes in harnessing Regulatory Technology (Reg Tech) and Supervisory Technology (Sup Tech) to simplify, streamline, and automate processes. The aim is to cultivate a rules-based regulatory framework that covers all aspects of a business lifecycle, with a sharp focus on the long-term sustainability and impact of EoDB reforms.

“As we move forward, our mission remains clear – to cultivate an ecosystem where young entrepreneurs can dream, innovate and prosper. To accomplish this, we remain committed to fostering an environment that enhances the Ease of Doing Business in India.”

Today, as we continue the endeavors to make India an easier place to do business, it is empowering a new generation of entrepreneurs, ready to take on the world. Indeed, the power of youth entrepreneurship, coupled with a conducive business environment, could well be the game-changer that India needs to fuel its future economic growth.