PRIME – Promotion and Incubation of Market-driven Enterprises program is a strong entrepreneurship focused program aimed at providing targeted support to aspiring entrepreneurs through focusing on the four-pillars of market access, skill development, technology and credit linkages.

VISION: To make entrepreneurship a preferred career choice for the youth of the State through creation of a dynamic and collaborative ecosystem that enables easy availability of credit, relevant technology, skilling and mentoring support and access to high leverage markets

MISSION: To provide systematic and targeted support to aspiring entrepreneurs through a network of PRIME HUBs that will be the one-stop-shop for the different segments of entrepreneurs in the State.


  1. Skill: Skills (including mindsets) cuts across the entire entrepreneurial journey, from aspiring to be an entrepreneur to becoming a nano entrepreneur. The state will work with organizations that have worked on supply side entrepreneurship development, for entrepreneurial training, mentoring and domain (technical) expertise and showcase and build on their efforts.
  2. Technology: Technology will be a crucial driver for disseminating knowledge, increasing enterprise productivity and operational efficiencies. It will also be a key output in delivering enterprise action agenda (e.g., online peer networks, opportunity maps, etc.)
  3. Markets: For all types of enterprises, both forward and backward linkages, have much to do with geography and sector. Our learnings suggest an overemphasis on technical and general business development services than sector/geography specific value chain services. Understanding and building a strong demand side network to support entrepreneurs while also building entrepreneur’s ability to recognize and serve local demand will be critical.
  4. Credit/ Finance: Timely, low-cost and adequate financing has been a challenge for enterprises that are willing to pay a higher rate of interest. On the supply side, micro-entrepreneurs are believed to be ‘hard to reach’ and ‘risky’ to serve. Creating solutions to de-risk, reducing opex of loan servicing and identifying new the approach to access capital will be some of pathways to unlock this breakthrough.
Dimension Status Challenge
Markets Most existing programs are geared towards production and productivity enhancements and lack adequate focus on markets. Traditional enterprise development models put markets at the end. Market-oriented models place markets at the forefront.
Credit There are a myriad number of credit programs that are meant to provide easy access of credit to the various kinds of entrepreneurs- PMEGP, KCC and MUDRA loans. The lower penetration of the banking system, the land tenure systems (that make collating land difficult) and the generally lower rates of lending make credit access poor.
Technology Technology dissemination is a component of the various government programs Existing programs for technology dissemination are grossly inadequate
Skills Skill training, both placements related and other-wise, is being provided under different government programs

Skills trainings need to be interconnected with credit and market access. Standalone skill trainings cannot lead to enterprise building


The goal of the PRIME program is to bring together these four components under one roof, through setting up of PRIME HUBs across the State. These PRIME HUBs will be one-stop-shops for providing end-to-end support to entrepreneurs, in collaboration with various departments that are currently providing the various services. The PRIME program will provide systematic, outcome-oriented facilitation along the four dimensions of the growth quartet.


Under the PRIME program, any individual or organization or collective producing goods and services for the market is considered an entrepreneur. Having said that, there is a need to understand the different categories of entrepreneurs and enterprises in the state to truly appreciate their specific requirements and needs to grow and thrive as a business.

Entrepreneurship activities vary extremely between different categories of entrepreneurs. From a solo entrepreneur to a large technology start-up, there are large variations in operations, scale of business, credit requirements, skilling and mentoring support and market linkages needed. It is imperative that a separate identification and support (including incubation) process is followed for each segment of entrepreneurs.

Startup Entrepreneurs

For selection or identification, in case of startup entrepreneurs, an annual open challenge called CM’s E-Champion Challenge will be organized every year where 50 – 100 top startups/ideas will be incubated at the PRIME STARTUP HUBs in Shillong and Tura in collaboration. The first such challenge was held in 2019 in collaboration with IIM Calcutta Knowledge Park.

Startup Entrepreneurs require high leverage support across various dimensions. Through the PRIME STARTUP HUBs in Shillong and Tura, these entrepreneurs will be provided skilling and mentoring support that will be provided through experts who will bring relevant sector knowledge to accelerate business growth. Mentors who bring in the requisite business and sector knowledge will be invited to work with each startup. Access to finance is a critical lever for growth for startups and facilitating quick requisite equity or credit financing will be an important focus for PRIME. At the PRIME STARTUP HUBs, venture capitalists and angel investors will be empaneled to provide significant opportunities to startups to raise their growth capital. Banks will also be empaneled at these hubs to provide credit to these entrepreneurs for their working capital and growth requirements.

Corporates, technology platforms and demand aggregators who sell across national and international markets will be invited on a regular basis by the state to provide the necessary market linkages to these startup entrepreneurs. The support provided by the PRIME STARTUP HUBs will be holistic and 360 degree in nature to ensure that overall growth opportunities are provided to the startups and leveraging these optimally will ensure startups in Meghalaya are on a high growth path.

Nano Entrepreneurs

For Nano entrepreneurs, PRIME HUBs in each district and block of the state will have a sectoral focus and support entrepreneurs who are predominantly focused on and working in the identified sectors. This would be done in partnership with the different anchors associated with each PRIME HUB.

PRIME HUBs will be set up first at the block and progressively at the subblock levels as per need. Each PRIME HUB will have a sectoral focus and will be geared towards comprehensive value-chain building of that particular sector in identified clusters. A quick sectoral value-chain mapping will be undertaken and individuals and groups (SHGs and Cooperatives) that have the highest potential to develop the value chain will be identified. These individuals will be incubated through providing skill, business planning and credit facilitation.

The HUBs will have the following components:

  1. Enterprise Facilitation Center to provide the business know-how and support with making business plans
  2. Sectoral incubators that will focus on enterprise building in specific sectors
  3. Rural technology park that will have technologies both for demonstration and for actual use in value addition of various locally available raw materials

Each PRIME HUB will have three anchors to provide comprehensive support:

  1. A community anchor- a local NGO or some organization that has worked in Entrepreneurship and which has the connect with the community
  2. A credit anchor (a bank that has local presence), which will take care of all the lending needs of the entrepreneurs.
  3. A technology anchor that will provide the technical know-how and market knowledge. These will typically be private market players from the sector.

Livelihood Entrepreneurs

In case of Livelihood Entrepreneurs, every farmer/artisan/producer producing additional produce/goods for the market who is within the purview of an existing or upcoming collective (such as SHGs) within a mapped cluster can avail support to grow their livelihood.

These livelihood entrepreneurs need input and output support to sustain and enable their activities. In this regard, facilitation of credit for them will be enabled by existing Self-Help Groups (SHGs), Integrated Village Cooperative Scheme (IVCS) and other collectives who will in turn receive support from Credit Anchors through PRIME HUBs. The credit requirement of these entrepreneurs is small quantum of less than INR 50 thousand. The livelihood entrepreneurs will get better access to their produce through the startup and nano entrepreneurs for whom this could be providing raw materials. SHGs, IVCS and other collectives will also be supported to provide livelihood entrepreneurs with skills and capacity building opportunities in areas such as accounting and bookkeeping, productivity, enhanced processes, product aggregation in order to provide them with necessary income uplift.

KEY TARGETS (2020-2025)

Year PRIME HUBs* Startup** Entrepreneurs Nano*** Entrepreneurs Livelihood**** Entrepreneurs
2020-21 10 50 1000 2000
2021-22 10 50 1500 5000
2022-23 10 50 1500 5000
2023-24 10 50 1500 5000
2024-25 10 50 1500 5000
TOTAL 50 250 7000 22000

*50 Prime Hubs to be established at District Headquarters and Blocks over a period of 5 years 10 to be established each year.
**100 Startup Entrepreneurs to be supported each year under the programmes and at least 50% expected to succeed.
***In the first year, 100 Nano Entrepreneurs to be supported at each Prime Hub. From the second year onwards, each new PRIME Hub will support 100 nano entrepreneurs and each PRIME Hub established the previous year will support 50 new nano entrepreneurs while continuing support to its previous batch of nano entrepreneurs.
****1 to 2 members from each of the 17,000+ SHGs in the state to be supported under the PRIME Hubs over a period of 5 years.