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FM Nirmala Sitharaman Urges Startups to Work on Climate Change Solutions

Startups & investors should look beyond fintech and SaaS and prioritise less glamorous areas like climate change solutions, farmer welfare, and millet production.

Shivam Dwivedi
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman spoke to a crowd at the Vananam Start-up Inclusion Summit, emphasising the importance of climate change & farming solutions.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman spoke to a crowd at the Vananam Start-up Inclusion Summit, emphasising the importance of climate change & farming solutions.

Vananam Ventures Pvt Ltd, a Bengaluru-based alternative investment platform, hosted a Start-Up Inclusion Summit. The Chief Guest was Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Government of India.

She urged start-ups to concentrate on climate change and farming solutions. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman spoke to a crowd at the Vananam Start-up Inclusion Summit, emphasising the importance of climate change and farming solutions. "Atmanirbhar Bharat is not just for defence or strategic matters, food security, or manufacturing areas," she said at a national-level summit organised by Vananam to promote inclusion in India's start-up ecosystem. Being able to transition to a better climate in India is also self-sufficiency."

She urged start-ups and investors to look beyond fintechs and Software as a Service start-ups and prioritise less glamorous areas such as climate change solutions, farmer welfare, and millet production. "You've already mentioned defence production, renewable energy, nuclear space, satellites, space technologies, and so on." "I'm also asking you to look into some less glamorous areas," she added.

"More and more innovations for dealing with climate and climate change will be precious," Sitharaman said, emphasising climate change solutions. Climate change has a direct impact on agriculture as well as the country's supply chain." "The challenges posed by unpredictable climatic conditions affect agriculture, urban living, water management, disaster management, house construction, industries, and national security," she added.

The finance minister warned that if climate change issues are not addressed, it will cost the Indian economy a lot of money that will not be affordable to everyone. "The overall damages that adverse climate and weather conditions can cause will be too great for any country to subsume, absorb, or accept," she warned the gathering.

"The rainfall that used to happen over the entire monsoon season is now being witnessed within a couple of days, which no city or rural area can handle," she explained. All of this is causing farmers to reconsider how they will plough, sow, and prepare the land and when the crop will be ready for harvest. People can see farmers attempting to change their cropping patterns, she added. Because of the unpredictable monsoon months, seed sowing is being pushed back.

"Karnataka is one of the largest producers of diverse varieties of millets," she added, adding that the United Nations General Assembly had declared 2023 to be the International Year of Millets. Millets provided a healthy eating option, particularly for the urban population. There are numerous opportunities for start-ups, such as assisting farmers in obtaining higher prices for their millet produce through value addition."

Making additional significant announcements at the Vananam Summit, Sitharaman stated, "India will chair the G20 summit, and one of the sessions involving Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors will be held in February in Bengaluru."

Panel Discussions on the Inclusion Theme

The Vananam Start-up Inclusion Summit featured three-panel discussions. The panellists discussed how to successfully transition students from academia to entrepreneurship, how to encourage female entrepreneurs, and how to support founders in Tier II and Tier III cities. At the event, Keshav Inani, CEO of Vananam Ventures, said, "It is our great privilege that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman graced the occasion and addressed the audience." She gave us, the entrepreneurs, food for thought about national issues that require attention. We thank her for her assistance in our efforts to build an inclusive startup ecosystem."

Vananam is an alternative investment platform that aims to democratise venture capital investing in India. Their mission is to make start-up and SME investing simple and accessible. Keshav Gopaldas Inani founded the firm in 2021, and its product offerings include start-up investing, revenue-based finance, invoice discounting, lease financing, and mentoring start-ups.

Within a year of its inception, the firm has raised angel rounds for over a dozen start-ups ranging in size from Rs 50 lakhs to Rs 5 crores. Furthermore, in the last eight months, it has generated a GMV of Rs 800 crore (USD 100 million). Several start-ups have emerged in the Indian fintech space in recent years as entrepreneurs seek a piece of this burgeoning industry, which is expected to be worth $2.1 trillion, according to estimates.

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