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NIDHI Entrepreneur-in-Residence, abbreviated as NIDHI EIR, is an initiative created to cater to the aspiring or budding entrepreneurs by way of assisting them in pursuing promising technical endeavours. The program intends to grant subsistence to entrepreneurs from selected DST approved Technology Business Incubators. This article looks at the scheme in detail.

About Nidhi

NIDHI was initiated by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) as an umbrella program for nurturing knowledge-based and technology-driven ideas and innovations into successful startups. It would function on par with the national priorities and objectives and would strive to establish an innovation-driven entrepreneurial system.

NIDHI intends to nurture start-ups by means of scouting, supporting and scaling of innovations. Its key stakeholders comprise of various departments and ministries of the Central Government, State Government, academic and R&D institutions, mentors, financial institutions, angel investors, venture capitalists and private sectors.

Funding and Financial Aspects

The Nidhi-EIR program will grant the budding entrepreneurs a fellowship amounting to Rs. 30,000 in a month. Prayas, the acronym for which is “Promoting and Accelerating Young and Aspiring technology entrepreneurs” would grant a sum of Rs. 10 lakhs to facilitate the translation of an innovative thought into a prototype.

Also, the Technology Business Incubator which is playing the role of Programme Executing Partner (PEP) would receive an annual grant of up to Rs. 39.60 lakhs in a year, out of which Rs. 26 lakhs will be utilized for this initiative.


The Government seeks to establish the following through this program:

  • Encourage the graduates to pursue entrepreneurship by according them with fellowship.
  • Assist deserving and budding entrepreneurs to carry on with their ventures without the involvement of any risks.
  • Grant subsistence to partially set off their opportunity costs.
  • Create, nurture and empower a pipeline of entrepreneurs for incubators.
  • Facilitate the entrepreneurs to form new establishments

It is being proposed that under the initiative, at-least 30% of the support recipients are converted into start-up companies; and at-least 10% of support recipients raise funds or investment for their companies within 18 months of extending the support.

Mode of Implementation

The task of implementing this program is vested with the Program Implementation Partner (PIP). Pune based Entrepreneurship Development Centre has been identified as the nodal agency and PIP for this scheme. The execution will be carried out at approved Technology Business Incubators (TUB), which is known as Program Executing Partner (PEP). Let us have a peek into the eligibility and prerequisites required for a PIP:

  • It should be a non-profit incubator approved and recognized by NSTEDB.
  • It should be operational for at-least three years with a proven track record of incubation.
  • It should consist of at-least 20 resident incubates.
  • It should be capacitated to generate a pipeline of incubates and accommodate the growth arising from the start-ups developed through this program.

Eligibility to Obtain NIDHI-EIR Support

  • The proposed beneficiaries of the initiative must be committed to explore new ideas and must be first generation entrepreneurs who do not benefit from any income. The recipient should not treat the benefit as a stop-gap arrangement to support them in their academic pursuits or transition between jobs.
  • The proposed recipient should showcase the potential to build a scalable technology business enterprise.
  • The proposed recipient should suggest a business idea in the prescribed format.
  • The proposed recipient needs to be involved in a full-time entrepreneurial pursuit.
  • The proposed recipient cannot be a promoter or a vital shareholder of any other company while applying for and receiving the grant.
  • Entrepreneurs carrying out business ideas with little or no technological innovation or with a shorter journey to commercialization are not recommended to be a part of the initiative.
  • The candidates seeking support must provide a layout of the investment.
  • Once the NIDHI-EIR raises funds or investments for their business ideas or endeavors, the support of grants will be abated from the date of receipt of the first tranche of funds.