Creating Udyog Sahayak Enterprises Network (USENET) for Employment Generation and Scale-up in the MSME Sector

Azim Premji University,


We cannot achieve the demographic dividend unless we create jobs for millions of youth. There are multiple forces – thirteen of them identified in this report — working against employment growth in India from both supply side and the demand side. It is proven that large enterprises create very few jobs. Even these few jobs are created for educated youth. Only Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) can create large number of jobs across India for workers with wide range of skills and education. Out of a total of just over 63 million enterprises in the MSME sector, 62 million are informal micro and very small enterprises (MSEs). Of these, single worker firms (own-account) are 40 million, firms with 2 to 5 workers are 22 million and firms with more than 5 but less than 10 are estimated at 1 million. 107.6 million workers (97% of all employment in the MSME sector) are in this MSE segment. These MSEs, surprisingly, are more rural than urban — 51% are in rural India. Women-owned firms accounted for 20 % of all enterprises, 16 % of all workers and 9 % of aggregate value-added. There is a huge potential to grow these women owned enterprises. MSEs are the most important segment of the Indian Economy if we want to achieve GDP and Employment growth. Moreover, many of these enterprises are closely aligned with households, particularly in location and ownership. These enterprises play a pivotal role in linking the formal and the informal sector through value chains. We don’t need more micro-enterprises or more single-person firms. Instead, we need to scale-up these existing MSEs. How can we do this? By creating a support system which will make these MSEs go digital, grow in scale and increase their productivity. This will automatically create jobs The Udyog Sahayak Enterprise Network (USENET) proposed in this report is that support system. Why a support system? Because it is not possible to educate millions of the MSE entrepreneurs to become digital experts. Why now? Because India and the world are going digital. In the digital marketplace small can compete better and grow.

Download Policy Proposal Here.

Read media coverage here.

Realising India’s demographic dividend requires a focused policy approach for employment generation. Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) can create millions of jobs, across India, for workers with wide range of skills and education. Out of a total of just over 63 million enterprises in the MSME sector, 62 million are informal micro and very small enterprises (MSEs). We do not need more micro-enterprises. Instead we need to help existing MSEs to grow in size. We can do this by creating a support system which enables them to go digital, avail of government schemes, adopt new technologies, and increase productivity. This will create millions of new jobs.

This report is a first of its kind collaboration between Azim Premji University, FICCI, and TISS-Mumbai. It proposes the creation of an Udyog Sahayak Enterprise Network (USENET) at the national level. USENET is a support system for MSEs that will improve Ease of Doing Business for micro and small entrepreneurs. Udyog Sahayak Enterprises will take servcies such as digitisation and formalisation, availing of government loans, subsidies or other benefits, ensuring compliance with local, regional, and national regulation, aiding partnership with digital marketing platforms and digital payment platforms, to the MSEs at their doorstep.

Media Coverage

Press Coverage USENET Report Release
The Times of India: Support system to up ease of doing business
The Economic Times: Azim Premji University, FICCI, TISS, roll out plan for employmenet generation in MSME sector
ETAuto: Policy proposal for employment generation, scale-up in MSME sector
Business Today: FICCI, Azim Premji University recommend 18 lakh Udyog Sahayak Enterprises network to assist MSEs

The Hindu: Draft policy to help grow nano, micro enterprises
The Hindu Businessline: Set up USENET centres micro, small enterprises’ 

The New Indian Express: Micro firms can create 10.3 million jobs: Report
The Statesman: Azim Premji University, FICCI and TISS form policy proposal for employment generation for MSMEs
Telangana Today: USENET could help MSMEs scale up
The New Indian Express – Edex Live: This network for MSEscan help create 56 million new jobs in 10 years. Here’s how
UNI: Azim Premji University, FICCI, TISS come out with new USENET policy for creating one crore job
The Hans India: Azim Premji varsity, FICCI, TISS roll out plan to generate jobs in MSME sector
SME Times: Report proposes ease of doing biz for MSEs
Nagaland Post: Policy proposal to scale up MSME sector