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PM’s Speech at Global Entrepreneurship Summit, 2017

Global Entrepreneurship Summit, 2017 gains historic significance for the facts that it is being held in South Asia for the first time, the theme of the Summit is ‘Women First, Prosperity for All’ and above all, US President Donald Trump's daughter and his advisor Ivanka Trump’s participation in the summit, herself a business woman and now leading the US Contingent to the Summit.

Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the Summit with his own characteristic excellent speech which was exhaustive with details women achievers and also, with the initiatives of the government to take the nation on the path of development and growth like demonetization and GST. Never does the PM fail when the occasion demands to touch upon the ancient Indian Wisdom and its contribution to very vital aspects of living like Yoga, Ayurveda and he recalls the contributions of Aryabhatta with his zero and of Kautilya in his Arthashastra wherein, as Modi points out, many nuances of modern day economic policy, taxation system, and public finance policies are outlined.


Some extracts from his highly inspiring and informative speech:

We are happy to host the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in partnership with the Government of the United States of America… 

The theme “Women First, Prosperity for All” makes this edition of GES stand out. In Indian mythology, woman is an incarnation of Shakti - the Goddess of power. We believe women empowerment is vital to our development.  

Our history has references to women of remarkable talent and determination. Gargi, an ancient philosopher, around the seventh century BC, challenged a male sage to a philosophical discourse - something unheard of in those times. Our warrior queens like Rani Ahilyabai Holkar and Rani Lakshmibai fought bravely to defend their kingdoms. Our freedom struggle too is replete with such inspirational instances.

Indian women continue to lead in different walks of life. Our space programmes, including the Mars Orbiter Mission, have had immense contribution from our women scientists. Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams, both of Indian origin, have been part of US space missions.

Three out of four oldest High Courts in India are now headed by women judges. Our sportswomen have done the country proud. This very city of Hyderabad is home to Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, and Sania Mirza, who have brought laurels to India.

In India, we have provided for not less than one third of women representation in rural and urban local bodies, ensuring women’s participation in grass-root level decision-making.

More than sixty percent of workers in our agriculture and allied sectors are women. Our milk co-operatives in Gujarat and the Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad, are examples of highly successful and globally acclaimed women-led co-operative movements.

Here at the GES, more than 50 percent of the delegates are women. Over the next two days, you will meet many women who have dared to be different, in their own walks of life. They now inspire a new generation of women entrepreneurs. I hope the deliberations in the summit would focus on how women entrepreneurship can be further supported.

India has been an incubator for innovations and entrepreneurship over the ages. The ancient Indian treatise, Charaka Samhita, introduced the world to Ayurveda. Yoga is another ancient Indian innovation. The entire world now comes together, to celebrate Yoga Day on 21st June every year. Many entrepreneurs are involved in promoting Yoga, spirituality, and traditional Ayurvedic products.

What are the core qualities that distinguish an entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur uses knowledge and skills to fulfil a motive. Entrepreneurs see opportunity in adversity. They try to meet felt needs by making processes more convenient and comfortable for the end user. They are patient and determined. Swami Vivekananda had said Each work has to pass through three stages – ridicule, opposition, and then acceptance. Those who think ahead of their time are sure to be misunderstood. Most entrepreneurs would be familiar with this.

The power to think differently and ahead of the times for the betterment of mankind is what sets entrepreneurs apart. I see that power in India's young generation today. I see 800 million potential entrepreneurs who can work towards making the world a better place.


Our Start-Up India programme is a comprehensive action plan to foster entrepreneurship and promote innovation. It aims to minimize the regulatory burden and provide support to startups. Over 1200 redundant laws have been scrapped, 87 rules for FDI have been eased in 21 sectors, and several government processes have been taken online. 

Our government has taken several steps to improve the business environment. The jump in India’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report, from 142 to 100, in three years, is a result of this. 

We have improved on indicators like dealing with construction permits, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

The process is not yet complete. This is an area where we are not satisfied with 100th rank. We would strive towards 50thrank.  

We have launched the MUDRA scheme to provide easy finance of upto one million rupees to entrepreneurs. Since its launch in 2015, over 90 million loans worth 4.28 trillion rupees have been sanctioned.  Of these, more than 70 million loans have been sanctioned to women entrepreneurs.  

Prime Minister lists out a comprehensive chain of initiatives the government has taken to better the living standards of people both in villages and in urban cities: Encouraging innovativeness in school children thru “ Atal Innovation Mission”, creating the world’s largest biometric based digital database Aadhaar, bringing un-banked sections of society into the formal financial system thru Jan Dhan Yojana, with majority of accounts being of women, leading the nation steadily towards a less cash economy thru Unified Payment Interface App called BHIM, providing electricity to villages thru Saubhagya scheme, increasing renewable capacity thru clean energy programme,  taking the basic sanitation and cleanliness to all both rural and urbanites thru Swachh Bharat Mission, offering business opportunities by developing infrastructure and connectivity under ambitious programmes like Sagarmala and Bharatmala.


To continue with the text of PM’s speech:


My government understands that an environment of transparent policies and a rule of law providing a level-playing field are necessary for entrepreneurship to flourish.

A historic overhaul of the taxation system has been recently undertaken, bringing in the Goods and Services Tax across the country. Our Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code introduced in 2016 is a step towards ensuring timely resolution for stressed ventures. We have recently improved this further, preventing wilful defaulters from bidding for stressed assets.

Tough measures have been adopted to tackle the parallel economy, check tax evasion and control black money.

Our efforts have been recognized by Moody’s recent upgrade of India’s government bond ratings. This upgrade comes after a gap of almost 14 years.

India has improved its rank from 54 in 2014 to 35 in 2016 on the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index. This signifies the relative ease and efficiency with which products can be moved into and from a country.

An investment-friendly environment needs to be stable from the macro-economic perspective. We have succeeded in containing the fiscal and current account deficits, and curbing inflation. Our foreign exchange reserves have crossed 400 billion dollars, and we continue to attract large foreign capital flows.

To my young entrepreneur friends from India, I would like to say: each of you has something valuable to contribute towards creating a New India by 2022. You are vehicles of change and instruments of India’s transformation.

To my entrepreneur friends from across the globe, I would like to say: Come, Make in India, Invest in India - for India, and for the world. I invite each one of you to become a partner in India’s growth story. And once again assure you of our whole-hearted support.

I am informed that President Trump has declared November 2017 as National Entrepreneurship Month. America has also observed National Entrepreneurs’ Day on November 21st. This summit will certainly resonate with those themes. Let me conclude by wishing you fruitful, engaging and rewarding deliberations at this summit.


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