NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) announced the opening of the Community Innovator Fellowship application process (CIF).
According to Chintan Vaishnav, Mission Director for AIM, who spoke at the event, the startup revolution has micro-level reached the Tier 2, and Tier 3 cities of India and accelerated the startup ecosystem in these areas.
In order to enable innovators working at the grassroots level to solve local community problems, Vaishnav noted that tackling local challenges at scale across sectors such as healthcare, education, agriculture, and financial services is the main driving factor behind the Atal Innovation Mission.
“With the strategic locations, Atal Community Innovation Centres are witnessing the grassroots innovators undergoing the transformation journey of pursuing entrepreneurship as their full-fledged career option. With this launch of applications for the fellowship we call upon the applicants to experience the journey of creating a change in the community,” he said.
CIF is a project of the Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, and UNDP India, and it aims to help aspiring community innovators by facilitating knowledge acquisition and providing the infrastructural assistance they need to start their own businesses.
At the Atal Community Innovation Centre (ACIC) programme of AIM, 22 community innovator fellows are currently being fostered. “A Community Innovator Fellow is an individual with an entrepreneurial mindset, with an idea to solve a community challenge through her/his enterprise,” said NITI Aayog in a press release.
In order to create a favourable environment where knowledge, mentorship, community immersion, and inclusion can flourish through adequate infrastructure and funding, this is a one-year intensive fellowship programme where aspiring community innovators can apply regardless of their socioeconomic background.