Understanding the Grant of MSME in India: A Comprehensive Guide

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Introduction to MSME

The Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) acts as the backbone of industrial growth and employment generation. MSME was introduced under the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Act of 2006 to provide employment opportunities, contribute to manufacturing and exports, and support innovation and entrepreneurship.

MSMEs are classified into three categories based on the investment in plant and machinery for manufacturing units and equipment for service-providing enterprises:

  • Micro Enterprises: Businesses with investments up to Rs. 1 crore.
  • Small Enterprises: Businesses with investments ranging from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 10 crore.
  • Medium Enterprises: Businesses with investments between Rs. 10 crore and Rs. 50 crore.

In 2020, the definition of MSMEs underwent a significant change, transitioning from a single aspect based solely on investment to a composite criterion encompassing both investment and turnover. This revision was aimed to streamline the classification process and ensure inclusivity across diverse business sectors.

The MSME sector’s evolution can be traced back to the establishment of the Ministry of Small Scale Industries and Agro and Rural Industries in 1999, marking a pivotal moment in recognizing the significance of small enterprises in driving economic growth and equitable development. Subsequent policy reforms, including the enactment of the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Act in 2006, laid the groundwork for the sector’s development.

Over the past decades, the MSME sector underwent various phases of evolution through implementation of distinct policy initiatives and objectives. From the focus on employment generation and income distribution from 1948-1991 to shift through competitiveness and globalization post 1991, the sector has continually adapted to changing economic demands.

Historical Background of MSMEs

– Pre-Independence Era

Before independence, small-scale industries were acknowledged as vital contributors to employment and economic growth. However, formalized support mechanisms were limited, with initiatives such as priority sector lending serving as early forms of assistance.

Post-Independence to Liberalization (1948-1991)

The period after independence saw increased recognition of the importance of small enterprises in economic development. Initiatives like the formation of the Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO) laid the groundwork for sectoral development. Policies focused on priority sector lending and infrastructure support.

– Liberalization Era (1991 Onwards)

With economic liberalization in 1991, the focus shifted towards competitiveness and globalization. Policies aimed to strengthen MSMEs to compete globally, emphasizing infrastructure development, technology upgradation, and quality enhancement. This period witnessed the establishment of the Ministry of MSME, signaling dedicated attention to the sector.

– MSMED Act of 2006

The enactment of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act in 2006 provided a formalized framework for MSME development. It defined and classified MSMEs based on investment and turnover criteria, facilitating regulatory support, financial assistance, and policy interventions.

Since then, the MSME sector has witnessed continued evolution, with ongoing policy reforms and initiatives addressing emerging challenges and opportunities.

Types of MSME Grants

Grant Type Description
Startup Grants Cover initial setup costs and operational expenses for new ventures.
Expansion Grants Aid existing businesses in scaling operations, acquiring equipment, 

and entering new markets.

Technology Adoption Grants Encourage modernization by subsidizing the purchase of advanced 

machinery or software.

Export Promotion Grants Facilitate international business expansion through activities like 

trade fair participation and obtaining certifications.

Innovation and R&D Grants Support innovative projects and research initiatives, driving 

technological advancement.

Skill Development Grants Enhance workforce capabilities through training programs or 


Marketing and Branding Grants Fund marketing and branding initiatives such as advertising or 

market research.

Energy Efficiency Grants Encourage energy-efficient practices by providing grants for 

implementing energy-saving technologies.

Infrastructure Development 


Improve physical infrastructure to enhance operational efficiency.
Working Capital Grants Provide working capital through various loan schemes and credit 


  1. Startup Grants

Startup grants for MSMEs support entrepreneurs in launching new ventures by covering initial setup costs and operational expenses. For instance, the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme provides capital for proof of concept, prototype development, market entry, and commercialization. By promoting innovation and entrepreneurship, startup grants play a crucial role in driving economic growth and job creation.

  1. Expansion Grants

Expansion grants are designed to aid existing businesses in scaling their operations – by providing funding to acquire new equipment, expand production capacity and enter new markets. For example, the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) offers subsidies to textile MSMEs for upgrading machinery and technology, enhancing productivity and competitiveness.

  1. Technology Adoption Grants

Technology adoption grants encourage MSMEs to embrace new technologies and modernize their operations by subsidizing the purchase of advanced machinery or software. Financial aids like Technology Development and Modernization Fund (TDMF) helps with adopting modern technologies and enabling businesses to stay competitive in today’s digital landscape.

  1. Export Promotion Grants

Export promotion grants facilitate business expansion internationally through support activities such as participating in trade fairs or obtaining quality certifications. One such example is the Market Access Initiative (MAI) Scheme that helps MSMEs in accessing new markets by providing financial support for export promotion activities, facilitating market penetration and revenue diversification.

  1. Innovation and R&D Grants

Innovation and R&D grants like the National Innovation and Startup Policy for Students (NISP) offer grants to MSMEs for innovative projects and research initiatives, driving technological advancement and industry innovation. Grants under this provide funds for activities like product research or prototype development.

  1. Skill Development Grants

These grants enhance the capabilities of the MSME workforce through training programmes or workshops. For instance, the Skill Upgradation and Quality Improvement (SUQI) Scheme provides financial assistance for conducting skill development programmes, thereby improving workforce productivity and adaptability.

  1. Marketing and Branding Grants

Supporting MSMEs in promoting their products or services, these grants fund activities such as advertising or market research; such as the Market Promotion & Development Assistance Scheme (MPDA) that offers financial support for marketing and branding initiatives which  enhance market visibility and brand reputation.

  1. Energy Efficiency Grants

Encouraging energy-efficient practices, schemes like Energy Conservation and Technology Upgradation Scheme (ECTUS) provide grants for implementing energy-efficient technologies and measures for upgrading to energy-efficient equipment that reduce operational costs and environmental impact.

  1. Infrastructure Development Grants

These grants are provided to improve MSMEs’ physical infrastructure and operational efficiency. For instance, the Infrastructure Development Fund (IDF) offers financial assistance for developing infrastructure facilities such as industrial parks, supporting business growth and regional development.

  1. Working Capital Grants

While specific grants for working capital might be limited, MSMEs can access working capital through various loan schemes and credit facilities offered by organizations such as SIDBI or commercial banks. These financial institutions provide flexible financing options tailored to meet short-term liquidity needs, ensuring smooth business operations and sustained growth.

Eligibility Criteria for MSME Grants

Eligibility Criteria Description
Registration Must be formally registered under the Ministry of MSME in India.
Sector Businesses should operate within the manufacturing or service sector.
Turnover Annual turnover below Rs. 250 crore.
Investment Investments in plant and machinery below Rs. 50 crore.
Compliance Must comply with relevant laws and regulations governing operations.
Category Focus Some grants may require demonstrating project feasibility.


Based on the nature of the grant scheme (such as industry focus, geographical regions, or entrepreneurship categories).
  1. Registration

MSMEs must be formally registered under the Ministry of MSME in India to be eligible for grants. This registration ensures that businesses are recognized and regulated by the government, providing a framework for availing financial assistance and other benefits.

  1. Sector

Eligible businesses should operate within the manufacturing or service sector. This criterion ensures that the grants are directed towards industries that contribute significantly to economic growth and employment generation.

  1. Turnover

To qualify for MSME grants, businesses should have an annual turnover below Rs. 250 crore to be considered eligib;e. This threshold distinguishes MSMEs from larger enterprises and ensures that the benefits are targeted towards smaller-scale businesses with more limited financial resources.

  1. Investment

MSMEs seeking grants should have investments in plant and machinery below Rs. 50 crore. This criterion reflects the scale of operations and asset base typical of micro, small, and medium enterprises, aligning with the objectives of supporting small businesses.

  1. Compliance

Eligible MSMEs must comply with relevant laws and regulations governing their operations. This includes adherence to labor laws, environmental regulations, taxation requirements, and any other applicable statutes. Compliance ensures ethical and legal business practices.

  1. Category Focus

Some grant schemes may require MSMEs to demonstrate the feasibility of their projects. This could involve providing detailed project plans, financial projections, market analyses, and other relevant information to assess the viability and potential impact of the proposed initiatives.

  1. Specific Requirements

Depending on the nature of the grant scheme, additional criteria may apply. For example, certain schemes may prioritize funding for specific industries, geographical regions, or categories of entrepreneurs (such as women-owned businesses or those belonging to marginalized communities). Understanding these specific requirements is crucial for maximizing eligibility and accessing relevant support.

Benefits of MSME Grants

Financial Stability

MSME grants provide much-needed financial stability to startups and small businesses, helping them navigate the challenges of initial setup costs, operational expenses, and investment in essential resources. This stability allows MSMEs to focus on growth and innovation without being burdened by financial constraints.

Risk Mitigation

By offering non-repayable financial assistance, MSME grants mitigate the risks associated with business investments. This allows entrepreneurs to pursue opportunities for growth and expansion with greater confidence, knowing that they have support to weather any potential setbacks.

Employment Opportunities

MSME grants play a crucial role in creating employment opportunities within the economy. As businesses receive financial assistance to scale up their operations, they often need to hire additional employees, thus contributing to job creation and economic development.

Capacity Building

Many MSME grant programmes include provisions for capacity building and skill development initiatives. By funding training programmes and workshops, these grants help MSMEs build a skilled workforce, enhancing productivity and competitiveness in the market.

Technology Adoption

MSME grants incentivize businesses to adopt new technologies by providing financial support for the purchase of advanced machinery, software, and equipment. This enables MSMEs to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving market landscape and meet the demands of modern consumers.

Market Expansion

Export promotion grants facilitate MSMEs in expanding their market reach beyond domestic borders. By providing financial support for activities such as market research, participation in trade fairs, and obtaining quality certifications, these grants help MSMEs access new markets and opportunities for growth.

Innovation and Research

Grants aimed at implementing innovation and research empower MSMEs to invest in product development, research initiatives, and technological advancements. This enables MSMEs to stay ahead of the curve, innovate in their respective industries, and meet the changing needs of consumers.

Brand Development

MSME grants for marketing and branding initiatives enable businesses to build a strong brand presence and connect with their target audience effectively. Financial support for advertising, market research, and branding activities enhances brand visibility, customer engagement, and loyalty.

Sustainability Initiatives

Grants promoting energy efficiency and sustainability encourage MSMEs to adopt environmentally friendly practices and technologies. By implementing energy-efficient solutions and reducing their carbon footprint, MSMEs contribute to environmental sustainability while also lowering operational costs.

Infrastructure Enhancement

Infrastructure development grants support MSMEs in improving their physical infrastructure, such as manufacturing facilities and technology centers. Enhanced infrastructure enables MSMEs to optimize their operations, improve efficiency, and scale their business effectively.

Also Read: Decoding the Biggest Hurdle for MSMEs

Challenges Faced by MSMEs in Availing Grants

Lack of Awareness

Many MSMEs, especially those in rural or remote areas, lack awareness about the existence of government grants and schemes. This hampers their ability to take advantage of available financial assistance.

Complex Application Processes

The application procedures for grants can be complex and time-consuming. MSMEs may struggle to navigate through the paperwork, documentation requirements, and online portals, leading to delays or errors in the application process.

Eligibility Criteria

Some MSMEs may find it challenging to meet the eligibility criteria set by grant schemes. Requirements related to turnover, investment, and operational history may exclude smaller enterprises or startups from accessing financial assistance.

Collateral Requirements

Certain grant schemes may require MSMEs to provide collateral or guarantees, which can be difficult for businesses with limited assets or credit history. This poses a barrier to accessing funds, particularly for micro-enterprises and first-time entrepreneurs.

Limited Access to Technology

MSMEs operating in rural or underdeveloped areas often face challenges in accessing and utilizing technology platforms required for applying for grants online. Poor internet connectivity and digital literacy further exacerbate this issue.

Capacity Constraints

MSMEs may lack the internal capacity and expertise to prepare comprehensive business plans, financial projections, and project reports required for grant applications. This can hinder their ability to present a strong case for funding approval.

Administrative Constraints

Delays in the processing of grant applications due to administrative bottlenecks within government agencies can frustrate MSMEs. Lengthy approval procedures and bureaucracy contribute to uncertainty and discourage businesses from seeking financial assistance.

Competition and Limited Funds

The demand for grants often exceeds the available funds, leading to stiff competition among MSMEs. Limited allocation of resources may result in deserving applicants being overlooked or receiving partial funding, impacting their growth prospects.

Also Read: Unveiling the MSME challenges in India

Government Schemes and Programmes for MSME Grants

  1. Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP)

Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme is launched by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) to generate employment opportunities in rural and urban areas by facilitating the establishment of micro-enterprises.

It provides financial assistance for setting up new ventures, covering up to 25% of the project cost in the general category and 35% in special category areas.

  1. Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) Loans

Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency is an initiative by the Government of India, which offers loans to micro and small enterprises for various business purposes – including setting up new units, expanding existing operations, and upgrading technology. 

The loans are categorized into three segments: Shishu Loan (up to Rs. 50,000), Kishor Loan (Rs. 50,001 to Rs. 5 lakh), and Tarun Loan (Rs. 5,00,001 to Rs. 10 lakh).

  1. Credit Guarantee Trust Fund for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE)

Credit Guarantee Trust Fund for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) is operated by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), provides credit guarantee cover for loans extended to micro and small enterprises without the need for collateral. It enables MSMEs to avail collateral-free credit facilities up to Rs. 2 crore from eligible financial institutions.

  1. Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme (CLCSS)

Implemented by the Ministry of MSME, Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme (CLCSS) facilitates technology upgradation in MSMEs by providing a capital subsidy for the purchase of eligible machinery and equipment. Under this scheme, MSMEs can avail a subsidy of up to 15% of the project cost, with a maximum limit of Rs. 15 lakh.

  1. Technology Development and Modernization Fund (TDMF)

Technology Development and Modernization Fund (TDMF) is administered by various state governments, with the objective to support MSMEs in adopting modern technologies to enhance productivity and competitiveness. It offers financial assistance for procuring advanced machinery, software, and equipment required for technological upgradation.

  1. Market Access Initiative (MAI) Scheme

Market Access Initiative (MAI) Scheme is operated by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to facilitate the participation of MSMEs in international trade fairs, exhibitions, and buyer-seller meets to promote exports. It provides financial support for organizing marketing events and obtaining quality certifications to access global markets.

  1. National Innovation and Startup Policy for Students (NISP)

National Innovation and Startup Policy for Students (NISP) is introduced by the Government of India, encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship among students and MSMEs. It offers various grants to MSMEs for innovative projects, product development, and research initiatives aimed at addressing societal needs and market demands.

  1. Skill Upgradation and Quality Improvement (SUQI) Scheme

Skill Upgradation and Quality Improvement (SUQI) Scheme is implemented by the Ministry of MSME to focus on enhancing the skills and competencies of the MSME workforce through training programmes and workshops. It provides financial assistance to MSMEs for conducting skill development initiatives aligned with industry requirements.

  1. Market Promotion & Development Assistance Scheme (MPDA)

Market Promotion & Development Assistance Scheme (MPDA) is operated by various state governments and industry associations, providing support to MSMEs in marketing their products and services effectively. It offers financial aid for organizing promotional campaigns, advertising activities, and market research in order to expand market reach and brand visibility.

  1. Energy Conservation and Technology Upgradation Scheme (ECTUS)

Energy Conservation and Technology Upgradation Scheme (ECTUS), administered by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), promotes energy-efficient practices and technologies in MSMEs to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact. This scheme provides grants for implementing energy-efficient measures, such as installing renewable energy systems and upgrading to energy-efficient equipment and processes.

  1. Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) Scheme

Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) Scheme is governed by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to facilitate the import of capital goods at concessional customs duty rates for MSMEs engaged in export-oriented production. EPCG allows MSMEs to import machinery, equipment, and technology for enhancing export competitiveness and productivity.

  1. Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP)

Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) is initiated by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship for skill development and capacity building among MSMEs to enhance employability and entrepreneurship. It provides financial support for skill training programmes, vocational courses, and industry-relevant certifications.

  1. Technology Acquisition and Development Fund (TADF)

Technology Acquisition and Development Fund (TADF) is operated by technology development agencies and research institutions, promoting technology acquisition and innovation in MSMEs through collaborative R&D projects. This fund offers grants for technology transfer, licensing agreements, and joint ventures to leverage advanced technologies for business growth.

  1. Quality Upgradation and Benchmarking (QUB)

Quality Upgradation and Benchmarking (QUB) is implemented by quality certification bodies and industry associations which assist MSMEs in improving product quality, processes, and standards to meet international benchmarks. QUB provides financial assistance for obtaining quality certifications, compliance audits, and quality management systems implementation.

  1. Cluster Development Programme (CDP)

Cluster Development Programme (CDP) is supported by various government agencies and industry clusters for enhancing the competitiveness and sustainability of MSME clusters through infrastructure development, technology adoption, and market linkages. It offers financial incentives for cluster formation, capacity building, and common facility centers establishment to promote collective growth and collaboration among MSMEs.

In addition to the above listed grants, there are several other government schemes and grants offered to MSMEs that provide a wide array of financial assistance, technical support, and market access opportunities for their growth and competitiveness in the global economy.

Also Read: Benefits Of MSME Registration For Small Business Owners In India

Impact of MSME Grants on Economic Growth

The impact of MSME grants on economic growth is profound and multi-faceted. These grants serve as promoters of growth of small and medium-sized enterprises by proving its impact in various areas as follows:

  1. Job Creation

MSMEs are significant contributors to employment generation, particularly in rural and semi-urban areas. By providing financial assistance and support for business expansion, MSME grants facilitate job creation, thereby reducing unemployment rates and enhancing livelihood opportunities.

  1. GDP Growth

The growth of MSMEs is closely linked to overall economic growth. With the help of grants, MSMEs can invest in infrastructure, technology, and human capital, leading to increased productivity and efficiency. This, in turn, contributes to higher GDP growth rates by boosting production and consumption levels.

  1. Innovation and Entrepreneurship

MSME grants encourage innovation and entrepreneurship by providing funding for research and development activities, technology adoption, and product innovation. This fosters a culture of innovation within the MSME sector, leading to the development of new products, services, and business models that drive economic progress.

  1. Regional Development

MSME grants play a vital role in promoting balanced regional development by supporting enterprises located in backward and remote areas. By providing financial incentives and infrastructure support to MSMEs in these regions, grants help in reducing regional disparities and fostering inclusive growth.

  1. Export Promotion

Many MSME grants focus on promoting exports by providing financial assistance for participation in international trade fairs, obtaining quality certifications, and implementing export-oriented marketing strategies. This helps MSMEs to tap into global markets, thereby contributing to foreign exchange earnings and economic stability.

  1. Technology Upgradation

MSME grants facilitate the adoption of modern technologies and equipment, enabling MSMEs to enhance their production processes, improve product quality, and reduce costs. This technology upgradation drives efficiency gains and competitiveness within the MSME sector, ultimately leading to higher economic growth.

  1. Skill Development

MSME grants often support skill development initiatives aimed at upgrading the capabilities of the workforce. By providing training programmes and capacity-building activities, grants enable MSMEs to create a skilled workforce that meets industry demands, thereby enhancing productivity and competitiveness.


In conclusion, MSME grants stimulate the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises by empowering them with financial aid required to thrive, innovate, and contribute significantly to the economy.


  1. What are MSMEs, and why are they important for the Indian economy?

MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) contribute significantly to industrial development and provide employment opportunities across various sectors.

  1. How are MSMEs classified, and what are the recent changes in their definition?

MSMEs are classified based on their investment in plant and machinery for manufacturing units and equipment for service-providing enterprises. The recent change in their definition includes a composite criterion considering both investment and turnover to streamline classification and ensure inclusivity.

  1. What types of grants are available for MSMEs in India, and how do they benefit businesses?

MSMEs can access various grants such as startup grants, expansion grants, technology adoption grants, export promotion grants, and more. These grants provide financial assistance for different business needs like setup costs, expansion, technology adoption, export promotion, innovation, and skill development, ultimately increasing growth and competitiveness.

  1. What are the eligibility criteria for MSME grants, and how can businesses apply for them?

MSME eligibility criteria include registration under the Ministry of MSME, operating within the manufacturing or service sector, meeting turnover and investment thresholds, complying with relevant laws, and fulfilling specific requirements of grant schemes. Businesses can apply through designated portals or government agencies.

  1. What are the challenges faced by MSMEs in availing grants, and how can they overcome them?

MSMEs encounter challenges such as lack of awareness, complex application processes, eligibility criteria, collateral requirements, limited access to technology, capacity constraints, administrative constraints, competition, and limited funds. Overcoming these challenges requires increased awareness, simplified processes, capacity-building initiatives, and strategic collaborations.

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Twinkle Barot
Twinkle loves everything content. She brings over 5 years of experience writing for leading financial institutions, some of the Fortune 500 companies and fintech firms - simplifying complex financial concepts into clear, engaging content. She is committed to delivering high-value content that empowers clients to achieve their goals.

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