The Karnataka government on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with 30 retail companies, as part of its Samruddhi scheme, to provide self-employment opportunities for around 25,000 beneficiaries from the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe communities.On Tuesday the Karnataka social welfare department inked a memorandum of understanding with 30 retail companies as part of its rural entrepreneurship promotion scheme called Samruddhi. Under the plan, companies will provide training for the identified beneficiaries, who will then be provided seed capital up to Rs 10 lakh by the government to set up their businesses. Speaking about the scheme, social welfare minister Priyank Kharge said, “We have to dream big and we have to dream outside the main cities of Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru. The entrepreneurship potential in our villages and small towns is huge and youth from traditionally oppressed communities only lack access and support. We hope to give (them) the access to success they need, and, thus, economically empower them.”At least 30 companies have signed on to the programme, prominent among which are Big Basket, Ola, Bata, Karnataka Milk Federation and Khadims.The Samruddhi scheme comes on the back two similar programmes, Unnati and Airavatha, the state government had launched in the past few months. The Unnati scheme is aimed to promote socially conscious start-ups to find solutions to problems faced by marginalised groups and the Airavatha scheme, to help youth set up taxi services.Speaking about the scheme, Indrajit Chowdhury, chief financial officer of footwear brand Khadim’s, said the company was looking to expand into tier-2 and tier-3 markets, as it has done in West Bengal. “Unlike there, what attracted us here is that the government is actively promoting such an initiative,” he said.