The Non-Corporate Small Business Sector (NCSBS)

The NCSBS is the economic foundation of India. It is perhaps one of the largest disaggregated business ecosystems in the world, sustaining upwards of 50 crore lives.

Small business is big business. According to NSSO Survey (2013), there are 5.77 crore small business units, mostly individual proprietorship. Most of these ‘own account enterprises’ (OAE) are owned by people belonging to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe or Other Backward Classes.

Of the 5.77 crore small business units in India, approximately 5.66 crore currently lack the ability to transact digital payments.

The biggest threat to the NCSBS is competition from online competitors and large corporate competitors who offer the convenience of digital payments, have broader reach to consumers across India and employ enhanced technological capabilities.


Less Cash societies are well known in the world for their positive effects on economic growth as a result of the opportunity to promote financial inclusion. To learn more read the full Less Cash Roadmap book.