As the MSMEs are amongst the strongest drivers of economic development, innovation and employment, it becomes imperative to strengthen their ecosystem. The Government of India envisioned the Zero Defect Zero Effect (ZED) initiative to enhance MSME competitiveness, make them sustainable and transform them as National and International Champions.

MSME Sustainable (ZED) Certification is an extensive drive to create awareness amongst MSMEs about Zero Defect Zero Effect (ZED) practices and motivate & incentivise them for ZED Certification while also encouraging them to become MSME Champions. Through the journey of ZED Certification, MSMEs can reduce wastage substantially, increase productivity, enhance environmental consciousness, save energy, optimally use natural resources, expand their markets, etc. MSMEs will also be motivated to adopt best practices in work culture, standardisation of products, processes, systems etc. in order to enhance their global competitiveness and sustainability. The ZED Certification aims at enhancing the competitiveness of an MSME through assessment, handholding, managerial and technological intervention etc., hence it is not just a Certification.

This Scheme is proposed to be implemented in 2 Phases:

Phase 1: For Manufacturing MSMEs with UDYAM Registration. This phase will focus largely on maximizing inclusion of manufacturing MSMEs and taking them through the journey of ZED.

Phase 2: Inclusion of Service Sector MSMEs. This phase will also strive to integrate those MSMEs (manufacturing and Service Sectors) who are registered under a State Government protocol/system but not on UDYAM. From this phase onwards, additional information regarding MSME operations/performance may be collected so as to create a National MSME Competitiveness Index.

In phase 2, it is also envisaged to provide funding to the ZED Certified MSMEs to obtain international certifications, as necessary for international market and further, making provisions to align ZED Certification with the international certifications for its global acceptance.