On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Government think tank NITI Aayog on Thursday launched the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP).
Established under the leadership of Anna Roy, Adviser (Industry) of NITI Aayog, the platform aspires to substantially increase the number of women entrepreneurs.
WEP has tied up with a range of companies including Nasscom, SIDBI, FICCI, CII and Facebook that will provide credits. Meanwhile, ShopClues will mentor 12 budding women entrepreneurs for a year, mentions a PIB press statement.
Additionally, Nasscom will provide infrastructure to 15 women-led startups across 10 states at a nominal charge basis. Through Nasscom’s women tech ship program, it will also conduct specific acceleration programs.
Moreover, the platform has also partnered with DICE which will provide a fund of Rs 10 crore through its accelerator, Digital Leadership Institute commits free training to 1000 women. Mann Deshi foundation will allow women entrepreneurs to call on a helpline number for advice in digital literacy.
Time and again we observe chest thumping developments on women empowerment and entrepreneurship but the latest report by Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) has brought out a different story.
India ranked 52 among 57 countries studied for the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE), showed the findings of its second edition released on Wednesday.
In top 10 markets with the strongest supporting conditions and opportunities for women, New Zealand has topped the MIWE tally. Sweden and Canada stood at number 2 and number 3 respectively, whereas hub for startups US managed itself to stand in top five.
Interestingly, Singapore becomes the only Asian country in MIWE’s top five list.
India’s economic as well as political arch-rival China is placed in the top 30, India itself beats just five countries — Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt and Bangladesh.
The Mastercard report highlighted that the obstacles to parity are largely caused by perceptions of gender bias, which contribute to poor social and cultural acceptance, lack of self-belief and access to financial funding or venture capital.
As far as female entrepreneurship is concerned, India needs a strong support system and awareness not only on paper but on the ground reality. The effort from NITI Aayog is indeed a strong initiative to address the issues and India, while venture capitals and startup ecosystem have to seriously think to bring more women into entrepreneurship.