In a recent development, the government’s policy think-tank NITI Aayog will tie-up with US-based multinational firm Cisco to launch the next phase of the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) titled “WEP-Nxt”.
Gone are the days when women were confined to domesticity. We are witnessing a ‘New India’ where the start-up ecosystem provides ample opportunities for women entrepreneurs to thrive.
India has the world’s largest start-up ecosystem, where male entrepreneurs still account for more in percentage than their female counterparts.
Thus, in this new India, various initiatives are being taken to enable more women-based businesses to flourish.
WEP, initially launched by NITI Aayog in 2017, is a first-of-its-kind, unified portal that brings together women from diverse backgrounds and enables them to access various resources, support and learning to foster their entrepreneurial aspirations.
It strives to improve industry linkage and awareness of existing programs and provide access to peer support and fundraising opportunities.
With an overreaching objective of becoming an aggregator platform that solves for the information symmetry in the ecosystem, WEP serves as a one-stop solution for those women who lack the resources and knowledge for their innovative ideas.
The platform currently hosts over 16,000 registered users and 30 partners, catering to 6 major focus areas. WEP Nxt is a much significant step for augmenting and widening these efforts.
Evidence-based decision making
“Based on a focused study of Indian women entrepreneurs and their most urgent needs across six major areas- community and networking, incubation and acceleration programs, skilling and mentorships, financial and marketing assistance.
WEPNxt will be driven by evidence-based decision making”, NITI Aayog said in one of the recent statements.
As a part of this initiative, Cisco will collaborate with NASSCOM Foundation, DeAsra foundation and Sattva consulting to enable technology-led experiences and engagements for addressing the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs while creating new growth opportunities for themselves.
Realizing lost opportunity
Showing confidence in the work initiative, Amitabh Kant said, “As per the sixth Economic-census, women-only constitutes for around 13.76% of the entrepreneurial workforce, i.e., 8.05 million out of 58.5 million entrepreneurs in the country.
It may have been a missed opportunity in the past. Still, I am sure that this initiative will make it possible to realize the mission of this New India- where men and women have equal opportunities to build and to share in the glory of achievement”.
The initiative truly remarks for an up-bridged version of the previous one.
Still, the lack of access to resources and mentorship is not the sole reason women cannot grow as per their potential.
It’s the patriarchal mindset and the lack of confidence that tends to pull them down.
So, if similar PPP models are introduced to change such norms in parallel to the recent initiative, India might experience the glory of women empowerment way before its destined time.