A recent report on the state of women entrepreneurship in the country released by SheAtWork.com, found that while there seem to be ample schemes being offered by state and central governments, nearly 80% of women entrepreneurs in the country are self-financing their businesses. While marketing and promotion of the schemes could be a challenge, even access, processes of application and selection, could be hindrances for women looking to access funding and support. To bridge this gap, many leading corporates today are launching initiatives to support women entrepreneurship in the country.
Just last week Amazon India announced Amazon Saheli, a new pioneering program aimed at empowering and enabling women entrepreneurs across the country to sell their products on the Amazon.in marketplace. The company has partnered with organisations such as SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association) and Impulse Social Enterprise to create a platform that will not only sell products from women entrepreneurs, but also support them in marketing, account management and post launch mentorship activities.
Intuit technologies, a business and financial software company also announced a women entrepreneurship accelerator program called “Intuit Rise” to help women grow their businesses. The program, developed in partnership with IIM Bangalore, shall provide a batch of 20 women entrepreneurs with a six-month structured program including classes, mentorship, training and one-year free subscription of Intuit QuickBooks, a Cloud Accounting Software for small businesses.
Walmart India runs a Women Entrepreneurship Development Program (WEDP), in association with TTC Global and Amity University. The skills and capacity-building program for budding women entrepreneurs covers all the key areas of running a business; marketing, finance, operations, legal, social networking etc. Amity University is customizing the training curriculum as per requirements in addition to training the participants. As a knowledge partner, TTC Global is responsible for identification and selection of high potential women entrepreneurs.
To support women entrepreneurs in the technology space, Facebook launched the SheLeadsTech program last year. Aimed at providing mentorship, access to tools and resources, the program is designed to especially help women break the glass ceiling in the traditionally male-dominated technology space.
This list is just a tip of the iceberg. Many organizations provide both financial and other supportive assistance to women looking to start their own businesses. As more and more companies realize the potential of supporting and nurturing women entrepreneurship, will there be a more vibrant and diverse ecosystem of women in business.