Indian Institute of Management-Kozhikode (IIM-K), in association with oil PSU, Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL), has launched a special programme to identify innovative and promising start-ups founded by women and provide them with comprehensive support.
The initiative, termed as La Eve (The Woman) is expected to give a major boost to women entrepreneurs. It would be anchored by IIM-K Live (Laboratory for Innovation, Venturing and Entrepreneurship), which is the institute’s entrepreneurship development centre, with the support of MRPL’s start-up fund.
MRPL had entered into an MoU with IIM-K last year and since then has provided seed capital to over 10 start-ups incubated at the institute.
New ventures that can be defined as start-ups, are registered under the Companies’ Act, and whose founders are mostly women, would be eligible for support under this programme. Even early-stage start-ups with a minimum viable product or at least a proof of concept would be considered for assistance.
The start-ups selected for support would be given seed funds amounting to Rs 25 lakh, along with a structured incubation programme and task-based mentoring, access to professional services, co-working space, subsidised training and workshops, and numerous other on-campus benefits.
IIM-K Director Debashis Chatterjee underlined that promotion and support of women entrepreneurship can contribute significantly to the economic goals of the country.
According to Keyoor Purani, Executive Director, IIM-K Live, a large number of educated and skilled women prefer to work on own terms rather than in traditional jobs. He pointed out that technological developments have resulted in time and location neutrality, and this has allowed many women to start up and lead ventures that can create economic value and make a social impact. This trend must be channelised for innovation-led entrepreneurship.
An MRPL spokesperson highlighted that according to the website of Start-up India, women-led ventures perform 63% better than those controlled by men in terms of return on investment. Women have displayed unparalleled willingness and capacity to organise, develop, and manage a business venture, according to the spokesperson.