Women entrepreneurs in India are slowly becoming better equipped to change the age-old stereotypes that have been preventing and in some cases scuttling their entrepreneurial journey. The new Women Entrepreneurship Platform will be the place where women will feel free and fearless but also economically empowered and proud to have contributed to India’s growth and development.
As per some studies women entrepreneurship in India can generate transformational employment creating 150-170 million jobs, which is more than 25% of the new jobs required for the entire working-age population by 2030. The tailwinds such as the increase in digital access for women, upward labour force participation trend and abundant support schemes from the government have placed the development and acceleration of the women entrepreneurship ecosystem in India – front and centre.
Although these numbers are encouraging, significant work is required to increase the percentage of women entrepreneurship representing not only the urban but also the rural areas of the country. So what is needed today is a coordinated effort across stakeholder groups that will provide an enabling and comprehensive policy framework, equal access to finance, expansion of mentorship and networking channels, tailored knowledge and capability to build the women entrepreneurship ecosystem in India. With this intent, in 2018 the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) – https://wep.gov.in was launched as a unified access portal which brings together women across the country to build a nurturing ecosystem that enables them to realize their entrepreneurial aspirations.
The platform has evolved over the years gaining momentum with each phase of development and with the launch of the latest version by December 2022 a new era of technology enabled knowledge ecosystem has come to fore. All new WEP is traversing critical themes that are necessary to understand the journeys of women entrepreneurs in India while also connecting them to the right kinds of insights and information that can put them on a trajectory of entrepreneurship.
WEP which was built on three pillars of Iccha Shakti, Gyaan Shakti and Karma Shakti, to motivate aspiring entrepreneurs to start their businesses, providing knowledge and ecosystem support to foster entrepreneurship and providing hands-on support in setting and scaling up businesses.
The pandemic provided significant insights and lessons for entrepreneurs and WEP reflects the needs and aspirations of the ever-evolving Indian woman entrepreneur. The WEP platform is a unique model where the best, brightest and most committed partners and organizations supporting and/or focusing on women’s entrepreneurship are combining their forces to positively impact the lives of millions of aspiring and existing women entrepreneurs. They are doing this through interventions targeted towards mentoring, access to finance and compliance, skilling, and research making this platform the most valuable starting point or support network for women entrepreneurs in India.
Women Entrepreneurship Platform will be the place where women will feel free and fearless but also economically empowered and proud to have contributed to our Nation’s growth and development.
Finally, there are few clear opportunities for nations to progress socially and economically where variance and weight are highest – women entrepreneurship is one such opportunity. The Women Entrepreneurship Platform is poised to be the anchor and pathway that gets India within striking distance of a sustainable trillion-dollar economy.