On the 21st of August, an esteemed panel consisting of Dr. Madhura Chatraprathy (Founder, AWAKE) Dr. Gayathri Vasudevan ( Co-Founder and CEO, Labournet) Ms. Gunjan Krishna (Addl.Sec DC MSME, Government of Karnataka), Ms. Rashmi Daga ( Founder, Fresh Menu) and Suraj Moraje (Senior Partner, McKinsey) brought a diverse and significant perspective to what challenges and potential exist for women entrepreneurs and the way forward. Ankhi Das, Public Policy Director (India, South & Central Asia, Facebook) reiterated the importance and focus to move the needle for women entrepreneurship in India. The convening also had the opportunity to wear the hat of the entrepreneur through the eyes of Neelima as she shared her journey as the founder of Ritika’s Kitchen.
Some of the talking points included:
Lack of exposure: Creating greater awareness of markets and demand can put a woman on the path to entrepreneurship.
Need to have centres of excellence: These centres would cater to women entrepreneurs and help aggregate the information to facilitate growth and scale.
An understanding of the core issue to address is needed: Is the objective to create entrepreneurs or solve livelihood issues?
People in rural areas require a longer time for handholding: There is a need to institutionalize to ensure continuity beyond any single handholding entity.
Need to create backward and forward linkages.
Develop support networks: A peer network/support communities is what is necessary. This includes connections with other entrepreneurs as well as a strong family support.