The idea for a women entrepreneurship platform was first proposed in 2017, to help resolve the information asymmetry that exists in the ecosystem.
The Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) was launched in 2017 and it is a first of its kind, unified access portal which brings together women from different parts of India to build a nurturing ecosystem that enables them to realize their entrepreneurial aspirations. WEP achieves this by facilitating relevant information and services through key partnerships.
As an enabling platform, WEP is built on three pillars- Iccha Shakti, Gyaan Shakti & Karma Shakti
As an aggregator platform, WEP hosts information and services relevant to women entrepreneurs. WEP enables key partnerships to bring crucial content, workshops, campaigns and other avenues of learning and growth to its users from trailblazers in the industry. Through its partnerships, services are provided in 6 main focus areas:
The programming on WEP recognises three broad personas of women entrepreneurs.
The target audience for WEP is any woman 18 years and above. This is caveated by intent to start a business, intent to grow existing nano/ small business or scale existing large business. These personas are located in urban/rural areas. ( tier1 , tier 2 and tier 3 cities)
WEP encourages entrepreneurs to share their entrepreneurial journeys, stories & experiences to nurture peer learning. All of this is further strengthened by the mentorship of industry players. WEP platform, as a driver of change, also promotes offline initiatives and outreach programmes to promote the entrepreneurial spirit among potential women entrepreneurs, in collaboration with partner organizations.
In 2021, the next phase of the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) titled “WEP Nxt” was launched in partnership with CISCO. WEPNxt was driven by evidence-based decision-making. Cisco, in collaboration with the Nasscom Foundation, Sattva Consulting, and the DeAsra Foundation, enabled technology-led experiences and engagements to address the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs at individual and enterprise levels and create new opportunities for growth.
And now in the post COVID-19 scenario, the platform (WEP) 3.0, has been upgraded in design to cater to the unmet needs of women taking their first step towards entrepreneurship and those at an inflexion point in their entrepreneurial journey, thinking about growth and scale. The WEP 3.0 Platform is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and will be managed by the Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME). The Project has Microsave Consulting and several other domain experts coming together to contribute to making the Platform successful. The user interface and design of WEP 3.0 was revamped by HumanX Design, and the technology partner is Square Panda.
GAME is the Program Manager for the WEP platform. The three-year program management mandate entails managing the platform end-to-end; and developing, operating and maintaining the portal that will serve women entrepreneurs across the country. As the Program Manager, GAME will support mentorship, access to finance,virtual incubation acceleration, onboarding partners, research and policy, and planning online and offline events for WEP members.In the next three years, this platform aims to engage 250,000 women and onboard 500 partners and 200+ capacity-building events (online and offline).