Women-special startup programme likely by April 1

Source | | Sanjeev K Ahuja , New Delhi

The ministry of electronics and information technology is in the final stages of crafting a women-special startup programme in the information technology space.

To be launched in ten cities by April 1, the initiative would aim at providing dedicated incubators, mentors and venture funds for aspiring women entrepreneurs.

In talks with top industry bodies like Nasscom and Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the ministry would partner with top information technology companies Facebook, Google, Sysco, Intel and others, the MoEIT secretary Aruna Sundarajan has said.

The ministry contends that the aspiring women entrepreneurs planning startup ventures face a lot of barriers in terms of support and resources.

When it comes to facilitation for women entrepreneurs, incubators are hardly industry friendly, and therefore ministry is trying to reorient them so that they will able to reach out to women with women orientation in their working, Sundarajan said on the sidelines of Facebook’s She Means Business event in New Delhi on Wednesday .

 “We are starting a separate programme to open up more space for the women in technology, young talented people where they will find the support groups, access the resources. We will roll it out before April 1,” she said.

“We plan to partner with Facebook, Google, Sysco, Intel and others to specifically see how women and their livelihood programmes can be bettered through. Each one of these companies has their platforms and we will see how we can be bundled as part of this,” Sundarajan said.

The proposed plan, which the IT secretary said, will be launched in 10 cities including all metros and non-metros such as Pune, Jaipur and others, would have dedicated start-up incubator for women entrepreneurs.

“As current start up incubators are very women unfriendly, and they don’t feel comfortable here. Most of the incubators are in IITs or in engineering colleges, but we want to design special spaces for women,” she said.

The programs also proposes to have dedicated venture fund for women where they will get people on the board who are more receptive and understand the kind of unique value the women bring to the table, Sundarajan said.

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