10 May 2018 20:12 IST

100 women entrepreneurs selected for incubation at IIM-B

The selected women will receive a fellowship of ₹30,000 per month

The NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIM-B) has selected 100 women entrepreneurs-in-the-making and their ideas for incubation. The women are graduates from the 2018 class of Women Start-up Programme (WSP), which is supported by Goldman Sachs and the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India.

The selected women will receive a fellowship of ₹30,000 per month in addition to a prototype development fund to help kick-start their ventures from the DST. From that group, 10 women with the best ideas will also be provided with an opportunity to go on a start-up study trip to Israel. This year’s incubation class addresses a variety of sectors across society and industry, including construction, e-commerce and retail, education, healthcare and wellness, finance and manufacturing.

The WSP is a first-of-its kind online and classroom training programme designed to enable aspiring women to systematically identify and test their business ideas. The course provides in-depth training to nurture and augment managerial and entrepreneurial skills through mentorship from industry veterans, incubation at leading institutes and financial support.

Following the successful 2016 pilot of the WSP in Bengaluru, which saw participation from 1,700 women, the 2018 class saw over 6,000 women register from across the country in partnerships with academic institutes such as IIM Visakhapatnam, IIM Indore, IIM Nagpur, IIM Sirmaur, IIM Udaipur, IIE Guwahati and CIIE Ahmedabad.

The 2018 class comprised women with diverse academic and career backgrounds from across the country. “Our pilot WSP showed that in addition to financial support, entrepreneurs need mentoring and networking support. At IIM-B, we leveraged our existing mentor pool as well as our large alumni base. Given the importance of nurturing women entrepreneurs, we have begun documenting our experiences for the creation of a manual,” said Prof Suresh Bhagavatula, Faculty in Entrepreneurship and Chairperson of NSRCEL at IIM-B.

The DST provided support to host and organise roadshows, events and workshops. Anita Gupta, Scientist – G/Adviser and Associate Head – National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board, DST, said, “Developing a new class of women entrepreneurs will go a long way in empowering women and contributing towards nation-building.”

Goldman Sachs has been a key and founding partner of the WSP since its launch. “Our firm believes that investing in women is an investment in the long-term health of our families and communities. The innovative business ideas developed by this year’s graduates reflect the sustainable economic and entrepreneurial potential of our country,” said Sonjoy Chatterjee, Chairman and Co-CEO of Goldman Sachs (India).

Bhavya Purana Hosadurgam, founder of momSAURUS and one of the 100 selected entrepreneurs, said, “I have benefited immensely from this programme. It has provided me with access to the tools, processes and mentorship necessary to translate my concept into a working idea. It has also given me courage and inspiration by connecting me to like-minded women so that we can share our passions and dreams.”

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