Pilani Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Society (“PIEDS”), the technology business incubator of BITS Pilani, has announced the launch of its start-up program, ‘Womenpreneur for Bharat 1.0’ ‘and is aimed at providing funding and incubation support to women entrepreneurs who are building solutions for/from Tier 2/3/4 cities across Northeast region, Rajasthan, Haryana, and J&K. The program will seek both for-profit and non-profit women-led start-ups working across UN-SDG areas and solving business or societal challenges in those regions.
Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP), incubated within NITI Aayog, and supported by Aditya Birla Capital Foundation, the CSR arm of Aditya Birla Capital Limited is a partner to this women centric entrepreneurial program. The partnership was announced at the state workshop on ‘Enabling Women-Led Development through Entrepreneurship’ at Dorjee Khandu State Convention Center, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh on November 24, 2023. The program would provide funding of up to Rs. 10 lakhs to eligible start-ups, along with extended incubation support from PIEDS, including 1-1 mentoring, market access support, and opportunities to raise future investments. Interested innovators can apply to the program here: https://www.f6s.com/womenpreneurs-for-bharat-1.0/apply
Commenting on the announcement, Mrs. Vishakha Mulye, Director, Aditya Birla Capital Foundation, and CEO of Aditya Birla Capital Limited, expressed, “We are committed to creating an equitable, inclusive, and long-term social and economic growth for the country. Through ‘Womenpreneurs for Bharat 1.0’, we aim to provide a platform to nurture the growth of women entrepreneurs in the country, who have the potential of impacting a large number of underserved Indians through innovative solutions.”
Aditya Birla Capital Foundation is the apex body, which sets the strategic direction for all of Aditya Birla Capital’s development projects. The foundation has Mrs. Rajashree Birla as the mentor; Mrs. Vishakha Mulye, Dr. Pragnya Ram and Mr. Subhro Bhaduri serve as Directors of its Board.
According to a research report published by Niti Aayog, India has 63 million micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), of which around 20% are women-owned, employing 22 to 27 million people. Estimates suggest that by accelerating women’s entrepreneurship, India could create more than 30 million women-owned enterprises, potentially creating 150 to 170 million jobs
Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao, Vice-Chancellor, BITS Pilani, said, “India’s diversity across its length and breadth requires localized solutions from local entrepreneurs. I strongly believe that women innovators, especially from Northeastern states will lead the next wave of innovations in solving their region’s own unique problems. We are happy to partner with Women Entrepreneurship Platform and Aditya Birla Capital Foundation to help bring some of these innovations to the fore and help them scale.”
Speaking about the development, Ms. Anna Roy, Mission Director, WEP, said, “The project embodies a strategic approach to bolster women’s entrepreneurship in the tech4good sector which has significant market and impact potential, aligning with national goals of gender equality, women-led development, and digital inclusion. Women entrepreneurs leading innovations in critical development areas with a tech-led approach can have significant gains overall for business and society.”