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Several women entrepreneurs’ groups were invited by the Karnataka government at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) in Bengaluru to discuss the promotion of women entrepreneurship in the state and create partnerships to build new opportunities on their own. On the occasion, State Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said with the confidence that several initiatives already has taken and the state would soon occupy the top position in women entrepreneurship. He requested all women entrepreneurs to come forward to join state government in this initiative and explore more entrepreneurial opportunities in the state of Karnataka.

CM said, “I am happy to note that Karnataka’s diversity ratio in employment and entrepreneurship is amongst the best in India. Our eco-system is regarded as the benchmark for women to live and work and I am happy that we are in the right direction.” According to the fourth Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSME) census, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have 51.9 per cent of the country’s women-owned business indicating the potential that exists in our State and country. He added, “I am sure with the initiatives taken up, Karnataka would soon be in the top slot. Initially we thought of developing one Women’s Park at Harohally near Bangalore. But, surprisingly there was a great response from all over the State to set up parks for women. Going by the enthusiasm generated amongst women entrepreneurs, I am sure we would have Women’s Park all over the State soon.”

Speaking at the same event, National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Lalitha Kumaramanagalam said, “Karnataka is one of the four states in the country which collectively contribute to 51.9 per cent women-owned businesses, but the number may be much more than the listed ones. No statistics in the country adequately reflect the contribution women make to the Indian economy as most of it is informal. Investing in women is a necessity as 80 per cent of the work force and 90 per cent of the informal sector is constituted by women, particularly in agriculture. But women own only 2 per cent of assets as they do not inherit property and because of this banks refuse loans as there is no security.”

ThinkBig 2016 was a two-day entrepreneurship summit organized by the government of Karnataka and WEConnect International, an organization that encourages women-owned businesses on a global platform. It is projected to be Asia’s largest women entrepreneurship and economic empowerment summit aimed at bringing together women entrepreneurs, Industry leaders, businesses and top banks to connect women entrepreneurs across the globe with the “thriving” business ecosystem in Karnataka.

As per the available data Maharashtra, Kerala and Tamil Nadu are the three other states that jointly contribute to promote women entrepreneurs in India.

This event also provided a lot of opportunities for all participants to connect and seek mentorship. It also connected them with private and public sector to explore more opportunities.

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