On the occasion of International Women’s Day, March 8, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) launched an exclusive web portal for women entrepreneurs of India — Udyam Sakhi (www.udyamsakhi.org). The portal is touted as India’s first interactive portal for female entrepreneurs.
The portal was unveiled on Thursday by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of MSME, Giriraj Singh.
The portal provides assistance through its platform for entrepreneurship learning tools, incubation facility, training programs for fund raising, providing mentors, one-on-one investor meet, provide market survey facility and technical assistance.
Essentially, the Udyam Sakhi platform is a one-stop solution for all the queries of women entrepreneurs in the country which include sharing of sample project profiles for reference and free Internet counselling from seasoned entrepreneurs, especially for establishing small businesses and providing low-cost training to emerging female entrepreneurs.
Further, it also provides guidance to women entrepreneurs on how to create a business plan for availing financial support from funding agencies, besides getting all the possible help and mentorship they need. The portal has a special section on incubators.
The above news was first reported in Business Standard.
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The idea of launching an exclusive portal for women entrepreneurs came from a NITI Aayog study that had pointed out that of the 145 most backward districts in the country, the ones providing better economic opportunities to women were performing well on health and education parameters. As this is an encouraging trend, the ministry of MSME was keen on creating a special platform for women entrepreneurs.
In December, NITI Aayog also announced its plan to launch dedicated cell for women entrepreneurs, the launch of which is still awaited.
Last month, to support women entrepreneurs in India, US Embassy has launched the Nexus Startup Hub at the American Center in Delhi. The startup hub will support India’s female entrepreneurs in setting up businesses and get access to funding.
Speaking about female entrepreneurship in India, an MSME report that 20% of every 1000 MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) in India are women-owned. Although, in a separate 2016 report on Indian startup ecosystem, presented by Nasscom along with Zinnov, it was revealed that only 9% of Indian founders or co-founders are women.
India’s ranking in women entrepreneurship has always been low, so much so that it has been named in worst countries for women entrepreneurs despite of the fact revealed by a study that women entrepreneurs are better risk takers and enjoy work more than men.
In a seperate 2016-ranking report of World’s best cities for female entrepreneurs, Delhi was ranked at 22 place.