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Just today, we published about a report which says that startups founded by women entrepreneurs garner less investments than the startups founded by male entrepreneurs. The report clearly speaks about the gender disparity prevailing within entrepreneurial system across the globe.

Noting this biased treatment towards women entrepreneurs, India’s NITI Aayog, a policy think tank of government of India, and UN India Business Forum has formed a formed a consortium to reduce gender disparities in startup investments by providing mentorship and networking opportunities and accelerating financial and market linkages for women entrepreneurs.

UN India Business Forum (UNIBF) is an alliance of India’s businesses, financial institutions, the government and the United Nations (UN), aims to accelerate India’s rapid growth and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

With formation of this consortium, eight India-based venture capitalists and funding agencies have joined the United Nations India-NITI Ayog Investor Consortium for Women Entrepreneurs, a platform that supports prospective and present women entrepreneurs in the country.

Venture capitalists and funding agencies which have joined the consortium include Seed Fund, SIDBI, Aavishkar, Omidyar Network, Ankur Capital, Trust Group, WeHub, Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs India. These entities will invest on struggling women entrepreneurs and push UNIBF’s sustainable development growth (SDG).

Process To Fund

For creating an enabling ecosystem for investments, women entrepreneurs will be identified across India through key partners, including Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP), UN Women, and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The consortium secretariat will then connect entrepreneurs, according to their requests, with relevant members.

In “full potential” scenario when women participate in the economy, equally to men, it could add $2.9 trillion to India’s GDP by 2025, according to the statement. However, Indian women entrepreneurs continue to face challenges in accessing investors and raising capital.

Notably, state governments along with the centre are expected to play a critical role for the success of this initiative.

Women Entrepreneurship in India

As gender disparity prevails in every corner of the world, India’s ranking in women entrepreneurship is worst than that, so much so that it was named in worst countries for women entrepreneurs. Interestingly, a study published in 2016 revealed that women entrepreneurs are better risk takers and enjoy work more than men.

Speaking about recent initiatives by India to spur growth for women entrepreneurs, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) launched an exclusive web portal for women entrepreneurs of India — Udyam Sakhi, which was touted as India’s first interactive portal for female entrepreneurs.

In February, US Embassy had too launched the Nexus Startup Hub at the American Center in Delhi to support women entrepreneurs in India.

This news was first reported in The Hindu.

Top Image Via – UN India Business Forum

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