Women across nations have always found a steep hill to climb to start a business. The reasons cited are social conditioning of the society, state of acceptance, financial constraint, to name a few. Despite all this, there has been a great rise in women entrepreneurship.
With an intent to ‘grow’ the next generation of female entrepreneurs, the NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) has come up with a nationwide ‘Women Startup Programme (WSP),’ to help women start new ventures. It is funded by global investment bank Goldman Sachs and Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. The WSP is India’s first customized online and classroom initiative designed to enthuse aspiring female entrepreneurs-in-the-making across the country.
The programme consists of in-depth training to nurture and augment entrepreneurial skill set in women entrepreneurs. They aim to achieve it through mentoring, incubation and financial support.
The entire program is set to four stages:
1. A five-week ‘Massive Open Online Course’ will provide training to over 12,000 women. The course has been customised to encourage women to identify and test their business ideas systematically.
2. Only 300 will be shortlisted for a boot camp at the partner campuses nearest to them, thus saving them pressures of relocating to Bangalore. They will receive classroom training consumer training and communications. Here, the philosophy of ‘Lean Startup Method’ would be the driving force behind developing the idea.
3. A final residential boot camp for 100 shortlisted ideas will be organized at IIMB. Through their mentor support, they will be helped with developing business ideas, understanding nuances of entrepreneurship with a few classroom sessions. The women entrepreneurs will pitch their ideas to the committee on the final day of the Bootcamp.
4. In the final step, 100 selected women entrepreneurs will have their business ideas incubated for a year at a partner institution of their choice. They will also receive Rs.30,000 per month prototyping grant to support their ventures.
The partner institutions are CIIE’s Innocity, Ahmedabad, IIM Indore, IIM Nagpur, IIM Udaipur, IIM Visakhapatnam, and Presidency University, Kolkata.
You can apply here: http://wsp.nsrcel.org/