IIMB Launches Nationwide “Women Start-Up Programme”, With Goldman Sachs
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IIMB Launches Nationwide “Women Start-Up Programme”, With Goldman Sachs

The NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) yesterday announced the launch of the nationwide “Women Start-up Programme (WSP),” funded by Goldman Sachs, a global investment bank and active investor in India, and the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India.

The Women Start-up Programme is India’s first customized online and classroom initiative designed to enthuse aspiring female entrepreneurs-in-the-making across the country. The programme seeks to facilitate the growth of women entrepreneurs by providing in-depth training to foster and augment managerial and entrepreneurial skills through mentoring, incubation, and financial support.

During the coming year, the WSP will provide training for up to 12,000 women through its five-week “Do Your VentureMassive Open Online Course (MOOC), which has been customized to encourage women to systematically identify and test their business ideas. Thereafter, 300 women entrepreneurs-to-be will be shortlisted for a boot camp to be held at partner campuses in the towns nearest to them, where they will receive classroom instructions on communications and customer interaction.

From the 300 ventures, a select 100 women entrepreneurs will then travel to IIMB for a second boot camp, where they will receive classroom instructions on developing a business plan, understanding costing and pricing, sales and marketing, and negotiation skills. During this period, they will also have networking opportunities with successful women entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, IIMB students, and Goldman Sachs professionals.

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After the completion of the boot camp, these women entrepreneurs will have their business ideas incubated for a year at a partner institution of their choice where each woman will also receive INR 30,000 per month for financial support and funding from a small prototype fund to run their ventures. The partner institutions are CIIE’s Innocity, Ahmedabad, IIM Indore, IIM Nagpur, IIM Udaipur, IIM Visakhapatnam, and Presidency University, Kolkata.

The WSP builds off from a successful pilot programme launched in November 2016 by the NSRCEL which drew more than 1,700 aspiring female entrepreneurs from across the country. The pilot programme selected 50 women entrepreneurs to attend a three-week boot camp at IIMB which enabled participants to develop a customized methodology to test and comprehend the success and sustainability of their ventures. From there 15 of the top ideas were selected to be incubated. Ventures included matching volunteers to social causes, specialized healthcare systems, and customized social networks.

Among the top 15 ideas selected last year for incubation, Ntalents.ai, which uses data to assist companies to discover their top sales talent and was founded by Deepika Anu and Mayank Sharma, has successfully become a revenue generating venture with clients that include NestAway, Zoojoobe, JustOrganik, and EAI Consultancy.

Prof. Suresh Bhagavatula, Chairperson, Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development, NSRCEL at IIM Bangalore said, “Building off the positive feedback from our pilot programme, we have been keen to expand our work to help women across the country. Our vision and goal is to offer a technology-based and scalable training programme for female entrepreneurs that will address their needs and tap the potential of our vast country. Now, with the inclusion of additional partners to expand the ecosystem of this programme nationwide, it has become a reality.”

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The N S Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) incubates start-ups and provides free mentoring for budding entrepreneurs. NSRCEL currently incubates 18 start-ups – perhaps the largest number for an incubation centre in an academic institution. Through its rapidly growing open mentoring initiatives, it is conservatively estimated that NSRCEL may have directly impacted in excess of 10,000 entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs or other participants in the ecosystem since it was established in 2000.

Women Start-Up Programme Partners

1.Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India

To assist and market the programme to potential women entrepreneurs throughout the country, the DST will support the hosting and organization of roadshows, events, and workshops.

2. Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs has been a key partner for the NSRCEL’s WSP and is an original partner who also funded the successful pilot programme.

Women Start-Up Programme Structure

  • January – March: Five-week “Do Your Venture” Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for up to 12,000 women to systematically identify and test their business ideas.
  • April: 300 ventures shortlisted for a boot camp at partner campuses nearest to them, to receive classroom instructions on communications and customer interaction
  • May: 100 women entrepreneurs selected for a second boot camp at IIMB where they receive classroom instructions on developing a business plan, understanding costing and pricing, sales and marketing, and negotiation skills.
  • Post second boot camp: Women will have their business ideas incubated at a partner campus of their choice for one year.

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Highlights of Women Start-Up Programme

  • Online training for 12,000 aspiring female entrepreneurs-in-the-making
  • 100 business ventures to be selected for incubation and financial support
  • Funded by Goldman Sachs and the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India
  • In partnership with CIIE’s Innocity, Ahmedabad, IIM Indore, IIM Nagpur, IIM Udaipur, IIM Visakhapatnam, and Presidency University, Kolkata
  • Please visit http://wsp.nsrcel.org  for registration.

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