The ‘Women Start-up Programme’ was inaugurated by NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) at IIM Bangalore on January 23 (Monday), 2017. Altogether 50 aspiring women entrepreneurs from all over India have been selected for Stage 2 of the programme.
NSRCEL, which is the entrepreneurship and incubation centre at IIMB, in partnership with Goldman Sachs, has initiated the Women Start-up Programme. The programme is designed to enthuse aspiring entrepreneurs-in-the-making to systematically think through their venture idea. It will equip women to develop entrepreneurial skill sets to help with the ideation stage and managerial skill sets that will help them start and grow their venture. The entrepreneurial skill sets will help them in the early part of the venture where they need to make decisions under uncertainty and the managerial skill sets will help them strategize during the growth phase.
During Stage 1, more than 1700 women from around India participated in the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) ‘Do Your Venture’, which was a five-week online course designed to enthuse women to systematically identify an idea and initiate their venture.
With a focus to propel participants towards action, the course assessed the participants’ submission of the Lean Canvas and a two-minute video pitch of the business idea. Two mentor panels assessed around 300 submissions selecting the top 50.
Stage 2 of the programme, launched at IIM Bangalore, involves a three-week interactive boot camp session for the top 50 online participants. The focus is for each participant to develop a robust ‘problem-solution’ fit to comprehend the success and sustainability of the venture.
In line with the popular Lean Launchpad, participants will interact with 25 potential customers every week. Depending on customer and mentor feedback, the participants may have to modify their proposals in order to establish a better fit.
The initiative seeks to facilitate the growth of women entrepreneurs in India by providing in-depth training both in nurturing managerial and entrepreneurial skills, mentoring and advice through a panel of reputed mentors, and incubation and modest financial support for top business plans.
On how the new programme has progressed so far, Professor Suresh Bhagavatula, Chairperson, Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development, NSRCEL, said: “We, at NSRCEL, are very excited about this programme because it is for the first time we are trying out a blended model — MOOC, Classroom and Incubation. So far, it has shown great promise. The discussion boards on MOOC were very active, the online webinars were very well attended. All of this led to 300 women submitting their business ideas and a 2-minute pitch. After multiple rounds of selection, 50 women are here on campus for a three-week boot camp. We expect the women to attend classroom sessions and also continue working on their idea while they are in the boot camp.”