NITI Aayog and Cisco announced the next phase of the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) to build on their shared commitment to empowering women entrepreneurs across India.
The next phase of NITI Aayog’s flagship platform, “WEP Nxt,” will leverage Cisco’s technology and experience working with India’s startup ecosystem to nurture more women-owned businesses in the country.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, Senior Adviser NITI Aayog Anna Roy, Cisco COO Maria Martinez, Cisco India President Daisy Chittilapilly and Harish Krishnan, Managing Director, Public Affairs and Strategic Engagements, were present at the introduction.
Platform for female entrepreneurship
The Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) is NITI Aayog’s flagship initiative, which was first launched in 2017. It is the first unified portal of its kind that brings women entrepreneurs from different backgrounds together and gives them access to a wide range of support, resources and learning.
The platform aims to improve industry connections and awareness of existing programs and services, and to provide women with better access to peer support, learning resources, fundraising opportunities and mentoring.
WEP wants to be the one-stop solution for all information and services that are relevant for women entrepreneurs. It currently has over 16,000 registered users and 30 partners.
• WEP Nxt will step up the Women Entrepreneurship Platform’s efforts to support women entrepreneurs.
• It is powered by evidence-based decision making based on a targeted study of Indian women entrepreneurs
• It will aim to meet the urgent needs of women entrepreneurs in six key sectors:
-Community and networking
– Skills and mentoring
-Incubation and acceleration programs
• The focused study that is critical to promoting this transition will be provided for the benefit of the ecosystem.
• WEP Nxt aims to fill existing gaps and create new opportunities for women in India.
Cisco, in partnership with the Nasscom Foundation, DeAsra Foundation and Sattva Consulting, will enable technology-driven engagements to address the challenges of women entrepreneurs at both the individual and corporate level and create new growth opportunities.
The central government wants to realize the vision of a new India through initiatives like WEP, in which both men and women have equal opportunities to build and share in the glory of the achievements, said Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog.
He further added “WEP Nxt will continue to catalyze this movement and I am confident that Cisco, as our partner, will soon make this technology platform the personalized guide for every female entrepreneur in the country to achieve their dreams.”
According to a WEP-focused study, up to 170 million jobs could be created by 2030 and India’s annual GDP could increase by 1.5% if more women became entrepreneurs.
Women entrepreneurs in India
According to the Sixth Economic Census, women make up only 13.76% of total entrepreneurs (8.05 million out of 58.5 million entrepreneurs) in the country.