According to IIM Bangalore, the WSP is a first-of-its kind customized online and classroom-training programme designed to enable aspiring Indian women entrepreneurs to systematically identify and test their business ideas.
"The WSP provides in-depth training to nurture and augment managerial and entrepreneurial skills of female entrepreneurs through mentorship from industry veterans, incubation at leading institutes and financial support," said a statement from IIM Bangalore.
Following the successful 2016 pilot of the WSP in Bangalore, IIM Bangalore also said that, the 2018 class of the WSP saw over 6,000 women register from across the country in partnerships with leading academic institutes that included, IIM Visakhapatnam, IIM Indore, IIM Nagpur, IIM Sirmaur, IIM Udaipur, IIE Guwahati and CIIE Ahmedabad.
2016 pilot of the WSP saw participation from 1,700 women.
100 women entrepreneurs
The selected 100 women entrepreneurs will receive a fellowship of Rs. 30,000 per month in addition to a prototype development fund to help kick-start their ventures from the DST, GOI. From that group, ten women identified to have the best ideas will also be provided with an opportunity to go on a startup study trip to Israel. This year's incubation class addresses a variety of sectors across society and industry, including construction, ecommerce and retail, education, healthcare and wellness, finance and manufacturing.
"I have benefited immensely from this programme. It has provided me with access to the tools, processes and mentorship necessary to translate my concept into a working idea," said Bhavya Purana Hosadurgam, founder of momSAURUS and one of the 100 selected entrepreneurs.
"It has also given me courage and inspiration by connecting me to like-minded women so that we can share our passions and dreams. At momSAURUS, we are working to disrupt and enhance the way parents and their young children perceive mealtimes and food," she added.
The WSP 2018 class was made up of diverse participants across age groups from 20 to 50 years of age; academic backgrounds spanning from higher secondary degrees to PhDs and MBBSs; and diverse professions from women who are on a career break to doctors and engineers. Geographically, the women resided all across India, including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana.
"This is one of the largest women startup programmes in India and we thank our partner academic institutes for joining us in this endeavour. Our pilot WSP showed that in addition to the financial support provided, entrepreneurs need mentoring and networking support," said Prof. Suresh Bhagavatula, Faculty in Entrepreneurship and Chairperson of NSRCEL at IIM Bangalore.
At IIMB, Prof. Bhagavatula said, "We leveraged our existing mentor pool as well as our large alumni base. Given the importance of nurturing women entrepreneurship, we have begun documenting our experiences for the creation of a manual".
He thanked DST for inspiring the institute to think beyond Bangalore for supporting the nationwide roll out of the programme, and Goldman Sachs for supporting from the beginning of WSP.
The Department of Science & Technology provided support to host and organize roadshows, events and workshops.
IIM Bangalore has partnerhships with leading academic institutions, that includes IIM Indore.
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