In a major step to end the gender-based barriers that pose significant obstacles to women entrepreneurs across India, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, today announced their collaboration with the Indo-German Development Cooperation Project ‘Economic Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs and Start-ups by Women (Her&Now)’ commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and jointly implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Ministry for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India, to help women play a greater role in the economy as entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship represents an important opportunity to increase the participation of women in the economy and to realise India’s growth potential.
The partnership between AIM and Her&Now will impart the ‘WINcubate Training Programme’ to the AIM Incubators and Innovation Centres and equip them in adopting a gender-focused approach. It will help the participants to design and implement women centric incubation programmes. The WINcubate Training Programme has been developed by Her&Now together with the Indian NGO Dhriiti – the Courage Within and is based on best practices of women entrepreneurship support programmes implemented in the country since 2019.
The training involves equipping incubators with the knowledge, tools, and methods for holistic programming to integrate gender sensitive approaches into general incubation programming and processes. The training consists of live lectures, offline modules, exercises, and film screenings.
A Statement of Intent was signed by AIM and Her&Now on Wednesday, 02 March 2022. Dr Chintan Vaishnav, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, while announcing the partnership said, “There are multiple factors responsible for the low participation of Indian women in any sector and one of the biggest factors is gender-based bias. If we consider it as a game of snakes and ladders, then for women, certainly there are more snakes. This system has to be ended and I am sure we with the help of GIZ can progress in this direction.”
Considering that social norms on the role of women with regard to marriage and household duties, women are exposed to more undeserved challenges, he added.
Adding to it, Julia Karst, Head of the Her&Now project at GIZ India, said: “Together with Dhriiti – the Courage Within we have developed the WINcubate training with the ambition to create a level playing field for women entrepreneurs in India. This training supports incubators across the country to adopt women centric incubation programmes that address the specific challenges and needs of women entrepreneurs. Our new partnership with AIM will be crucial in achieving this ambitious goal.”
The collaboration will emphasise on designing and implementing women centric support programmes in order to promote enterprise creation and growth by women entrepreneurs. The premise of this training exercise is to acknowledge that the support needs of women entrepreneurs often differ from that of entrepreneurs of other genders due to specific gender-related barriers, which makes it essential for incubators to design and deliver support programmes that specifically address these needs.