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Gov’s Zone Startups India Readying Second empoWer for Women

empoWer is India’s 1st accelerator program for women entrepreneurs building technology enabled ventures.


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A day after International Woman’s Day, Zone Startup India has announced that they will soon be launching the second cohort of empoWer, with a few exciting industry partners.

empoWer is a 6-week accelerator program built based on research conducted by Zone Startups India. This second edition follows a successful first cohort of empoWer which had over 180 applications from across India. empoWer is supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, as a part of national initiatives, Startup India and Stand up India. The first cohort received fundings of rupees10 lakh, 7 lakh and 5 lakh.

Ajay Ramasubramaniam, director of Zone Startups India said, "Through our accelerator program, and various bootcamps, workshops, demo days we realized the need for having a focused program that works with women entrepreneurs in tech businesses.

The problems faced by a lot of women entrepreneurs are unique, and we feel that there is a case for having a dedicated accelerator program for women entrepreneurs - complete with mentoring, workshops, case studies of successful women led startups, industry connect, peer network and investor connect".

The accelerator program will focus on what women said were challenging areas of doing business. Here are the results from the survey:

59% said lack of information on markets was problematic

81% said they need more professional guidance on basics pertaining to company formation, legal guidance, accounting procedures and other secretarial services for smooth functioning of business operations

58% find gaining financial independence a hassle

56% said they wanted more guidance in taking risks

66.3% say they need more guidance in managing business operations, especially in technology and finance

53% says there is an absence of role models of successful businesswomen who can actively mentor them

90.1% said finding access to finance is tough

77.4% said getting access to influential senior industry leaders and potential enterprise clients was difficult

61% said forming an effective business networking was challenging

Taking into consideration the responses of women entrepreneurs the government will once again launch empoWer to address their issues.

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