Venture Catalysts, India’s first integrated incubator, recently joined hands with Women entrepreneurship focused ecosystem facilitator Wopreneur to initiate an incubation programme dedicated to assist women entrepreneurs in their start-up journey.
The initiative was developed after realizing the massive need to extend formal funding facilities to the growing number of women entrepreneurs in the country, by providing them systematic training and know-how to develop their business model, fine tune ideas, enhance pitching capabilities and create better value for the segment.
The 12 week women entrepreneur exclusive incubation programme was started after interviewing more than 4806 women entrepreneurs across the country, which helped VCats and Wopreneur to zero in on the target areas and boost the collective woman entrepreneurial ecosystem as a whole.
Women entrepreneurs have traditionally found it difficult to acquire sufficient capital to support their business ventures due to various socio-economic reasons. For instance, women generally do not have the rights to familial property, which stops them from using it as mortgage or collateral to raise business funds.
As a result, they have to either opt for informal lending sources with higher interest rate or turn to friends and acquaintances, which are ineffective when large amount of corpus is involved. The initiative was developed to help women entrepreneurs overcome this bottleneck, and provide them comprehensive training during the entire pre and post pitching stage that helps them pitch their ideas effectively to institutional investors.
Commenting on the programme, Dr. ApoorvRanjan Sharma, Founder, Venture Catalysts said, “Through our extensive networking events and efforts to reach out to the start-up community, we realized that the numbers of women entrepreneurs across the country were steadily growing. However, these highly talented business women were under-confident of their abilities to raise funds and pitch their ideas to potential investors, due to a lack of exposure to such scenarios.
We joined hands with Wopreneur, a dedicated women entrepreneurial ecosystem facilitator platform to fill this gap by undertaking a detailed, mentoring focused incubation programme that empowers women entrepreneurs. Furthermore, the programme is set to conclude with a pitching event wherein the best business ideas and entrepreneurs will be pitching their concepts to the large networking community of VCats.
We believe that the programme will be a huge step forward in facilitating the growth of women entrepreneurship in the country and transform them into strong, self-reliant and experienced entrepreneurial figures ready to engage with institutional investors and strike deals that optimize the growth and value prospects of their business along with enriching the women entrepreneur community with lots of opportunities and prospects.”
Wopreneur, with a 10,000+ strong community of women entrepreneurs and professionals, has been at the forefront of empowering women business leaders compete shoulder-to-shoulder with the best in the business. “It is disappointing to see great business ideas developed by women entrepreneurs be stuck in anonymity due to a paucity of funds or lack of investment opportunities.”
Founder, Neha Chatterjee, Wopreneur said. “VCats, being one of the biggest investment incubators in Asia, has strongly backed this movement that will certainly have larger socio-economic ramifications, rather than the immediate huge objective of enabling women entrepreneurs seek the necessary funds to launch their projects through independent negotiations with famous investors.
Through our 10 month long research, we realized how crucial a role formal investment can play in bringing these ideas to the forefront of the start-up ecosphere and why training is necessary for the entrepreneurs to defeat this status quo. We hope the participants will be able to generate a lot of funds post the programme through pitching events, and break many glass ceilings in the process.”
Application process to attend the programme will begin from March 8 onwards and interested candidates can connect via the social media pages of VCats as well as Wopreneur.The initiative seems to serve as the perfect training ground for women entrepreneurs looking to hone their pitching, networking and fund-raising skills, while the subsequent pitching event will serve as the ideal launch pad for high potential business ideas to secure the funds required to convert their business vision into a reality.