NSRCEL, IIMBx See Record Number Of Women Complete NCW's Online Entrepreneurship Course
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The National Commission for Women (NCW) partnered with the Indian Institute of Management Bengaluru (IIMB) to launch an online ‘Do Your Venture’ module for women entrepreneurs which has seen record participation from women across the country. Launched in partnership with NSRCEL, IIMB’s startup incubator and IIMBx, its digital learning initiative, the unique program has seen active participation from over 1000 aspiring women entrepreneurs who have been equipped with tools and techniques for generating ideas and encouraging them to launch their own ventures.
This fully sponsored course by NCW is designed to give hands-on, action-oriented, systematic, and scientific management lessons to 5000 budding women entrepreneurs for identifying, evaluating, and testing entrepreneurial opportunities.
NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma reiterated the Commission’s commitment towards empowering women and said that the idea of an Atmanirbhar Bharat can be realized only with equal participation of women in the workforce.
“Socio-economic development can be achieved only when women become equal partners in the workforce. The National Commission for Women is proud to have handheld so many women in realizing their dream of becoming entrepreneurs. We believe that the beneficiaries of this program will inspire other women to become self-reliant thereby leading to larger involvement of women in India’s workforce. Together, we will realize the dream of an Atmanirbhar Bharat, led by women,” said Sharma.
Prof. Venkatesh Panchapagesan, chairperson, NSRCEL reflected upon the challenges posed by the pandemic and how the program has encouraged women to turn this threat of COVID-19 into an opportunity. He also lauded the remarkable spirit of women to never give up.
“The past year has challenged many entrepreneurs, especially women running small businesses. Having supported thousands of women entrepreneurs over our twenty-year journey at NSRCEL, we also knew that women don’t give up easily. So, when NCW came to us with the idea of nurturing and handholding early-stage women entrepreneurs through this pandemic, we welcomed the opportunity.
“We hope to not only keep the women entrepreneurs in the journey but also change their mindset to treat the pandemic as an opportunity rather than a threat. Our joint program has been unbelievably successful. We’ve had over 1,300 women complete the first big milestone in the program. Despite this substantial number, we believe it is only a drop in the bucket,” shared prof. Panchapagesan.
NSRCEL at IIMB has also successfully completed its course run for the first batch of NCW’s Empowering Women through Entrepreneurship Program. Out of the 1773 learners in the batch, 852 learners completed the online modules of ‘Do Your Venture,’ setting a new benchmark of a 48 per cent completion rate, where globally most MOOCs have completion rates of less than 10 per cent.
A personal approach was taken to encourage participants to finish submissions. The participants were also encouraged to leverage the peer network through discussion forums and other online tools. NSRCEL and IIMBx took necessary steps to reduce the dropout rate by sharing weekly digests, regular announcements, handouts, and reminder emails, the establishment shared.
A study by Bain & Company, Google and AWE Foundation surveyed close to 350 women entrepreneurs and small business owners in urban India. Their report said almost 73 per cent of women were negatively impacted by the pandemic with 35 per cent experiencing a significant decline in revenue (25 per cent to 75 per cent). The revenue of almost 20 per cent of women entrepreneurs dwindled to zero.
The six-week program, delivered by NSRCEL and IIMBx, has been conceptualized to integrate a strong action philosophy in developing entrepreneurial ideas from common paths taken by successful entrepreneurs, including idea creation and evaluation. The program is a part of NCW’s nationwide initiative that aims to nurture women entrepreneurs and help them to scale their activities. The valedictory ceremony of this programme was conducted on 30 June 2021.