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India Global Forum To Support 75 Women Entrepreneurs The next 25 years are essential for India's development as we celebrate our 75th year of independence; consequently, we wanted this year's Budget to stimulate the power of youth and entrepreneurs: Nirmala Sitharaman

By Saptak Bardhan

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India Global Forum's Annual Summit themed "The New India Inc.', Manoj Ladwa, founder and chairman, India Global Forum, in the presence of Nirmala Sitharaman, minister of finance & corporate affairs, on Tuesday announced an "Investors Network' with the most pioneering founders and entrepreneurs as mentors as well as a dedicated fund for 75 women entrepreneurs, marking 75 years of India's independence. This was announced on the second day of India Global Forum's Annual Summit.

"The next 25 years are essential for India's development as we celebrate our 75th year of independence; consequently, we wanted this year's Budget to stimulate the power of youth and entrepreneurs. We could still manage 40-45 unicorns as a country during the pandemic. This demonstrates the power of youth, which we recognize," said Nirmala Sitharaman, minister of finance and corporate affairs.

"Through India Global Forum, we are announcing today, an Investors Network that will come together and support through mentorship, money and networks, 75 women entrepreneurs to go global," announced Manoj Ladwa, founder and chairman, India Global Forum.

"For a woman, access to capital, talent and technology are one of the most formidable challenges even today. In the venture capital world, the line for questions for a woman seeking funding and a man seeking funding is extremely unfair," shared Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, executive chairperson, Biocon.

According to the sixth economic census released by the ministry of statistics and programme implementation, women make up 14 per cent which is a mere 8 million of the total business population of 58.5 million people in India. Between January 2018 and June 2020, funding raised by start-ups with at least one woman founder accounted for only 5.7 per cent ($1.69 billion) of total funding across 378 deals, while female-founded startups received only 1.43 per cent ($480 million) across 80 deals, according to the Makers India Report 2020 (YS) – the State of Women in Tech Entrepreneurship in India.

"Studies show that 67 per cent of girls did not attend online school. The gender gap is in the number of years of education that girls & boys receive which widens with progressive years, which we have to improve," shared Divya Gokulnath, co-founder & director, BYJU's.

"The shift that's happening in younger women making their own decisions is helping brands which obsess with them, create products that work better. I am very optimistic about the fact that the next decade is going to belong to women entrepreneurs," said Vineeta Singh, CEO & founder, Velvette Lifestyle.

Members of the "Investor Network' include Anmol Nayyar, partner, DMI Finance; Mohandas Pai, chairman, Aarin Capital; Nikhil Kamath, co-founder, Zerodha and True Beacon; Prashant Pitti, co-founder, EaseMyTrip; Prashanth Prakash, partner, Accel; Ramakant Sharma, co-founder & COO, Livspace; Ruchi Deepak, co-founder, ACKO; Sujeet Kumar, co-founder, Udaan; Umang Bedi, co-founder, VerSe Innovation (Dailyhunt & Josh) and Kunal Shah, founder, CRED. The event also witnessed insights from eminent leaders of tech-driven disruption and those who have joined the "unicorn club' along with senior cabinet ministers, policymakers and global trendsetters.

Saptak Bardhan

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