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A Boost for Women Entrepreneurs Led by One of India's Largest Banks YES BANK and YES Global Institute also announced the launch of Agenda 25x25, which pledges to create a synergetic startup environment for budding women entrepreneurs

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Women are leading boardroom meetings and running companies while finding the right balance between home and office. However, in a day and age where entrepreneurship is at an all time high in India, we still struggle to see participation from women in the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem. Be it meetings or events, men outnumber women.

Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu, during a recent live Facebook chat too spoke about the lack of women participation in entrepreneurship in India.

The reason for the same goes back to social challenges that women have to face before they start their own venture. From family pressure to a continued process of teaching since childhood that they are meant to take the backseat, women have been missing from the game for long.

Well, not anymore. More and more organizations are encouraging women to come to the forefront of their businesses, while also running programs for women in entrepreneurship. A frontrunner in the same is YES BANK. During the recent YES BANK – YES Global Institute "Annual Startup Conclave' hosted in partnership with NITI Aayog, Invest India, Startup India and Atal Innovation Mission, experts from the industry came together to discuss the empowerment of women in entrepreneurship.

An Agenda For Change

YES BANK and YES Global Institute also announced the launch of Agenda 25x25, which pledges to create a synergetic startup environment for budding women entrepreneurs in India, ensuring that by 2025 atleast 25% of all Entrepreneurs in India are Women.

Deepak Bagla (MD & CEO, Invest India) and R. Ramanan (Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission) release whitepaper on "Empowering Women for Entrepreneurship', in the presence of YES BANK official.

Commenting on the initiative, Rana Kapoor, MD & CEO, YES BANK and Chairman, YES Global Institute said, "The Indian startup landscape, with over 8 million women entrepreneurs, is at a focal point where an accelerated "pro-women centric' change is of vital importance in order to galvanize India's growth trajectory. It is projected that by 2025, India's GDP will get an additional boost of 16%, by integrating women in the workforce. In order to achieve inclusive and equitable socio-economic growth for the nation, we must ensure that at least 25% of entrepreneurs in the country are women by 2025."

Adding his thoughts to the same, Deepak Bagla, MD & CEO, Invest India spoke about how India is moving swiftly towards gender equality, with increased women participation in tier 2 & 3 cities. "It is very heartening to note that initiatives such as Startup Yatra have covered 12 villages in just 4 months with the aim of nurturing innovative solutions and entrepreneurial talents of rural women," he said.

Their Time is Now

When over 48% of a country's population is women, it is impossible to think of economic growth without women as the fundamental drivers of change, said R. Ramanan, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog. "We need to aim at harnessing the full potential of women entrepreneurs, as we cannot be a nation of job seekers and must aim to become a nation of job creators. Let us ensure that women entrepreneurs succeed, for our nation to succeed," he said.

The inaugural edition of the conclave centering on the theme "Empowering Women for Entrepreneurship', featured two highly engaging panels which deliberated on the need for creating an enabling ecosystem for accelerating Women Entrepreneurship in India.

As a speaker at the event, Entrepreneur India's Editor-in-chief Ritu Marya spoke about how women often take a sabbatical to raise their family and soon come back into the corporate world. However, she also spoke about a growing trend in India. "Couples are taking to entrepreneurship together. There's a great camaraderie between husbands and wives to work together. Having left her corporate job, a woman joins her husband's startup and the vice versa is true as well," she said.

The event also addressed the need to build a 10 Step Developmental Model focused on empowering women innovators, catalysing investments, synergising collaborations and increasing economic opportunities.

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