Telangana plans hub for women entrepreneurs
Hyderabad: The Telangana government will set up a centre called ‘WE Hub’ to support women entrepreneurs and procure goods made by them, the state’s technology minister said.
As per state policy, the government mandatorily meets 20% of its procurement from micro, small and medium enterprises. A fourth of this will be procured from women entrepreneurs, Telangana information technology and industries minister K.T. Rama Rao said.
Speaking at a press conference after the closing session of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad, Rao also announced a Rs15 crore ‘T-fund’ to help entrepreneurs. “The WE stands for women entrepreneurs. Under the T-fund, entrepreneurs will be given a funding between Rs25 lakh and Rs1 crore,” he mentioned.
The WE Hub will be based on the model of the state government supported and successful start-up accelerator T-Hub, located in the International Institute of Technology (IIT) campus in Hyderabad. Rao said the state government is helping Assam and Goa establish similar centres. “Investing in women entrepreneurs is something the government will take up,” he added.
Rao’s announcements were on the lines of the GES’s theme of ‘‘Women First, Prosperity for All’ for this year. The international event, which is conducted by the US every year, was attended by large corporations including Intel India, International Business Corp., PayPal Holdings Inc. from 150 countries. A total of 1,500 entrepreneurs and investors attended the event, of which more than half were women.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and advisor to the US President Ivanka Trump inaugurated GES in Hyderabad on 28 November, which was the event’s eighth edition. It was also held in South Asia for the first time.
“The latest gross domestic product figure of 6.3% for this quarter was higher than the previous one,” said Amitabh Kant, chief executive officer of NITI Ayog, who was also present at the press conference with Rao.
Kant said NITI Ayog will support WE Hub through the central government’s Atal Innovation Mission programme. “The NITI Ayog will also set up a women’s cell in the coming days as well, because there is disproportionate funding between men and women entrepreneurs. We need to support more women,” said Kant.