Contrary to what business gurus will tell you, entrepreneurship lacks rationale. It is often fueled by a core belief of an individual that an organization can be built from the sheer love of an interesting idea. Even if it means going against industry heavyweights, the belief is often enough for an
individual to take that plunge.One of the side effects of this is that most entrepreneurs are horribly ill prepared for the entrepreneurial journey. From contacts, to knowledge, to skill; these little things become a lot more important for a founder than the core skills required to execute their beliefs. In more mature ecosystems, there is a community which supports entrepreneurs, but in India, it is still in its nascent stages.
We at YourStory.in strive to build this community for you, the entrepreneurs, in every thing that we do. However, we also are grateful to others in the space who're looking to do the same. Today, we look at two such initiative - one from a veteran entrepreneur and another from the deep recesses of the corporate world.
Pearl Uppal - Founders in Heels
Co-Founder of startup accelerator 5ideas, Pearl Uppal had recently spoken to us on their newest initiative to assist women entrepreneurs. She said, "This is the second idea in the 5ideas concept that we're working on. It is to help build women entrepreneurs in India and we're going to do that by setting up a nationwide network for women entrepreneurs which would conduct meetups and workshops across the country. The main benefit for an entrepreneur from this would be access to people be it in finding a VC or a tech co-founder and access to knowledge, be it fund raising, understanding term sheets and anything that a woman entrepreneur today might find difficult to do."
To Pearl, empowering women is close to her heart. She says, "I have always believed that man-woman co-founder teams have always come up with more creative ideas. They're complimentary in nature. Having managed homes and it's expenses, there are some aspects of entrepreneurship that will come naturally to a woman. Women don't have much technical acumen though and that's a pain point we're trying to solve by both people and through connection."
As this grows, Pearl shared that the formats of engagement will diversify into formats like webinars, online meetups, forums, etc. She says, "I'm always open to queries from entrepreneurs, both male and female. But for the woman only initiative, I'm looking for volunteers across India who will help us in this cause."
Startup Leadership program
The Startup Leadership Program is a global initiative which started in Boston and is spread across 23 cities across the world. This is a six week long program which will include the known formats, like networking sessions, workshops, meetups and expert sessions. But along with this, the volunteers who run the group will also help in assessing its subscribers on skills which it will teach through the duration of the course.
Shivaram A, who leads the Bangalore chapter, is an entrepreneur who has recently come off a very long stint at Titan Industries. He said, "I think Indian entrepreneurs lack access to knowledge and people. That's what we're trying to solve here. We get entrepreneurs from companies like Innoz, redBus, Capillary and many more to come and share their experiences with our subscribers. They also perform the roles of mentors for some companies. In India, we've got six chapters in India and about 350 people enrolled. Ixigo is one of our success stories and we'd love to have many more of these in the coming days." The course is costed at 9000 Rs for the 6 month duration and SLP is a not for profit organization.
How much value can these programs disseminate?
I think there is a lot of value that such programs can provide to Indian entrepreneurs. Access seems to be the prime concern for entrepreneurs in India and such programs beautifully compliment annual entrepreneur events like TechSparks. Apart from this, the knowledge that fellow entrepreneurs can give back to those who're just starting out is a lot.
Does woman entrepreneurship excite you? Help Pearl Uppal and write to her extending your support.
If you wish to enroll for SLP's next batch, click here.
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