At the Startup India, Standup India launch event in New Delhi today, the morning began with high levels of energy and enthusiasm. The never-before occurrence of the convergence of key components of India’s startup ecosystem and the government under one roof was a fantastic opportunity to focus on important questions and concerns expressed by entrepreneurs.
The discussion by the all-women panel – Celebrating Women: Stories of Innovative Women Entrepreneurs – revolved around how the startup landscape is transforming the lives of women and how women are, in turn, transforming the startup ecosystem.
The panel, moderated by Shaili Chopra of She The People, included Anisha Singh of mydala, Sairee Chahal of SHEROES, Nidhi Agarwal of Kaaryah, Shanti Mohan of LetsVenture and Pranshu Bhandari of Culture Alley.
The panelists discussed important challenges women entrepreneurs face today in setting up and running a business – the lack of access to resources, loans, infrastructure and, more importantly, to networks.
Panelists acknowledged that there is a lack of awareness and lack of access to information about not just how to start up, when to raise funding, or how long to continue as a bootstrapped venture. Women entrepreneurs need mentorship not just from the government but also from other successful women.
Social mindsets need to change, stereotypes and biases towards women need to change and a secure, safe and supportive environment is the need of the hour.
Quotes to remember
“If investors aren’t on the same page as you, you shouldn’t even try to get them on board.” – Shanti Mohan
“I met 113 investors; our articulation and customer understanding improved along the way.” – Nidhi Agarwal
“Women have to really show the investors that they are committed to their idea and have to let the product speak for itself.” – Pranshu Bhandari
“Funding or no funding, we went ahead. The more traction we got, the better we became.” –Sairee Chahal
“Women should stop undermining other women.” – Pranshu Bhandari
“Social media is your best friend. Use it.” –Sairee Chahal
While we look to the PM to reveal his plans, women have to stop under mining themselves and each other, be persistent and shameless and strive to do the best.
(feature image credit – Shutterstock)