The National Commission for Women (NCW) has reiterated its focus on women entrepreneurship and is aiming to create an ecosystem that will encourage women to be financially independent.
On Thursday, The National Commission for Women (NCW) initiated a dialogue on “Empowering Women Through Entrepreneurship”, on the occasion of its 26th anniversary. The seminar highlighted some success stories and deliberated on the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs across different sectors, and discussed how the environment can be made more conducive for aspiring women entrepreneurs.
NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma said at the event that women entrepreneurs represent large and untapped resource for generating jobs, and high-growth businesses, and that this segment of our population needs a framework for developing entrepreneurial skills, vocation education/ training for economic and social empowerment.
Last year, NCW had partnered with hospitality company Airbnb to create livelihood opportunities for women in the Northeast region as a step towards their empowerment. Speaking with YourStory, NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma said that NCW now wants to expand this to all over India, and is looking at creating similar partnerships with other Internet platforms including Amazon and Flipkart, which can empower women entrepreneurs across the country.
Rekha also informed YourStory that NCW will be conducting a workshop in partnership with social media giant Facebook, to educate women entrepreneurs about the use of social media for business.
The half-day anniversary dialogue was attended by guests such as Virendra Kumar, Minister of State, Ministry of Women and Child; Rakesh Srivastava, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, and women entrepreneurs like Chetna Gala Sinha, Founder, Mann Deshi Bank & Foundation; Revathi Roy, CEO, of Hey Dee Dee; Kanika Tekriwal, Founder, JetSetGo , among others.
At the event, Virendra Kumar urged NCW to organise similar dialogues in different states of the country so that women could be inspired to become entrepreneurs.
A panel discussion on the startup ecosystem for women in India and its impact was also held as part of the event. Chaired by Shaili Chopra, Founder of SheThePeople, the panel discussion saw participation from Rekha Sharma, Chetna Gala Sinha, Sunita Sanghi, Senior Adviser, Minister of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship; Ram Mohan Mishra, Addl. Secretary & Development Commissioner, Ministry of MSME and Revathi Roy who deliberated on guidelines to help entrepreneurs increase the possibility of success and on how barriers and challenges can be addressed through policy changes.
Rekha Sharma concluded that women have begun making an impact within the startup ecosystem and they haven’t limited themselves to "women-friendly" sectors.
For the last 26 years, NCW has been actively reviewing the constitutional and legal safeguards for women, recommending remedial legislative measures, facilitating redressal of grievances and advising the government on all policy matters affecting women.