Women's Day: PhonePe's StreeEO campaign puts the spotlight on women entrepreneurs
In this day and age where the paradigm is slowly shifting from 'behind every successful man is a woman' to 'behind every successful economy is equitable participation from women and men', it is the responsibility of the business ecosystem to promote and bring to the fore women-led ventures so they can play bigger roles and help empower other women.
Intending to do just that by providing women a platform to showcase their businesses, PhonePe launched the StreeEO initiative ahead of Women's Day on March 8.
The campaign aims to put the spotlight on women-led businesses across the country, and help them reach a bigger audience via PhonePe's user base and social handles.
Commenting on the campaign, Richa Sharma, Director - Brand Marketing at PhonePe, said,
“With over 280 million registered users and over 17.5 million merchants, PhonePe is a partner to progress for Indians in line with our brand philosophy 'Karte Ja Badhte Ja'. With women comprising a large part of our user and merchant base, we kicked off the #StreeEOs initiative to recognise and celebrate Indian women entrepreneurs whose role is often not given due credit. We aim to do this by aiding the discovery of women-owned businesses on our app and beyond.”
PhonePe's initiative could provide a much-needed shot in the arm for female-run businesses, especially considering women constitute only 14 percent of the total number of entrepreneurs in the country, according to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
Experts have agreed that countries that don't help their female citizens realise their full potential lose out on significant innovation, economic growth, and job creation. In India, measures to close the gender gap could lead to a 6.8 percent gain in GDP, a study published by the International Monetary Fund in 2018 showed.
Another study by Mckinsey Global Institute showed that advancing women’s equality in India could boost its GDP by $0.7 trillion in 2025 - or 16 percent - as compared to the 'business as usual’ scenario.
Weak engagement by users with women-run businesses, a lack of support system in an inherently male-dominated domain, a lack of access to finance, masculine corporate culture, and gender biases are some of the biggest barriers to growth for women entrepreneurs. Startups with large platforms such as PhonePe can play an instrumental role in bridging some of these gaps.
“The role of women entrepreneurs is critical to India’s economic growth and this is our small attempt to level the playing field for women-owned businesses and help them move forward,” said Richa.
How can you experience the campaign?
On the app, users will see some of PhonePe’s own StreeEOs from different lines of business, along with their stories. The brand is also reaching out to women entrepreneurs everywhere to feature their businesses on a dedicated page.
To get featured, all that women entrepreneurs need to do is fill up a form provided by PhonePe. People who want to support a woman-run business can also nominate them by filling out some basic information
PhonePe hopes the campaign push to its user base will help women-led businesses to network better and get their name out there — essentially boosting their top and bottom lines.
Edited by Teja Lele Desai and Megha Reddy