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SAMRIDH AcceleratHER – Funding for Women Entrepreneurs Connect Event at BSE

Mumbai : Zone Startups India (part of BSE) along with EntrepreNaari/Aspire For Her organised a 2-hour power-packed session for women entrepreneurs for an in-depth introduction to the nuances of fundraising as part of the SAMRIDH AcceleratHER Program 2022 (SAMRIDH AcceleratHER). The program is under the aegis of MeitY’s SAMRIDH scheme. Over 30 women founded startups had very engaging and interactive sessions with two distinguished panels of experienced women investors and entrepreneurs, including Navya Naveli Nanda and distinguished invitees. Mr. Jeet Vijay, CEO of MeitY Startup Hub and Mr. Mithun John, Jt. CEO of MSINS addressed the attendees.

The event was held in the iconic BSE Building and had the participation of women founders, mentors, investors and the Zone EntrepreNaari community members apart from the distinguished speakers and panelists. There was virtual participation as well from the community via an interactive bridge and live streaming on Youtube.

Mr. Hemant Gupta (MD – Zone Startups India) opened the session, welcomed the attendees and invited women entrepreneurs to apply.

He stressed that “Entrepreneurship is the need of the hour, especially backing women in business, is so essential and a priority. They play a very crucial role in the overall development of the venture. As you can see, worldwide, the top management and the CXO’s are getting dominated by women. With this accelerator program, we intend to provide a robust platform and environment for them to nurture and scale their businesses and achieve greater heights.”

Ms. Madhura DasGupta Sinha (Founder Aspire For Her and EntrepreNaari) in her address stressed on the need to support not only the women at work and in business. With the female labour force participation in India declining from 34 percent in 2006 to around 22.8 percent in 2022 a fresher approach is the need of the hour.

She stated “We, as a nation, still believe in seeking jobs rather than lending one. Initiatives like AcceleratHER are so crucial that they act as a ladder to help these young, budding innovators achieve the most out of it. Aspire for her and Zone Startups India look forward to catering the new India’s talent.”

The keynote address was given by Mr. Jeet Vijay (CEO – MeitY Startup Hub, Govt. of India) who along with his team is curating the SAMRIDH scheme. Startup engagement and support is at the core of this vision and will keep driving it, by way of policy and scheme definitions as well as execution. He spoke about the criticality of women’s participation and contribution to the economy of India specially as entrepreneurs.

Mr. Vijay stated, “You cannot keep women out of the game, be it sports, technology, or entrepreneurship. Yes, the world is changing, moving at a faster pace, and so are these women entrepreneurs. I believe the SAMRIDH AcceleratHER is a great platform for them to shape their ideas and business models well under the mentorship of experts from various fields. Government is with you. Just start.”

The special address by Mr. Mithun John (Jt. CEO – Maharashtra State Innovation Society, Govt. of Maharashtra) covered the initiatives and body of work being by the nodal agency for the state to support innovation and entrepreneurship esp. for women. The Maharashtra Startup Week which is a flagship event for the state which is currently underway has been a big platform also for women entrepreneurs. As stated by him “Entrepreneurship is a hard, long, and lonely journey, especially when you are at the initial stage. Don’t give up. These are the kinds of initiatives that motivate and support innovators to grow and scale up, and I am glad Zone Startups India and MeitY Startup Hub are working on this together, creating a long-term impact.”

First was the star-studded panel of women entrepreneurs comprising Ms. Naiyya Saggi, Ms. Purva Aggarwal, Ms. Nita Singhal and deftly moderated by Ms. Navya Naveli Nanda, a budding entrepreneur and a champion of women’s causes. The discussion peppered with inspiring anecdotes was steered so very well that it became a fluid conversation amongst passionate founders sharing and learning from each other.

Expressing herself Navya said “Feel so ecstatic and proud to see a room full of energetic and passionate women entrepreneurs. There is so much to learn from them; the passion, compassion, and belief they carry; I hope to be a part of more such initiatives in the future.”

Next was the investor panel with three investment stalwarts, Ms. Divya Sampath, Ms. Shivani Bubna and Ms. Hanisha Vaswani in a discussion moderated by Ms. Sharda Agarwal, a successful serial EntrepreNaari herself. Attendees got a perspective of not only the expectations of women led startups from investors but also the do’ and don’ts of fundraising as well as a view on the current investment climate. Everyone grew richer collecting the many pearls of funding wisdom that were shared.

And then came the EntrepreNaaritive session, where 12 women founders narrated their stories with poise, style and composure. It was pure gold to get mesmerized by the passionate founders from Mavi, Canebot, Uniqin, Jaey, Sport Vot, J4Kids, FashnKraft, Sugatra, DeepCytes, ENirman, Bharat Krishi Mandi, Twee-in-one.

The journey for the growth of women entrepreneurship is gathering pace and everyone is welcome to support and contribute towards ushering in ‘samridhi’ sooner in our country led by innovative startups and their dedicated founders and teams.

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