NSRCEL, IIMBx See record number of women taking NCW’s online entrepreneurship course
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The National Commission for Women (NCW) has partnered with the Indian Institute of Management Bengaluru (IIMB) to launch an online “Do Your Venture” module for women entrepreneurs, which has seen record participation of women in across the country. Launched in partnership with NSRCEL, IIMB’s startup incubator and IIMBx, its digital learning initiative, this unique program has seen the active participation of over 1,000 aspiring women entrepreneurs who have been equipped with tools and techniques to generate ideas and encourage them to start their own businesses.
This fully NCW-sponsored course is designed to deliver practical, action-oriented, systematic, and science-based management lessons to 5,000 aspiring women entrepreneurs to identify, assess, and test entrepreneurial opportunities.
NCW President Rekha Sharma reiterated the Commission’s commitment to women’s empowerment and said the idea of a Atmanirbhar Bharat can only be achieved with equal participation of women in the labor market.
“Socio-economic development can only be achieved when women become equal partners in the labor force. The National Women’s Commission is proud to have helped so many women realize their dream of becoming entrepreneurs. We believe that the beneficiaries of this program will inspire other women to become self-sufficient, which will lead to greater involvement of women in the Indian workforce. Together, we will realize the dream of a female-led Atmanirbhar Bharat,” Sharma said.
Professor Venkatesh Panchapagesan, President of NSRCEL, reflected on the challenges posed by the pandemic and how the program has encouraged women to turn this threat of COVID-19 into an opportunity. He also hailed the remarkable spirit of women to never give up.
“The past year has challenged many entrepreneurs, especially women running small businesses. Having supported thousands of female entrepreneurs over our twenty-year journey at NSRCEL, we also knew that women don’t give up easily. So when NCW came to us with the idea of nurturing and supporting early-career women entrepreneurs during this pandemic, we welcomed that opportunity.
“We hope to not only keep female entrepreneurs on the journey, but also shift their mindset to treat the pandemic as an opportunity rather than a threat. Our joint program has been an incredible success. More than 1,300 women have completed the program’s first major milestone. Despite this substantial number, we believe it is just a drop in the ocean,” shared the prof. Panchapagesan.
IIMB’s NSRCEL has also successfully completed its course journey for the first batch of NCW’s Empowering Women through Entrepreneurship program. Of the 1773 learners in the batch, 852 learners completed the online modules of “Do Your Venture”, setting a new benchmark of a completion rate of 48%, whereas in the world, most MOOCs have rates completion below 10%.
A personal approach was taken to encourage participants to complete their submissions. Participants were also encouraged to take advantage of the peer network through discussion forums and other online tools. The NSRCEL and IIMBx have taken steps to reduce the dropout rate by sharing weekly summaries, regular announcements, handouts and reminder emails, the facility shared.
A study by Bain & Company, Google and the AWE Foundation surveyed nearly 350 women entrepreneurs and small business owners in urban India. Their report indicates that almost 73% of women have been negatively affected by the pandemic, with 35% experiencing a significant drop in income (25% to 75%). The earnings of almost 20% of women entrepreneurs have fallen to zero.
The six-week program, offered by NSRCEL and IIMBx, has been conceptualized to embed a strong philosophy of action in the development of entrepreneurial ideas from common pathways taken by successful entrepreneurs, including the creation and evaluation of ideas. The program is part of NCW’s national initiative to encourage women entrepreneurs and help them grow their businesses. The farewell ceremony for this program took place on June 30, 2021.