PM Narendra Modi to Launch StartUp India Plan for Women on April 1

NEW DELHI: After giving the slogan of “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (Save daughters, educate daughters)”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is bracing up to launch a focussed Start Up India plan for women. The government has roped in a few of the US technology giants to back the Start Up scheme for women, which will be supported with a fund of Rs 100 crores.

The scheme, sources said, has been finalised as part of the drive of the NITI Aayog to promote participation of women in workforce. “The Start Up scheme for women will be unveiled on April 1 with an initial dedicated fund of Rs 100 crores. A number of ministries of the Central government will co-ordinate efforts to make the scheme successful. The thrust will be to encourage women to become entrepreneurs in the technological space,” said a top source in the government.

The Central government has held consultations with India’s principal IT interface with the world – NASSCOM – to give a robust backing to the Start Up scheme for the women. “It has been seen that women entrepreneurs face a lot of roadblocks in accessing funding. The scheme will address such concerns with the government funding, which will further be scaled up by roping in venture capital to incubate and nurture the business ideas brought forth by the women. The government has already held initial discussions with the US based technology giants, including Facebook and Google, to provide the budding women entrepreneurs robust platform to achieve their dreams and become employers,” added the source.

The scheme for women will be rolled out initially in 10 cities across the country. “Initially, the scheme will be focussed in 10 cities as part of the objective of the government to make it result oriented. Women entrepreneurs who become part of the scheme will be provided with institutional mentoring, with dedicated resources pooled from the private and public sector to work with them to incubate their ideas and scale up their enterprises. The scheme will aim to ensure that no women give up their dreams to become entrepreneurs due to lack of fund and support,” stated the source.

Incidentally, the 15-year Vision Document of the NITI Aayog, which is being drafted, proposes key reforms to enable women’ participation across various sectors. The think-tank panel is also driving the inclusion of “Goal 5 (Gender Equality)”, which was adopted by the United Nations as part of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) in the policy making of the government.

“The government is buoyed with stories of women entrepreneurs who broke the glass ceilings and affected the outlook of communities in their respective areas. The scheme will be a force multiplier to achieve the Goal 5 of the SDG, besides spurring inclusive growth in the country,” added the source.

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