WEP Nxt: NITI Aayog, Cisco partner to support women entrepreneurs in India
WEP Nxt will be the next phase of NITI Aayog's flagship initiative to enable more women-owned businesses across the country.
NITI Aayog and Cisco on August 26, 2021 launched the next phase of the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) to build on their shared commitment to empower women entrepreneurs across India.
The next phase of NITI Aayog's flagship platform titled 'WEP Nxt' will use Cisco's technology and experience of working with India's startup ecosystem to foster more women-owned businesses in the country.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, Senior Adviser NITI Aayog Anna Roy, Cisco COO Maria Martinez, Cisco India President Daisy Chittilapilly and Harish Krishnan, Managing Director, Public Affairs and Strategic Engagements were present at the launch.
Women Entrepreneurship Platform
The Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) is NITI Aayog's flagship initiative, which was initially launched in 2017. It is the first-of-its-kind unified portal that brings together women entrepreneurs from different backgrounds and gives them access to a wide range of support, resources and learning.
The platform aims to improve industry linkages and awareness about the existing programs and services and provide women more access to peer support, learning resources, fundraising opportunities and mentorship.
WEP aims to be the one-stop solution for all the information and services that are relevant to women entrepreneurs. It currently has over 16,000 registered users and 30 partners.
•WEP Nxt will boost the efforts of the Women Entrepreneurship Platform in providing support to women entrepreneurs.
•It will be driven by evidence-based decision-making, based on a focused study of the Indian women entrepreneurs
•It will aim to address the most urgent needs of the women entrepreneurs across six key verticals-
-Community and networking
-Skilling and mentorship
-Incubation and acceleration programs
•The focused study, which is key in fuelling this transition will be made available for the benefit of the ecosystem.
•WEP Nxt is aimed at bridging the existing gaps and forge new possibilities for women in India.
Cisco, in collaboration with Nasscom Foundation, DeAsra Foundation and Sattva Consulting will enable technology-led engagements to address challenges faced by women entrepreneurs at both individual and enterprise levels and create new growth opportunities.
The central government through initiatives such as WEP aims to realise the vision of a new India where both men and women will have equal opportunities to build and share in the glory of achievement, shared NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.
He further added, “WEP Nxt will further catalyse this movement and I am confident with Cisco as our partner, this technology platform will soon be the personalized guide for every woman entrepreneur in the country to realize her dreams."
As per WEP focused study, up to 170 million jobs could be created by 2030 and India's annual GDP could rise by 1.5% if more women took up entrepreneurship.
Women entrepreneurs in India
According to Sixth Economic Census, women only constitute 13.76% of the total entrepreneurs (8.05 million out of the 58.5 million entrepreneurs) in the country.
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