Empowering women entrepreneurs

Economic Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups by Women

The Economic Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups by Women project aims to improve the overall framework conditions for women-led businesses in India and encourage women to become entrepreneurs and existing women-led enterprises to grow. Under the name Her&Now, the project pilots an incubation and acceleration programme, that equips India women to start new businesses and grow their existing businesses in Northeast region, Rajasthan and Telangana with three local partners:

  • Dhriiti (Northeast region): Set up in 2004, Dhriiti works with women, youth and communities in economic crisis and partners with Government, corporate bodies, multilateral agencies and civil society organizations to build a favourable ecosystem for entrepreneurship across India.
  • Startup Oasis (Rajasthan): Set up in 2013, a joint initiative of the Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation (RIICO), Rajsthan's premiere industrial promotion organisation. As an incubator, Startup Oasis catalyses India's regional startup ecosystems to foster innovation and entrepreneurship for socio-economic development.
  • WE Hub (Telangana): An incubator set up in 2018 by the Government of Telangana to promote women entrepreneurship by way of ecosystem building, government support, and incubation.

Her&Now Film Campaign

The project is commissioning the production of four original high-quality, cinematic short films on the topic of women entrepreneurship: two fiction short films, one non-fiction short film and one animated short film. Reputed and well-established Indian filmmakers are encouraged to submit their film ideas until 14th of October 2019 to get the chance of receiving a production grant worth up to 20 lacs to tell an authentic story about the journey of a woman entrepreneur.


Incubation Programme

A seven-month program for women from tier II and III cities, who want to set up their enterprise. The program will offer critical business-skill modules, self-improvement learnings, and mentoring.

Who can apply

  • Any woman entrepreneur who wants to set up a for-profit enterprise in the relevant region
  • Any woman entrepreneur who has been running an informal enterprise/is part of a group enterprise and now wants to start up on her own
  • In case of a jointly-run enterprise, the woman founder will have equal participation in day-to-day running of the enterprise
  • Willingness to register their enterprise as part of the programme
  • Informal operations / pilot operations


Acceleration Programme

A six-month program to help women-led enterprises from tier II and III cities scale up, with critical learning on building teams, fundraising, leadership, and other customised sessions.

Who can apply

  • Any for-profit woman-led enterprise (registered legal entity) that has been in existence for at least one year in the region
  • In case of a jointly-run enterprise, the woman founder will have majority stake and at least equal participation in day-to-day operations


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