Andhra Pradesh to Launch Chapter of Women Entrepreneurship Platform

Andhra Pradesh to Launch Chapter of Women Entrepreneurship Platform

Niti Aayog’s Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) to foster women’s entrepreneurship in Andhra Pradesh

In a significant development for women entrepreneurs in Andhra Pradesh, the state is set to launch a chapter of the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) in January. The Andhra Pradesh Innovation Society (APIS), responsible for the startup ecosystem in the state, will serve as the nodal agency for this initiative. Established by Niti Aayog in 2017, WEP aims to create a conducive environment for women entrepreneurs by providing access to mentorship, skilling, compliance, financial support, outreach, and a robust community network.

Entrepreneurial Landscape of Andhra Pradesh:

Andhra Pradesh boasts an impressive entrepreneurial landscape, with an estimated 33.87 lakh micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) operating in the state. Of these, 33.74 lakh are micro enterprises, highlighting the dominance of small-scale businesses. Notably, 8.38 lakh MSMEs in Andhra Pradesh are led by women entrepreneurs, accounting for a 6.8% share of female-owned enterprises in the country. The state is also home to 6.63 lakh self-financed women entrepreneurs, with thousands receiving financial assistance from government sources and institutions.

Roundtable Meeting and Expectations:

To kickstart the launch of the WEP chapter in Andhra Pradesh, the APIS and WEP recently organized a roundtable meeting in Visakhapatnam. The meeting witnessed the participation of key players from the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, including government representatives, industry leaders, and NGOs. WEP Mission Director Anna Roy highlighted the platform’s objectives, emphasizing its role as a catalyst for women’s entrepreneurial success. She explained that WEP acts as a one-stop-shop for women entrepreneurs, providing information, matchmaking services, and creating a vibrant knowledge hub.

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Role of APIS and Pilot Projects:

Anil Kumar Tentu, CEO of the AP Innovation Society, revealed that the APIS has been tasked with developing a website for the WEP initiative and mapping available resources. Additionally, the APIS may lead some of the pilot projects under this program. The roundtable meeting allowed participants to discuss various dimensions of women entrepreneurship, sharing case studies and examples from their experiences. Notable attendees included representatives from NRDC, STPI Visakhapatnam, A-Hub, IIM Visakhapatnam FIELD, Gitam VDC, ITAAP, Lee Pharma Ltd, AP Chambers Women Wing, APEITA, JNTU Gurajada Vizianagaram, IIM Vizag, BREDS, Heifer International, and Avinash Millets.

Conclusion:

The launch of the Women Entrepreneurship Platform chapter in Andhra Pradesh marks a significant step towards empowering women entrepreneurs in the state. By providing access to mentorship, skilling, and financial support, the WEP initiative aims to create a conducive ecosystem for women’s entrepreneurship. With the APIS serving as the nodal agency, the platform will act as a unified information and service aggregator, strengthening industry linkages and increasing awareness of existing programs. As Andhra Pradesh continues to foster its entrepreneurial spirit, the WEP chapter will play a vital role in supporting and nurturing the aspirations of women entrepreneurs.