T-Hub, which leads India’s pioneering innovation ecosystem, organised ‘The Womenpreneur’ event with thought-provoking conversations from women entrepreneurs, women leaders, government representatives to inspire the next generation of leaders and dreamers this International Women’s Day. The event had 20+ eminent speakers delivering inspiring and insightful keynotes and panel sessions and had 250+ attendees join the event physically as well as virtually.
With the spirit of innovate, inspire, and ignite, the event aimed at understanding the journey of women entrepreneurs, how they overcame gender bias in their growth journey, with the support of ecosystem enablers such as T-Hub, WE HUB, TSIC etc. The event brought together eminent dignitaries such as Dr. S. Glory Swarupa, Director General, National Institute of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (NIMSME), Anu Acharya, CEO, Mapmygenome, Cerasela Tanasescu, Director, La Trobe University, Dr. Shanta Thoutam, Chief innovation officer (CIO), Telangana State Innovation Cell (TSIC).
MSR, CEO, T-Hub addressing the event said, “The overall number of women enterprises and jobs these enterprises create in the country are very less currently, and I believe that all the ecosystem stakeholders should come and work together to find ways and means that will help create an impact where potentially we can create 40 million women enterprises in India in the coming years and possibly create about 150 to 170 million jobs from those enterprises. This requires a profound transformation that will help empower our personal, economic, social status. Today’s collaboration is one such opportunity for us to reflect, to think, and to come up with ideas on how we can accelerate this whole transformation piece.”
Dr. S. Glory Swarupa in her special address talked about one of the biggest difficulties for women is access to finance. Studies have shown women entrepreneurs can create millions of jobs, contributing to the economy and as a national institution taking responsibility for women’s participation in MSME, NIMSME is keeping a 3-year vision – and have shared its proposal to the MSME ministry on the difficulty women are facing and how to overcome this.
Anu Acharya in her keynote address pointed out how the next generation is gender-free and that we might not need to have discussions on removing gender biases but on the way forward strategy to strengthen the women workforce.
Another keynote speech, which was addressed by Dr. Shanta Thoutam, talked about how some of the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs are being overcome through incubation centres like T-Hub, and WE HUB. Shanta urged the women entrepreneurs to trust in their decisions while running their own businesses.
The event organised a fireside chat session on ‘Women trailblazing entrepreneurship’ moderated by Deepthi R, Chief Executive Officer, WE HUB with the panel members Tanuja Abburi, Founder, Beyond Pinks, Kritika Narula, Lead, Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy, Startup India, Government of India, Rashida Adenwala, Co-founder & Partner, R & A Associates, Jugnu Jain, CEO, Sapien Biosciences, Sreedevi Devireddy, VP – Startup Ecosystem, XELP, Sabina Kamal, Founder & COO Paytm m’Loyal (Mobiquest).
The event also witnessed the book launch by MSR for the book “Accelerating Her Business” co-authored by Poornima Shenoy and Supriya Panchangam. Keeping the strong narrative for women in India, the event showcased inspiring voyages of founders like Priya Ananth, Co-founder, Life Circle, Kalpana Ramesh, Founder of Rainwater Harvest Project and Krupala Nune, COO of LifeOfGirl startup.
A panel discussion titled “Women entrepreneurs as the next frontier for employment” was also organised which was led by Rashmi Pimpale, CEO, Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad (RICH), Government of Telangana, with panelists Madhura Dasgupta Sinha, Founder & CEO, Aspire For Her, Samir Sathe Executive Vice President, Wadhwani Foundation, Poornima Shenoy and Supriya Panchangam, Authors of Accelerating Her Business book.
T-Hub also took this opportunity to felicitate 50 people to honour their contribution in inspiring, retaining and enabling the spirit of women entrepreneurship across the globe. These included women entrepreneurs like Anindita Banik, CEO, of SmartWinnr, Sarada Kalavapudi, Founder of Hivedin, Aparna Bhogu, Co-Founder of Monitra, Hema Nandiraju, Co-founder of HESA Global, and women mentors like Neetika Maheshwari, Founder of Accelero Corporation, Nirajita Mitra, Senior Director at Oracle India, Mytri Reddy, Partner at Varuna Law Associates, Nandita Sethi, Founder and Managing Director of The Entrepreneur Zone, and corporate women leaders like Rajita Singh, Head HR of Broadridge Financial Services, Urvashi Katyal, Strategic Partnership Manager, Community & Impact at Meta, and Swetha Balasa, Director at Honeywell Aerospace, among others.
The event concluded with an introduction to Startup India Awards 2022 by Aakanksha Chandra, Associate, Startup India, Government of India which will identify and celebrate innovations across 17 sectors, 50 sub-sectors and 7 special categories.
T-Hub has designed and delivered 100+ innovation programs in the last 6 years, enabling 1800+ startups to scale nationally and globally, and connected them with various influential ecosystem stakeholders. T-Hub will continue to develop strategic programs to elevate the levels of innovation by effectively engaging stakeholders and will keep supporting other ecosystem enablers – TSIC, T-Works, WE HUB, RICH, TASK by sharing knowledge and resources, as and when needed.