WE HUB Invites applications from Women Entrepreneurs for the Second Cohort of ‘Her&Now’

New Delhi: WE HUB, India’s first state-led incubator to foster and promote women entrepreneurship to start up, scale up and accelerate with global market access, today, announced the call for applications for the second cohort of the ‘Her&Now’ programme implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. For over 60 years, GIZ has been working jointly with partners in India for sustainable economic, ecological, and social development. The first cohort of 30 start-ups graduated last year by formally registering their enterprises and raising finances through credit linkages and equity investments.

Project Her&Now is a seven-month incubation and six-month acceleration programme for which WE Hub has partnered with GIZ. As a partner of the project, WE HUB is implementing it in Telangana, helping close to 100 women entrepreneurs for the second cohort from Tier 2 and 3 cities to set up and scale their enterprises. The call for applications begins today and will closes on 20th July 2020. Interested start-ups from all the sectors, except for trading and service sectors, can apply at http://wehub.telangana.gov.in/project-her-now.html in English or Telugu.

The programme is a part of GIZ’s project ‘Economic Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs and Start-ups by Women’ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in partnership with the Indian Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MoSDE). It is designed to support aspiring and existing women entrepreneurs in India to establish their enterprises and help them scale. It will include women entrepreneurs from across the socio-economic strata, geographical borders and operational capacities.

Deepthi Ravula, CEO, WE HUB, said, ” The success of the first cohort has proved that the tier II and tier III regions of Telangana has women with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and we were proud to scout, speak, select and enable them to start-up and scale-up their businesses thereby providing jobs and impetus in the local economy. Together with our partners, we will work with each of the women entrepreneurs on an individual basis to help them throughout their entrepreneurial journey.”

Julia Karst, Project Head of Her&Now, said, “We are looking forward to providing support to women entrepreneurs from Telangana to start their new business and to scale up their existing enterprises in our second cohort of Her&Now programme this year. Her&Now programme is a collaboration between WE Hub in Telangana and GIZ India and is funded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Her&Now offers customised support to each entrepreneur and her business, providing knowledge on critical business concepts, support from mentors and industry experts, access to markets and finance. We hope our programme will prove especially useful for women entrepreneurs in these current challenging times. We would like to invite all interested women entrepreneurs from Telangana to apply to our programmes.”

The applicants for the incubation programme of the project can be:

● Any woman entrepreneur who wants to set up a for-profit enterprise.

● Any woman entrepreneur who has been running an informal enterprise or is a part of a group enterprise and now wants to start up on her own.

● Any woman entrepreneur running informal operations or pilot operations.

● Woman founder with equal participation in day-to-day running of the enterprise, in case of a jointly run enterprise.

● Willing to register their enterprise as a part of the programme.

The applicants for the acceleration programme of the project can be:

● Any for-profit woman-led enterprise (registered legal entity) that has existed for at least one year in the region.

● Any woman entrepreneur engaged with operations under MSME or service sector.

In case of a jointly run enterprise, the woman founder will have a majority stake and at least equal participation in day-to-day operations.

The final set of chosen start-ups will receive a host of benefits to ensure their strategic growth, including:

● Customized and tailor-made programme at no cost to the entrepreneur at their own locations

● Real-world insights from accomplished mentors

● Funding-readiness through hands-on pitch and business-plan support

● Exposure through a pan-India media campaign

An entrepreneur from the first cohort, Kavya Sirikonda, Founder of RR Mushrooms, said, “WE HUB has provided me with immense network opportunities in my sector. Through the Her&Now programme, I have been able to pivot my business and diversify my product range, thereby scaling up my business. I am proud to be engaged with an incubator like WE HUB, which is truly a catalyst for women entrepreneurs in the country.”

Another entrepreneur who was a part of the project, Jayamma Kotla, founder of Arogya Dayani, said, “With the support of WE HUB and the Her&Now programme, we have been able to formalize and establish our start-up, Arogya Dayini. From understanding statutory compliances to product diversification and standardization to developing strategies for scale, the expertise offered by WE HUB has been phenomenal.”

More than 70 per cent of the enterprises under the incubation programme from the first cohort have been able to advance their enterprises. About 85 per cent of the enterprises have formally registered their organizations by procuring an Udyog Aadhar Certification. About 30 per cent of the enterprises have been able to establish and register their firms as limited liability partnerships/private limited entities. About 45 per cent of the enterprises in the acceleration programme have been able to receive access to finances through credit linkages to the extent of INR 1.22 crores. Furthermore, 20 per cent of the enterprises have received equity investments to the extent of INR 2.8 crores and 40 per cent of the enterprises have recorded an increase in their employee numbers.

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