Friday, November 24, 2023

BITS Pilani, Aditya Birla Capital Foundation Collaborate With NITI Aayog's Women Entrepreneurship Platform For Women Start-Ups

~ Launches ‘Womenpreneurs for Bharat 1.0’ start-up program across Northeast Region, Rajasthan, Haryana, and J&K ~

BITS Pilani’s technology business incubator, Pilani Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Society (“PIEDS”), has announced the launch of its start-up program, ‘Womenpreneur for Bharat 1.0,’ in association with the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP), incubated within NITI Aayog, and supported by Aditya Birla Capital Foundation, the CSR arm of Aditya Birla Capital Limited. Aditya Birla Capital Foundation is the apex body, which sets the strategic direction for all of Aditya Birla Capital’s development projects. The foundation has Mrs. Rajashree Birla as the mentor; Mrs. Vishakha Mulye, Dr. Pragnya Ram and Mr. Subhro Bhaduri serve as Directors of its Board.   

The partnership was announced at the state workshop on ‘Enabling Women-Led Development through Entrepreneurship’ at Dorjee Khandu State Convention Center, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh on November 24, 2023. Held under the aegis of the State Support Mission of NITI Aayog, the workshop conducted jointly by the Government of Arunachal Pradesh and the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) brought together the innovation, entrepreneurship and inclusive development ecosystem across business, government, and civil society to discuss pathways of furthering women-led development through entrepreneurship.

‘Womenpreneurs for Bharat 1.0’ is aimed at providing funding and incubation support to women entrepreneurs who are building solutions for/from Tier 2/3/4 cities across Northeast region, Rajasthan, Haryana, and J&K. The program will seek both for-profit and non-profit women-led start-ups working across UN-SDG areas and solving business or societal challenges in those regions.

Commenting on the announcement, Mrs. Vishakha Mulye, Director, Aditya Birla Capital Foundation, and CEO of Aditya Birla Capital Limited, expressed, “We are committed to creating an equitable, inclusive, and long-term social and economic growth for the country. Through ‘Womenpreneurs for Bharat 1.0’, we aim to provide a platform to nurture the growth of women entrepreneurs in the country, who have the potential of impacting a large number of underserved Indians through innovative solutions.”

Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao, Vice-Chancellor, BITS Pilani, said, “India’s diversity across its length and breadth requires localized solutions from local entrepreneurs. I strongly believe that women innovators, especially from Northeastern states will lead the next wave of innovations in solving their region’s own unique problems. We are happy to partner with Women Entrepreneurship Platform and Aditya Birla Capital Foundation to help bring some of these innovations to the fore and help them scale.”

Speaking about the development, Ms. Anna Roy, Mission Director, WEP, said, “The project embodies a strategic approach to bolster women’s entrepreneurship in the tech4good sector which has significant market and impact potential, aligning with national goals of gender equality, women-led development, and digital inclusion. Women entrepreneurs leading innovations in critical development areas with a tech-led approach can have significant gains overall for business and society.”

The program would provide funding of up to Rs. 10 lakhs to eligible start-ups, along with extended incubation support from PIEDS, including 1-1 mentoring, market access support, and opportunities to raise future investments. Interested innovators can apply to the program here:

According to a research report published by Niti Aayog, India has 63 million micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), of which around 20% are women-owned, employing 22 to 27 million people. Estimates suggest that by accelerating women's entrepreneurship, India could create more than 30 million women-owned enterprises, potentially creating 150 to 170 million jobs.


PIEDS or Pilani Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Society (“PIEDS”) is a Technology Business Incubator of Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, that work with idea and early-stage start-ups in technology-focused areas across India. The initiative was established with a grant from the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.

About Aditya Birla Capital Foundation

Aditya Birla Capital Foundation (“ABCF”) is the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of Aditya Birla Capital for undertaking its developmental projects. Mrs. Rajashree Birla, Chairperson, ‘The Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development’, is ABCF’s mentor; Mrs. Vishakha Mulye, CEO, Aditya Birla Capital Limited, Mr. Subhro Bhaduri, CHRO, Aditya Birla Capital Limited and Dr. Pragnya Ram, Group Executive President, Group Head - CSR, Legacy, Documentation & Archives serve as Directors. ABCF is committed to driving programs for inclusive growth and development of the underserved sections of society. Its engagement is primarily focused on women-centric programs in the areas of healthcare, education, women empowerment, sustainable livelihood, and sports, amongst others. Until now, ABCF has made a qualitative difference in enriching the lives of over 5.5 Lakh people and is reckoned as a Force for Good among beneficiaries.

About WEP

The Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) incubated in NITI Aayog, and now running as a public-private partnership, is a one-stop hub relevant to women entrepreneurs, including SmartMatch feature for government schemes, incubators, accelerators and private sector initiatives, a community page, and mentorship module.

The State Support Mission, an umbrella initiative by NITI Aayog, is strategically designed to support states and union territories in achieving their socioeconomic goals by 2047. Under the aegis of the State Support Mission, a series of workshops are being conducted to provide a platform for Centre-State exchanges and forging partnerships. The primary goal is to augment awareness regarding the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) and unveil a range of pioneering initiatives that WEP has embarked upon. Under the State Support Mission, the Women Entrepreneurship Platform is now expanding its reach to the grassroots through a hub-and-spoke model.

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