WE HUB, a State-led incubator promoted by Telangana to foster and promote women entrepreneurship, has announced ‘UPSurge,’ a pre-incubation programme in collaboration with the Australian government.

This collaborative pre-incubation programme aims to aid women entrepreneurs across India to achieve financial independence. It follows the first WE-Hub/Australia collaboration ‘Community Slate’ which concluded in 2020. Australia was WE Hub’s first international partner.

Barry O’Farrell AO, Australian High Commissioner to India launched the programme in the presence of KT Rama Rao, Telangana IT and Industries Minister.

Skill development

The 12-week pre-incubation program gives participants skills to help them systematically gauge the feasibility of their ideas and develop them into a sustainable business. The programme has already received 549 applications from across 14 cities around the country.

“Three years ago, on the same platform, we have taken that first step in the country to establish a dedicated incubator to foster women entrepreneurship. Today, WE Hub has emerged as the role model in India to enable women entrepreneurs and increased participation of women in Workforce,” Rama Rao said.

Barry O’Farrell said, “Encouraging women and girls to STEM, and providing an environment for them to thrive and progress, is an objective of the Australian Government under our Academy of Science’s Women in STEM Decadal Plan.”

Sarah Kirlew, Australian Consul-General in Chennai said, “We are pleased to continue our support for their impactful work with women-led start-ups.”

Deepthi Ravula, CEO, WE HUB, said, “Our association with Australian High Commission has kicked off with an acceleration programme and has successfully supported five social enterprises in 2019. We look forward to enabling more women through the ‘UPSurge’ pre-incubation program where we will be supporting close to 240 aspiring women entrepreneurs.’’

The first WE-Hub Australia partnership, ‘Community Slate’ ($60,000), was designed as a mentoring programme to support five women-led social enterprises to navigate these difficulties and scale up their ideas.

‘UPSurge’ (roughly $24,000), focuses on pre-incubation for a larger cohort of women entrepreneurs, filtering their ideas for market viability. The financial support for the initiative comes from Australia’s “Direct Aid Program”.