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Women Startup Summit: Conclave seeks ways for strong women presence in startups

Kochi | Updated on August 02, 2019 Published on August 02, 2019

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Kerala IT Secretary M Sivasankar listed three major factors that are hindering the prospects of women entering entrepreneurship in a big way in the State.

India warrants an ecosystem that guarantees far stronger participation of aspiring women entrepreneurs by removing the hurdles on their path to business ventures, said the organisers of the Women Startup Summit here.

Gender sensitivity is essential to ensure inclusivity in heading or working with startups, according to speakers at the Conclave being hosted here by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM).

Kerala IT Secretary M Sivasankar listed three major factors that are hindering the prospects of women entering entrepreneurship in a big way in the State.

The first was ‘social barriers’, where, say, ‘safety’ of girl students in hostels restricts their study hours in the campus.

Secondly, he had addressed the increasing need for women with reasonable professional experience (of five to ten years) heading ‘brown startups’. Thirdly, he explained that there is near-absence of women coordinators in KSUM’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centres.

Women yet to be aware of their potential

Kerala State Planning Board member Mridul Eapen noted that most educated women in a high-literacy state like Kerala are yet to be conscious of their potential in business ventures. “The proposals and points emerging in a meet like this will have their resonance in the policy making decisions of the board,” she added at the inaugural address of the day-long event being organised in association with the Indian Women Network under the Confederation of Indian Industries.

It was wrong to go by the general notion that startups should invariably be on products that are novel and innovative. “There are products that are necessity-based and others that are opportunity-based. Women should make use of their immense potential,” she said.

KSUM Chief Executive Officer Saji Gopinath said the meet would be an occasion for women to help retrieve the entrepreneurship chances they typically miss out owing to the lapses in the system. Given that women in the State have proven their eminence in higher education, KSUM is duty-bound to promote their professional profile by facilitating opportunities.

The meet comes in the backdrop of Kerala having 13 per cent women participation in the technology startup ecosystem and the state government’s proactive steps for increasing the participation of women in the sector.

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Published on August 02, 2019
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