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Is India Ready For A Tech Boom Led By Women Entrepreneurs?

Is India Ready For A Tech Boom Led By Women Entrepreneurs?
There are very few start-ups in India that have been founded by women. That is being attempted to be changed by the government and tech industry and they are hoping that in the process millions of jobs could also be created.
According to a senior executive at India's main tech industry body Nasscom, only about 8 per cent to 10 per cent of Indian entrepreneurs are women. Compared to the United States – where there are 39 per cent women among all entrepreneurs according to a report last year by American Express, the number is very low. 
"Hopefully in the next three to four years time, the number of women entrepreneurs, technology-led, will be drastically changed," KS Vishwanathan, vice president of industry initiatives at Nasscom, said at a conference in New Delhi recently.
Facebook was the organizer of the event. The social media company highlighted its own efforts at creating and promoting women entrepreneurship.
"We need a lot of work to make sure women are coming ahead and running a tech business," said Satyajeet Singh, Facebook's head of platform partnerships in India.
Singh said that since last year, Facebook has been able to organize meetups and mentorship programs in 24 Indian cities for over 170 women entrepreneurs.
Four out of five women in India wish to become entrepreneurs, found a survey that was commissioned by Facebook last year. The survey noted that the failure to empower such women meant that India was missing out on millions of potential new businesses and jobs.
Indian women who want to launch start-ups are also supported by Silicon Valley rival Google through its own program. Vishwanathan said that the number of women who have agreed to join a training for a career in tech organized by Nasscom is "tremendously high". The industry body said that the number is between 4,000 and 5,000.
A number of programs aimed at aiding in creation of women led start-ups have also been launched by the Indian government.
"It's a very interesting time to be a female entrepreneur right now," said Meenakshi Gupta Jain, founder and CEO of Helper4U. She added that the environment for women who are seeking to start a business is "very conducive".
Helper 4U is a platform that was founded by Jain in 2014 and is based on a data base that helps domestic helpers in India find employment. A handful of programs, which included one aimed for women entrepreneurs that helped her to undertake a mini MBA program, was behind her being able to building her business.
She said: without such programs "it would not have been possible to reach where we are now".
However, there is still a long way to go for India. According to a research conducted by Facebook, India’s female founders got only about 2 per cent funds that had been raised by Indian startups in 2017.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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