The inaugural edition of the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) – NITI Aayog State Workshop Series on Enabling Women-led Development through Entrepreneurship was organized at CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) Auditorium, Goa. The workshop was held in collaboration with the Government of Goa with a focus on the western region of the country.
A Gathering of Change-Makers
The workshop recorded over 500 participants, including women entrepreneurs, local self-help groups (SHGs) and clusters, government officials, industry representatives, incubators/accelerators, financial institutions, philanthropic foundations, and more. The primary focus was deliberating on a hub-and-spoke model aimed at extending women-led development to grassroots levels, covering the last mile.
Goa State Vision 2047
Dr. Pramod Sawant, Honorable Chief Minister, Government of Goa, stated that the Goa State Vision 2047 will be prepared with help from NITI Aayog.
Swayampurna Goa initiative
Celebrating the three-year milestone of the Swayampurna Goa initiative, Dr. Sawant emphasized its focus on skill development and the deployment of “Swayampurna Grameen Mitras” for the doorstep delivery of government services in every block and Panchayat.
Furthermore, the Chief Minister reiterated the role of women in socio-economic progress, announcing the Swayampurna e-bazaar during Dussehra, aimed at expanding market access through Common Service Centres.
Nurturing Women-led Development
Highlighting NITI Aayog’s mandate for cooperative federalism, Dr. V.K. Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog, emphasized the pivotal role of states in driving the nation’s growth. He emphasized three key priorities: maintaining the employment-to-education ratio, promoting women’s entrepreneurship, and restructuring the workforce.
Central Government’s Unwavering Commitment
NITI Aayog CEO, B. V. R. Subrahmanyam, emphasized NITI Aayog’s commitment to helping state governments establish entities akin to NITI Aayog within their respective states. These entities may not necessarily be standalone institutions; they could take the form of a department or utilize existing organizational structures. The key is to establish them as central hubs for future-oriented thinking and planning, with dedicated staff focused solely on their mission.
A Thriving Ecosystem for Women Entrepreneurs
A series of new collaborations were announced to support women entrepreneurs. Key highlights are the partnership between:
- The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and NITI Aayog
- The launch of Udyam Uplift – an initiative of CAxpert to strengthen compliance among women-led businesses
- The launch of the first two cohorts under WEP’s Award to Reward (ATR) initiative. The first cohort titled WEP-Unnati is accepting applications from green entrepreneurs pan-India. The second cohort titled WeNurture would be led by Atal Incubation Centre – Goa Institute of Management.
The Women Entrepreneurship Platform’s workshop in Goa marks a significant step towards fostering an environment where women-led development and entrepreneurship thrive, bringing about positive change not just in Goa but throughout the country. Through collaboration and dedicated efforts, India is taking strides towards a more inclusive and empowered future.