Women’s Entrepreneurship Day 2022: Every day of the year is commemorated as Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED), however, November 19 is officially proclaimed a day when the contribution of women entrepreneurs is recognised and acknowledged.
The United Nations host the original event and subsequent events are staged concurrently in a number of other nations. In total, 144 nations observed the first Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) in 2014, which featured the awarding of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Pioneer Awards. The group that sponsors WED also runs fellowship and ambassadorship programmes.
Sandhya Sakhuja, Director, Vedic Cosmeceuticals noted, “India is at the cusp of becoming an entrepreneurship powerhouse. With such a large youth population, the focus should be to generate employment at a much faster pace than the global economies and we can not afford to disregard women population from this growth story.”
“More and more opportunities should be provided to women by introducing courses and technical skills to be entrepreneurs. The government is doing a lot to promote them by providing financial support through various loan schemes as well. The need of the hour is to focus on training and skills, followed by even easy finance and mentorship to enable more and more women to opt for entrepreneurship,” she added.
History of International women’s Entrepreneurship Day
Wendy Diamond, founder of Pet Pioneer, Animal Fair Media, and recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, developed and launched Women’s Entrepreneurship Day after helping in Honduras with the Adelante Foundation, which offers microcredit to low-income women. She made the decision to create something to support this and other charitable initiatives after returning to the US.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti all declared November 19 to be a “official day” that is observed annually at the UN and all across the world. A Day in Honor of Women Entrepreneurs is observed yearly by the US House of Representatives on November 19 under the direction of Congresswoman Grace Meng.
Mugdha Pradhan, CEO and Founder, iThrive who has dedicated her life to make diseases disappear from this planet, said, “Early in my career, when there were fewer women entrepreneurs and most of the startup founders were men, it was mostly a hypermasculine, extremely competitive, dog-eat dog, hustle-based and aggressive kind of culture.”
“However as more and more women entrepreneurs are entering the start-up space, the energy seems to shifting into more of a nurturing ecosystem, an ecosystem of sisters, women, and women founders who know what it means to create a company from our innate ability to nurture, imagine and inspire everyone to grow together. That is the shift in the dynamics I am witnessing and it really makes me happy to see it happening, she added.
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Women Changing Startup Eco-System
Today, women entrepreneurs are not just limited to any particular sector. From fashion, food, clothing, technology, manufacturing, deep tech, women have made their presence felt in all these sectors and more.
Additionally, there are numerous government-led initiatives that promote women entrepreneurship, offer grants, acceleration, mentorship as well women centric venture capital funds to support gender equality. Women today are focused towards helping other women grow beyond the societal barriers and help uplift each other.
Sashwati Banerjee, Founder, Top Parent said, “Studies have demonstrated that women founders bring to the table high emotional intelligence, are better able to manage and nurture teams, creating a positive environment in challenging startup scenarios. They are solution oriented, resilient, quick to adapt, respond to challenges and are not solely motivated by financial gains. Organisations and investors are now responding to this by creating opportunities and spaces where women entrepreneurs can flourish and thrive.”
Sapna Dudani, Mentor – Antennae Ventures added, “Women are multi taskers by nature, born managers, empathy and creativity is at the core of every work that a woman takes up. Along with leadership skills and decision making abilities, planning and execution are equally important for a success of any venture. Women entrepreneurs bring all of it on the table specially in the startups ecosystem. We cannot deny that women today believe in creating a space for themselves, focusing on their individuality.”
She opined, “Just like I left my corporate job after 12 years to start my own company as an entrepreneur to build entrepreneurs, formed an NGO for the welfare of the society, became a part of the India-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce and much more, in the same manner, there are several other women who no longer want to work in their comfort zone and are willing to take new challenges upfront. The goal is be entrepreneurs that add value to the society, bring in the much needed change, solve a problem and thereby creating a valued ecosystem for women entrepreneurs.”
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