Monday, January 11, 2021

NITI Aayog and Flipkart collaborate to enhance Women Entrepreneurship Platform

The platform will host revamped ‘community’ engagement as it successfully completes two years of empowering women entrepreneurs

  • Community feature aims to bridge the gap between knowledge seekers and knowledge providers
  • FICCI and FLO join to facilitate Mentor – Mentee connect through a special online mechanism under Empowering the Greater 50% campaign

New Delhi - January 11, 2021: In an effort to enhance the community experience for women entrepreneurs in India, NITI Aayog and Flipkart, India’s homegrown e-commerce marketplace have come together to launch the revamped Women Entrepreneurship Platform. The Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) is a first of its kind, unified access portal which brings together women from different parts of India to realize their entrepreneurial aspirations. The revamped version shall also include an additional feature to offer mentorship to the women mentees with specific knowledge concerning a problem area through a dedicated online mechanism facilitated under FICCI-FLO’s Empowering the Greater 50% mission.


The idea of the platform was first mooted by Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog who announced the setting-up of a Women Entrepreneurship Platform in NITI Aayog at the conclusion of the 8th Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) held in Hyderabad in 2017, with an overarching theme of ‘Women first, prosperity for all’.


Women entrepreneurs today face unique obstacles, from a lack of networking opportunities and mentors to the challenge of balancing work and family. When women come together or form communities, they are better equipped to tackle challenges that come their way. Shared experiences from mentors and professionals further help them understand that a support system is just around the corner to take their passion and entrepreneurial ambition to new heights.


With that as a primary goal, NITI Aayog and Flipkart jointly bring forth the strength of technology and user experience to the foreground to enable ‘Community’ interaction and engagement for women entrepreneurs on the platform. The vision is to make ‘Community’ a very interactive, rewarding and intuitive QnA platform leveraging WEP resources, so that entrepreneurs can utilize it for fruitful discussions and for sharing knowledge, ultimately benefiting the women entrepreneurs ecosystem in India.


‘Community’ on the WEP platform aims to connect knowledge-seeking women entrepreneurs who have questions or seek clarifications on multiple aspects of setting up new businesses (like registering businesses, GST, funding, effects of the pandemic, etc.), or progressing already established businesses; to knowledge providing women entrepreneurs who have experience in setting up businesses and hence can contribute by solving queries.


Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, said, “It is my hope that WEP will become a digital place for entrepreneurs to not only seek information and support, but also help each other out. Serving as a forum for people's voices to be heard - helping inform policies and programs to better suit the needs and requirements of people."


Mr. Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group, said, “At Flipkart, we have technology and innovation at the core of all that we do. As a homegrown company, our constant and intense engagement with local Indian businesses, MSMEs and start-ups has enabled us to better understand their challenges and needs. Today, we can power their ambition with locally developed technology by providing them access to a large consumer market and bring our strengths to benefit their experiences.The Women Entrepreneurship Platform plays a critical role in uplifting and empowering women-led businesses in their growth ambition and we are privileged to partner with NITI Aayog in enabling their journey to success.”


Dr. Sangita Reddy Immediate Past President FICCI, said, “FICCI – FLO Empowering Greater 50% programme lays a special emphasis on enhancing entrepreneurial and decision-making skills of existing and aspiring women entrepreneurs through need-based Mentorship programmes and Mentor-Mentee matchmaking. NITI’s Women Entrepreneurship Platform has been successfully bringing together women from different parts of India under one community and Greater 50’s collaboration with this unified access platform is a significant step to help women across India unlock new business opportunities and realize their entrepreneurial aspirations. We value this partnership. We will make every effort to give more power to the women of India to be the best form of themselves and contribute to a women-led development of the country as a whole.” 


The ‘Community’ page on the platform now has a revamped homepage and login experience, simplified by making the login form more intuitive and accessible via Google or Facebook as well. The platform will also be available in multiple regional languages, aligned with the #VocalForLocal initiative, allowing women to interact with fellow women entrepreneurs and mentors to communicate in their language of choice.


Designed for both desktop and mobile, the ‘Community’ page is in an all-new avatar and is now transformed into a QnA portal so that both knowledge seekers and knowledge providers can comfortably interact and engage.


Further, knowledge seekers and contributors can gift badges to each other as a token of appreciation for solving their queries or being a consistent source of information and support on the platform.


The revamped portal will encourage entrepreneurs to share their entrepreneurial journeys, stories and experiences to nurture mutual learning. WEP platform, as a driver of change, continues to also promote offline initiatives and outreach programs to promote entrepreneurial spirit among potential women entrepreneurs. In this process, FICCI will support NITI Aayog and WEP to lay special emphasis on enhancing entrepreneurial and decision-making skills of women - based on mentorship programs and mentor-mentee matchmaking. This joint effort will give more power to women and enable a suitable ecosystem for their empowerment.


About Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP)

The Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) is a first of its kind, unified access portal which brings together women from different parts of India to build a nurturing ecosystem that enables them to realize their entrepreneurial aspirations. WEP achieves this by facilitating relevant information and services through key partnerships.The idea of the Platform was first proposed by Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog who announced the WEP at the conclusion of the 8th Global Entrepreneurship Summit(GES) in 2017, to help resolve the information asymmetry that exists in the ecosystem. As an aggregator platform, WEP hosts information and services relevant to women entrepreneurs. WEP enables key partnerships to bring crucial content, workshops, campaigns and other avenues of learning and growth to its users from trailblazers in the industry.


About the Flipkart Group

The Flipkart Group is one of India's leading digital commerce entities and includes group companies Flipkart, Myntra, and Flipkart Wholesale. Started in 2007, Flipkart has enabled millions of consumers, sellers, merchants, and small businesses to be a part of India's e-commerce revolution, with a registered customer base of over 300 million, offering over 150 million products across 80+ categories. Our efforts to democratize e-commerce in India, drive access and affordability, delight customers, create lakhs of jobs in the ecosystem and empower generations of entrepreneurs and MSMEs have inspired us to innovate on many industry firsts. The recent launch of Flipkart Wholesale, our new digital marketplace, is a testament to our commitment to accelerate the growth of kiranas and MSMEs in India. Flipkart is known for pioneering services such as Cash on Delivery, No Cost EMI and easy returns – customer-centric innovations that have made online shopping more accessible and affordable for millions of Indians. Together with Myntra, which holds a prominent position in the online fashion market, and now Flipkart Wholesale, the Flipkart Group will continue to steer the transformation of commerce in India through technology.


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About FICCI-FLO Empowering the Greater 50% campaign

With the vision of empowering the pivotal segment of India today as a nation — the greater 50% — women, at every level of the economy and enterprise, FICCI & FICCI Ladies Organization have launched a mega mission called ‘Empowering the Greater 50%’. This ambitious mission is designed to SUPPORT,EMPOWER AND INSPIRE women in all walks of life to step forward and be the best forms of themselves as possible with special focus on enhancing entrepreneurial and decision-making skills of women through various offerings. These include: Training for Workplace inclusion, Training of Women in Corporate Boards, Digital Financial Literacy, Mentorship, Enterprise development, Skilling and Capacity Building, Legal Empowerment of women at grassroot level, awareness of basic legal rights at workplace,  livelihood interventions through CSR, Webinars on women centric issues, thought leadership to formulate guidelines for women at workplace,  Inspirational Talks for girl students to pursue STEM education, Mental Health and wellness workshops, and special acknowledgment to women led / women focused positive stories and interventions. Launched in the month of June 2020, the programme aspires to touch the lives of at least 1,00,000 women over a period of three years.

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