Invest Karnataka 2016, the Global Investors’ Meet organised by the Karnataka Government, had for the first time a session dedicated to women in business and entrepreneurs. The three-day event took place in Bangalore from 3rd Feb to 5th Feb 2016.
Women entrepreneurs are an integral part of the small and medium businesses in Karnataka. The event offered women in business a centre stage platform for B2B connect and networking.
Session on ‘Promoting Women Entrepreneurship in Karnataka’
In a bid to boost women entrepreneurs a thematic session on ‘Promoting Women Entrepreneurship in Karnataka’ was held on the second day of the event. The session was attended by women entrepreneurs from all across Karnataka.
The state has taken the initiative to encourage women entrepreneurs through the Industrial Policy 2014-19. The industrial policy has an exclusive chapter dedicated to women entrepreneurs. As per the data available from the Government of Karnataka, companies led by women provide employment to about five lakh people in Karnataka.
New Industrial Policy of 2014-19
The Karnataka Government’s New Industrial Policy of 2014-19 aims to encourage women entrepreneurs and give a special thrust to them to enable the creation of more women enterprises in the state in the next five years.
The highlights of the policy include the following:
- Reservation of five per cent of plots/sheds in industrial areas/estates developed by KIADB/KSSIDC for women
- Two exclusive industrial areas in the state at Harohalli and Hubli/Dharwad for women entrepreneurs
- Exclusive cluster for Textiles, Gem & Jewellery for women
- Special package of incentives for women entrepreneurs
- Investment promotion subsidy based on the size of their units for women entrepreneurs
Speakers at the session
The session was addressed by Ratna Prabha, IAS officer, currently Additional Chief Secretary, Commerce & Industries Department, Govt of Karnataka and an avid supporter of women entrepreneurship. Speaking at the session she highlighted the various initiatives that the government has taken to support businesses led by women.
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director, Biocon Ltd., underlined funding as one of the primary challenges of entrepreneurship, especially for women entrepreneurs. She stressed on the need for a strong policy for startups and support from the government in creating opportunities and providing facilities and capital to not only women entrepreneurs but to all startups.
Juvencio Maeztu, CEO, IKEA, rooted for gender equality and highlighted the fact that IKEA has 52 per cent women employees at the global level. He announced that all the stores that will open in India will have day care centres.
Nilam Chibber, MD, Industree, said that Bengaluru is not only an IT hub but also an apparel hub. He stressed that the need of the hour is to build a network or a community like AMUL in Karnataka through self-help groups.
Gist of the session
The session saw an enriching discussion regarding the promotion of women entrepreneurship in the state and the initiatives that are being taken by the government to help the cause of the women entrepreneurs. The gist of the session was:
- The government is ready to help women entrepreneurs in the manufacturing industry, especially small and medium scale industries.
- Women must acquire the ability to fend for themselves and not rely on the government for everything.
- Gender issue has to be addressed among the male workforce.
- Workplaces must have day care centres.