The NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) has launched a ‘Women Start-up Program’ with the participation of 50 aspiring women entrepreneurs from all over India.
In the first stage of the program, more than 1700 women participated in the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) ‘Do Your Venture’, a five-week online course designed to enthuse them to systematically identify an idea and initiate their venture.
The course assessed the participants’ submission of the Lean Canvas, an actionable and entrepreneur-focused business plan, besides a two-minute video pitch of the business idea. Two mentor panels assessed around 300 submissions selecting the top 50.
The second stage kicked off with a a three-week interactive boot camp session for the top 50 online participants of the ‘Women Start-up Programme’ at NSRCEL, IIM Bangalore on January 23
The focus is for each participant to develop a robust ‘problem-solution’ fit to comprehend the success and sustainability of the venture.
NSRCEL, the entrepreneurship and incubation centre at IIMB, in partnership with Goldman Sachs, had initiated the Women Start-up Program.
The program will equip women to develop entrepreneurial skill sets to help with the ideation stage and managerial skill sets to enable them start and grow their venture.
The entrepreneurial skill sets will help them in the early part of the venture where they need to make decisions under conditions of uncertainty. The managerial skill sets will help them strategize during the growth phase.
In stage 2, the focus for each participant is to develop a robust ‘problem-solution’ fit to comprehend the success and sustainability of the venture.
In line with the popular Lean Launchpad, participants will interact with 25 potential customers every week. Depending on customer and mentor feedback, they may have to modify their proposals in order to establish a better fit.
The initiative seeks to facilitate the growth of women entrepreneurs in India by providing in-depth training both in nurturing managerial and entrepreneurial skills, mentoring and advice through a panel of reputed mentors, and incubation and modest financial support for top business plans.
“We, at NSRCEL, are very excited about this programme because it is for the first time we are trying out a blended model — MOOC, Classroom and Incubation,” Professor Suresh Bhagavatula, Chairperson, Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development, NSRCEL, said.
“So far, it has shown great promise. The discussion boards on MOOC were very active, the online webinars were very well attended. All of this led to 300 women submitting their business ideas and a 2-minute pitch,” he added.
“After multiple rounds of selection, 50 women are here on campus for a three-week boot camp. We expect the women to attend classroom sessions and also continue working on their idea while they are in the boot camp,” Prof. Bhagavatula said.
Anusha Stephen, one of the participants,said, “The five-week MOOC helped in setting the stage and helping us understand the idea-generation phase. I am looking forward to the experience of learning from the professors, mentors and peers. There are some amazing women here which will surely change my career.”
Another participant, Chetana Jude Alex said, “I wanted to start a venture based on psychology and got to be part of the five-week MOOC programme conducted by IIMB’s NSRCEL for women entrepreneurs that took me out of my comfort zone.
“The online platform offered webinars conducted by Prof Bhagavatula and the elaborate discussion forums enabled me to share ideas with like-minded women,” she added.
“The ‘Do’ philosophy of the programme motivated me to work on developing a lean canvas for my idea. I was thrilled when I received the email stating that I was one of the 50 women who have been selected for a fully funded on-campus mentoring programme at IIM Bangalore,” she said.(Image Source:pixbay)