Hyderabad: WeHub, Telangana government’s women entrepreneurs’ incubation arm, is all set to launch the second phase of its Her&Now programme, to inspire and scale up businesses run by the rural women in the state.

“The second cohort is almost thrice the size of the first. We learnt a lot from the first cohort, and we want to amplify and improve the second cohort with the feedback we have received,” says Deepthi Ravula, CEO, WeHub.

Originally launched to develop a business model for women entrepreneurs in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, the programme shortlisted 30 women in its first cohort for incubation and acceleration.

In the second one, WeHub aims to incubate 70 women entrepreneurs by providing them with networks, give them business training, assign them mentors and eventually push them to start their business. Apart from this, they also intend to scale up the pre-established businesses of 40 women.

“While last year we were able to visit the rural women directly, we are hindered by the pandemic this year,” says Sakuntala Kasragadda (Vice President, Incubation, Rural Entrepreneurship). “We are relying on district authorities to percolate and discover women entrepreneurs from their areas,” she adds.

Ms Kasragadda also added that while they consider themselves to be “sector agnostic”, they are looking forward to more health and food processing related businesses to aid the economy. “Several applications we have received offer a lot of promise,” she said.

“Women everywhere have been affected greatly by the pandemic with doubling their unpaid domestic labour while also worried about their businesses. We need to keep their enthusiasm up and give them continuous support,” Ms Deepthi adds.

Amongst the 19 women who were chosen for incubation in the first cohort, 13 are now ready to establish their businesses. The first cohort achieved a 65% success rate, much higher than was expected. The final panel of the second cohort will be decided by August end.

Launched in partnership with GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH) in 2019, The Her&Now to establish a framework for women in business.The project is a part of the German Federal Ministry’s ‘Economic Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs and Start-ups by Women’ programme, which is being implemented in India through the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MoSDE).

If you wish to apply, click here: http://wehub.telangana.gov.in/project-her-now.html
Applications close on July 20, 2020.

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