ITANAGAR- Chief Minister Pema Khandu has announced that the state government will set up a dedicated Development Cell for women entrepreneurs with a seed money of Rs 5 crore.
Speaking at the opening session of the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) State Workshop, organized by NITI Aayog, here today at the DK Convention Centre, Khandu said, “The Dedicated Entrepreneurship Centre for Women will function as a hub for women entrepreneurs providing access to mentorship, capacity building exercises, and other programs beneficial for women-led startups. The Centre will also run dedicated incubation and acceleration programmes for women.”
He also rolled out five new initiatives under WEP, which are ‘Supporting clean energy entrepreneurship through Atal Innovation Centre-SELCO Foundation partnership’; ‘Engendering growth for vibrant home-stay owners through the Maitri Programme in partnership with MakeMyTrip’; ‘launching of NASSCOM Future Skills’; ‘helpline for NE women entrepreneurs in collaboration with FICCI FLO’ and ‘launch of BITS, Pilani, and Aditya Birla Foundation’s Women Entrepreneurs programme’. These initiatives will be implemented by NITI Aayog and today’s roll out is for all states of the North East.
Lauding the NITI Aayog for the initiatives and conducting a one-day workshop for women entrepreneurs of the North East at Itanagar, Khandu informed that over the past 7 years, his Government has adopted a holistic approach to creating an enabling environment for women entrepreneurs that includes multiple interventions such as policy support, monetary support through front-ended subsidies, earmarking of schemes for women entrepreneurs and micro-entrepreneurs, etc. He specifically mentioned that approximately 6,500 of more than 20,000 MSMEs in Arunachal Pradesh are owned by women.
Referring to the Arunachal Pradesh Start-up Policy, spanning five years from its notification, Khandu said that under the policy a minimum of one Incubation Centre would be established in the state, and also to extend the facilities to at least 50% districts over the next five years. Besides, he informed that a special clause to support women entrepreneurs has also been included in the Arunachal Pradesh Start-up Policy 2022-23.
“We have mobilized more than 85,000 women into 9,301 SHGs, 951 PLFs and 27 model CLFs. We have provided credit linkages to more than 2,900 SHGs and provided more than Rs. 33 Crore bank credit to SHGs,” he informed.
Khandu opined that it is only when women rise and break free from barriers that the nation witnesses the true potential of their limitless capabilities.
“Women-led development has always been the priority of the Government of India and the Government of Arunachal Pradesh,” he asserted.
The new initiatives, Khandu believed are poised to make a significant impact on the landscape of women entrepreneurship, providing avenues for skill development, mentorship, and financial support.
“I request all of us present here and indeed all our present and aspiring entrepreneurs of Arunachal Pradesh to take advantage of these initiatives. Let us this platform, this golden opportunity, to unite, create, and pave the way for a future for women entrepreneurship promotion and reaching the last mile,” he added.
Present on the occasion were NITI Aayog’s Dr Chintan Vaishnav, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission, Yashodhara Rajoria, Co-lead for WEP in States, Executive Committee Member, WEP and Anna Roy, Senior Advisor, Chief Secretary Dharmendra, central and state government officials and women entrepreneurs from various North-Eastern states.