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The Indian Institute of Management Bangalore’s NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) has announced the launch of the Women Startup Programme, with the support of Goldman Sachs

The announcement was made at WEConnect International’s ThinkBig Summit 2016. The summit is said to be Asia’s largest women’s entrepreneurship empowerment platform that serves as a common platform connecting women-owned businesses with public and private sector opportunities.

The startup programme is open to all women entrepreneurs and will be offered at no cost. The primary aim of the programme is to support and equip women to start their own businesses through a three-phase model having online and classroom training as well as business incubation.

The coursework will teach both entrepreneurial and managerial skills, provide mentoring and networking opportunities, and access to capital for their early ventures as well as teach them how to grow their businesses.

The Three Phases:

Phase One is a five-week course offered online to enable learning which is expected to be accessed by more than 2,000 aspiring women entrepreneurs across India. Participants will develop and test their business ideas systematically through lectures, interactive sessions, exercises, peer to peer interactions, and interviews with successful entrepreneurs.  At the end of the course, participants will submit their final business idea and compete for a chance to participate in the second phase of the programme.

Phase Two is a three-week on-campus experience. Participants with the top 50 business ideas from the first phase will receive fellowships to participate in training on IIMB’s campus between January and February 2017. Participants will acquire functional business knowledge while continuing to work on their business idea. Classroom sessions will include courses on developing a business plan, understanding costing and pricing, sales and marketing, and negotiation skills. They will also interact with mentors, including current and former students, and be able to seek guidance from an extensive alumni network of established entrepreneurs.  Participants will also have an opportunity to attend multiple startup events that IIMB hosts.

Phase Three includes a business plan competition where the top 12 startup entrepreneurs will win an opportunity to be incubated at NSRCEL for 12 months to help further develop their business idea, ultimately resulting in an entrepreneurial venture providing a successful product or service. Post the incubation, potential participants will be provided with a funding of up to INR 25 lakhs to support their ventures after meeting the necessary criteria.

Suresh Bhagavatula, Chairperson of Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development at NSRCEL, said, “We have designed this course by combining the latest research on entrepreneurial methods and best practices. With the support of Goldman Sachs, we hope this programme will be an opportunity and entrepreneurial channel for motivated women to systematically work through their ideas and ultimately start their ventures.”

“Goldman Sachs is committed to investing in communities and is honoured to support IIMB in their efforts to educate the next generation of women entrepreneurs in India,” said Sonjoy Chatterjee, Chairman and Co-CEO of Goldman Sachs (India).

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