Less than three months after the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 was organised in Hyderabad — an event co-hosted by India and the US — the theme of which was “Women First, Prosperity for All”, US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster pointed out that women encounter problems in building their own companies that their male counterparts do not face. Juster was speaking at the launch of Nexus Startup Hub, an entrepreneurship incubator at the American Centre on Thursday.
“Women entrepreneurs represent a tremendous, largely untapped pool of talent for economic growth and prosperity. However, they often face barriers to building businesses that their male counterparts simply do not encounter. To help address this problem, we are pleased to announce that the US Department of State has committed to expanding our Nexus offerings by providing special training, mentoring, and networking opportunities for female entrepreneurs throughout India. This program is designed to support and empower women with entrepreneurial interests who are currently studying at India’s leading universities,” Juster said.
Director of Nexus Erik Azulay said that to begin with, it will be a pilot project for two months and then expanded later on. Funds from angel investors will support the training to women businesspersons under this programme, he said. “In general, running a start-up is incredibly hard. If you add to that sexism, networking – most of the founders are men, most of the angels are men and the society pressures. Not only in India, but also in the US, women are asked why are you doing this, why are you not staying home and raising a family. Those pressures are significant obstacles for women being entrepreneurs,” Azulay added.