As part of ‘Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women’, 68 women entrepreneurs in and around the city were mentored on how to improve their business

What happens when like-minded women entrepreneurs meet? They discuss their issues of work-home balance, overcoming challenges they face in business and much more. That’s what 68 women from in and around Chennai recently did as they got the opportunity to meet, network and enhance themselves, as part of the ‘Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women’ initiative.

The five-year programme, started in 2008, aims to provide business and management training to under-served business women, globally. Indian School of Business (ISB), the academic partner in India, mentored the participants in the city on topics such as capital and people management, competitive and economic environment trends, budgeting, marketing, funding, hiring and advertising, among others.

Ramanathan Hariharan, senior director, Centre for Executive Education of ISB, states that 1,200 women entrepreneurs have benefited from this initiative over the last five years across the country. Dentists, beauticians, women who owned wellness centre, e-commerce garment portals, pre-schools, day-cares, manufacturers, travel agencies, and others are part of this programme.

Scientific approach

Uma Yogesh, a CA by qualification and founder of the Thejomaya Centre of Excellence located at R.A. Puram says, “This programme showed me a scientific approach to my business.” Appreciating the one-on-one mentoring Uma says, “The process was not spoon-feeding; my mentor put forth questions about my existing business. The questions made me realise areas of improvement in marketing, human resources and competitor review, among others.”

This programme was a confidence-booster for the few who came from the outskirts of Chennai. For Radhika Venkateshsulu, who runs a part-time business selling homemade idli batter in Thiruthani, the programme was said to be an eye-opener to many business concepts. Radhika, who has a dream of starting a non-plastic bags manufacturing unit, says, “The session on communication was very interesting. I not only learnt about the significance of a logo, but also realised the importance of advertising. l got to know many ideas for improving my business from the other participants.”

As part of the final module, the participants will present a business plan in the second week of September in ISB. Ramanathan adds, “They will be graded on uniqueness of the solution, robustness of the business and revenue model, and the technology. The best presentation will be given a certificate.”

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