Create ecosystem that nurtures women’s entrepreneurship: Minister

Published - April 06, 2023 12:14 am IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Union Minister of State for Women and Child Development Munjapara Mahendrabhai has called for efforts to create an ecosystem that nurtures women’s entrepreneurship and leadership, ensuring greater access to mentoring, capacity building, and financing to help them scale up their businesses.

He was addressing delegates, panellists, and participants at the two-day second G-20 Empower meet that began at Kovalam here on Wednesday with the theme ‘Women’s empowerment: a win-win for equity and economy.’

In his inaugural address, the Minister called for focus on promoting women-led development with an emphasis on entrepreneurship, STEM education, and grassroots women’s leadership. Women’s entrepreneurship was seen as vital by India for achieving gender equality and economic growth. India had already made significant strides in this area with over 230 million women availing business loans, generating entrepreneurship opportunities at the grassroots.

He also spoke of how the country was empowering women and girls through access to resources, financing, and digital literacy - over 257 million Jan Dhan bank accounts were opened for women, increasing access to financial services and promoting digital payments.

Under G20 Empower, India envisaged the creation of a global mentoring and capacity-building platform, establishing a sustainable financing model, and setting up an e-market place to support and promote women-led businesses, he said.

In his address, Indevar Pandey, Secretary, WCD, emphasised that in keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of including women as active agents in the growth story of all G20 nations, India led by example by focussing on women’s issues in a life-cycle continuum approach.

Sangita Reddy, Chair, G20 Empower, said G20 Empower was one of the major initiatives of G20 that focussed on private sector women and empowerment. Its agenda included tracking of key performance indicators related to women, a consolidation of best practices from across the globe and enlisting the private sector as advocates who ensure equity in the workplace. Multiple working groups had been created to work with corporates to enable women to join and stay in the workforce and rise to leadership positions, she said.

All the G20 countries were together working on a communique, which will be a series of recommendations to the senior leadership and would be presented at the final meeting of G20 Empower, she said.

The opening session was preceded by the inauguration of an exhibition by Mr. Mahendrabhai. Curated by the National Institute of Fashion Technology, the exhibition highlights women’s impact on the economy and traditional enterprises and showcases women’s role in conserving the State’s rich culture.

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