Ease of doing business for MSMEs: NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), which aims to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the country, on Wednesday announced the launch of women-centric challenges under phase-II of the second edition of the Atal New India Challenge (ANIC). ANIC said it aims to seek, select, support and nurture technology-based innovations that solve sectoral challenges of national importance and societal relevance through a grant of up to Rs 1 crore.
“ANIC’s Woman centric challenges address the major issues faced by women from all spheres of life. These include driving women hygiene through innovation, innovations to improve women’s safety, professional networking opportunities for women, innovations that make working mothers’ life better, and easing the life of rural women,” NITI Aayog said in a statement.
NITI Aayog CEO Parmeswaran Iyer said women-centric challenges are thought-provoking and can lead to major innovations and solutions. Launching the challenges, AIM’s Mission Director Chintan Vaishnav said the launch is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to enable women and girls to live up to their fullest potential. “These challenges crafted ANIC to address the major issues faced by women from all spheres of life. I encourage innovators to apply for this noble initiative at the earliest,” he added.
Among other initiatives to promote women entrepreneurship taken by AIM included collaboration with the Indo-German development cooperation project Economic Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs and Start-ups by Women (Her&Now)’ in March this year. The project was commissioned by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and jointly implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Ministry for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to train AIM business incubators with the knowledge, tools, and methods to boost women entrepreneurs.
Moreover, NITI Aayog currently runs the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP), which was launched in 2018, to help women become entrepreneurs, scale up their innovations and chalk-out sustainable, long-term strategies for their businesses. As of March 20, 2022, over 900 women entrepreneurs benefitted through 77 programmes and events hosted on the platform, according to a statement by NITI Aayog.