Mumbai-based startup accelerator Zone Startups today announced the launch of the second edition of its programme for women entrepreneurs building technology enabled ventures. The ’empoWer’ initiative is backed by Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, Microsoft, Capital First, PayU, ICICI Bank, Social Alpha, Cherie Blair Foundation, Amazon, and FlexiLoans, Zone Startups said in a statement here. Some of the core areas that the program seeks to address include – peer group of like-minded women entrepreneurs, lack of information on markets, addressing procedural delays and complexities, taking risks, seeking financial independence, managing business operations, absence of role models, access to finance, it added. “The genuine benefit from the program that our first cohort has vouched for, coupled with success from the cohort, has helped us to expand the program beyond just an accelerator. We are really keen to see how this shapes up, and grow from there,” Ajay Ramasubramaniam – director (India), Zone Startups said.
empoWer 2.0 will be launched in Mumbai, and followed by roadshows across Bangalore, NCR, Hyderabad, Pune and Ahmedabad to evangelise the initiative and for attracting applications. For the six-week bespoke program, 15 women entrepreneurs will be shortlisted. The program participants will get access to mentoring, workshops, case studies of successful women led startups, industry connects, peer network, investor connect and business development opportunities. After having started out as a six-week accelerator program, this year onwards empoWer will be a year-long initiative.