Women entrepreneurs seek separate cell, higher subsidy

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 26, 2012 19:41 hrs

A separate cell in the Department of Commerce and Industry and an additional subsidy are two chief demands which women entrepreneurs of Mysore want the Karnataka government to initiate immediately. The government should also make schemes for women and their welfare more transparent through regular publicity so that it could reach them, they said.

Women in Small Enterprise (WISE) president Urmeela Venkatesh said on Monday, women industrialists faced challenges of a different nature than men with multi-tasking with their families. Right from initiating their dreams of setting up an industry till it turns viable, they have to face many challenges and most often of a different nature.

“Many women have ideas of setting up industrial or business units. But, they lack the right guidance to go about it. The government should identify their skills and support them so that those aspiring could give shape to their skills. This will not only help them but also the industry at large,” the outgoing president said, speaking to Business Standard.

Motivational aspect of women has not received due attention, lamented secretary Gayathri Keshava Rao adding that government functionaries are generally lethargic and indifferent more so towards women when they seek help and guidance. Hence, there is an immediate need for a separate cell in the industries department, including at all the district industries centres, they said adding that additional subsidy incentives would be a fillip to women-owned industrial units in the state.

“The Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) is not helping to identify women’s skills and ability. It has become outdated. Emerging new skills and areas call for a re-look at EDP. Besides, the present EDP presentations are too high for women to comprehend, particularly for those who aspire to become entrepreneurs at the rural or taluk levels,” observed Urmeela.

“Women entrepreneurs need support at three stages — in identifying their potential, to help them in project execution and to support them for the unit’s survival and growth. The government should go all the way in this direction,” said incoming president Gayathri. Similarly, the government should also come forward to handhold sick industries owned by women, added treasurer Malini Srinivasan.

Also, schemes and programmes meant for women and women entrepreneurs need to be made more transparent through networking with industry and other organisations and also media so that women get a clear picture of the schemes. Presently, most women do not have much idea on these schemes or programmes, Urmeela said.

Though women entrepreneurs are often told that they need not give collateral, banks insist on collaterals. This needs to be clarified too. Banks too should show leeway to women entrepreneurs in this respect, added Gayathri.

To take these issues forward, WISE is holding a half-day workshop at the Mysore Chamber of Commerce & Industry premises tomorrow.

Members will deliberate on “Support for Women Entrepreneurs by the Karnataka Government” and “Opportunity Areas for Women Entrepreneurs”, with FKCCI Women Entrepreneurship Committee chairperson Lakshmi Kamath as chief guest.

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