A file photo of Ms. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, an iconic and a visionary example for women entrepreneurs to follow.
The Maharashtra industries minister revealed on Wednesday that the state government is planning to enhance the share of women-owned enterprises to 20% in 5 years.
Speaking at a conference organised by the World trade center, he conceded that "Women have moved on from being known for 3 Ps – Pickle, Papad and Powder earlier to the 3 Ps of Production, Progress and Prosperity, and have scaled heights in the electronics, garments, jewellery and engineering sectors."
"I invite women to take advantage of the industrial policy for women entrepreneurs announced by the Maharashtra government in December 2017 and also make suggestions on improvising the policy. Maharashtra is the first state to develop a dedicated industrial policy for women. This policy aims to enhance the share of women-owned enterprises from 9% today to 20% in the next five years," added Desai.
Desai invited all the women self help groups or Mahila Bachat Gat in rural areas to take advantage of the state government's ambitious policy. The government is developing 52 industry clusters across the state.
"In future, we are also willing to develop clusters dedicated for women entrepreneurs," the minister added.
Besides asking his ministry officials to make suitable amendments to favour women entrepreuners, Desai also encouraged women to take 100% ownership of sick industries and rehabilitate them. "We are willing to help women entrepreneurs in every possible manner to increase their industry participation. Women should aspire for such great heights that men need reservation some day in future," he added.
A picture of Industries Minister Subhash Desai (5th from left), dignitaries, and WTC officials.
Praveen Pote Patil, the minister of state for industry and mining suggested that women should participate in the 'Make in India' and 'Make in Maharashtra' (Magnetic Maharashtra) initiatives.
"Women are the capital of the nation. Women without education and from small villages have been doing incredible jobs. This is an occasion to celebrate such women and motivate others to participate in the vast ocean of opportunities lying ahead of them. Elaborating this further, he said "We have provided training to over 28,000 women in the last three years and if women acquire self confidence, no one can stop them."
The Government of Maharashtra has so far eased the process of filing patents by women entrepreneurs. It has also subsidised the cost of overseas travel and participation in international exhibitions by women entrepreneurs. There is also a plan to introduce a venture capital fund specifically to provide financial support to women-owned industries. To prevent misuse of the policy, the government has allowed for funding only to 100% women-owned industries.
Besides the ministers, the conference also saw participation from successful women entrepreneurs such as Kalpana Saroj, Managing Director, Kamani Tubes; Poonam Soni, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Poonam Soni Signature Line.