Catalyst for Women Entrepreneurship (CWE) is a complete ecosystem, a nurturing platform to enable women to start up their businesses and scale them successfully. Through the online-offline platform, we have established a network of over 4500 women entrepreneurs across India, enabling them with access to Finance, Markets, Business skills, Technology, Mentoring, Networks, and information on Local and Global Business opportunities.
Our goal is to create and showcase:
- 100 role models
- 500 success stories
- 50,000 women entrepreneurs
Our platform is designed to support women entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey, from ideation to growth and expansion. We support entrepreneurs across industry sectors in partnership with:
- 25 Catalyst Mentors who are industry leaders providing advisory and mentoring support.
- 25 local & global Partner organizations giving access to Markets, Finance, and Networks.
UNDERSTANDING THE BARRIERS
What are the fundamental obstacles that prevent women in the economically productive age group from working?
ROADMAP 2020: Accelerating Women In India
Benchmark research on women entrepreneurs
To understand these challenges better, in 2014, Catalyst for Women Entrepreneurship (CWE), Athena Infonomics and Quantum Leaps Inc undertook a study, “Roadmap to 2020: Accelerating Women Entrepreneurship in India.” This was conducted with 400 women and men entrepreneurs in Bangalore, Mysore, NCR and Mumbai. Detailed and in-depth interviews were conducted with ecosystem stakeholders such as Government Agencies, Angel Investors, Financial institutions, Industry Associations, to capture the key challenges and the current gaps in the ecosystem, and solutions to the challenges.
On a newly constructed Women Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Index (WEEI), Mumbai (64) fares marginally better than Bangalore (62) and significantly better than the National Capital Region (47), as depicted in the table below. Perceived satisfaction levels of women on the quality of their entrepreneurship ecosystem is below 50 percentiles across some key parameters.
3 major challenges were identified by 400 women entrepreneurs, financing institutions, government agencies and trade bodies interviewed
66% of women entrepreneurs were averse to taking ‘risks’ like loans/investments, with 57% fearing failure.
Nearly 90% of women entrepreneurs report turnovers of less than $75,000, with only 5% earning more than $150,000
67% of women entrepreneurs do not use technology for business functions, aside from basic functions like email.
Why Partner With Us?
We’re creating a comprehensive platform to enable women entrepreneurs to scale their businesses
While there are organizations that offer some elements of what we will cover with our technology platform and accelerator, no organization currently offers CWE’s comprehensive package of products and services. There will be both online and offline elements to the platform.
We know women, our target customers, well
We’re successful women entrepreneurs ourselves. We know the challenges of being female entrepreneurs and we’ve worked with women in the Indian ecosystem. We’ve launched and run diversity initiatives, been mentors, and helped women upskill themselves. We’re excited to do all of this and more on a much larger scale
Our team brings depth of experience and skills
Combined we have over 100 years of experience in teams, sales & marketing and entrepreneurship. We’ve used these talents in the for-profit and non-profit sectors, and we’re well versed with working with local, state and national governments, as well as international institutions and organizations
The numbers make sense
We know there’s an opportunity to create a robust ecosystem for women and to enable a significant growth in the local and national economy