Karnataka Seeks To Help Women Entrepreneurs Grow At Global Investors’ Meet

By Nidheesh M.K. Mint, New Delhi.

BENGALURU -

The Karnataka government will step in to finance women entrepreneurs in getting themselves certified by global agencies to expand women entrepreneurship in India and abroad.

The government will work with women-only forums like WeConnect International, a non-profit that helps women in business to tap market opportunities, said a senior government official.

"Often the fees for such certification programs are quite high. So we will reimburse 100% of the certification fees, up to $500, in the first year. The reimbursements will continue such as 75% for the second year and so on," said Ratna Prabha, additional chief secretary at the industries department, on the sidelines of the state's global investors' meet on Friday.

According to her, women in small business can benefit highly from certification programmes that can connect them to multinational companies such as International Business Machines Corp. or Accenture Plc.

The state cabinet approved this proposal a few weeks ago, along with few other concessions for small business women in and around Bengaluru, and a government order will be issued shortly, said Ratna Prabha.

Female business ownership in the four southern states and Maharashtra account for over 50% of all women-led small-scale industrial units in India, as per the 2014 industrial policy of Karnataka. The policy document estimated that there are roughly 100,000 women entrepreneurs in the state.

The policy document also suggested a one-time capital subsidy up to Rs.1 crore or 75% of the project cost for micro, small and medium enterprises in the manufacturing sector--besides 100% stamp duty exemption and other concessions--for business for women that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women.

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