On the occasion of international women’s day Karnataka announced Unbuntu memorandum and setting up a fund for women entrepreneur.
RatnaPrabha, Additional Chief Secretary to Government of Karnataka, said, “All the women associations have come together to work as a team, and we are calling this consortium of women associations ‘Ubuntu’.” Talking about the initiatives for women in the state, RatnaPrabha said, “We are proud to announce that Government of Karnataka has been awarded as the most favourable government, globally by WEConnect International, and the Chief Minister has been invited to be conferred with an award in London by end of this month.” WEconnect is an international organization which helps women owned business succeed in global value chains and help them to connect with MNCs.
WOMEN ASSOCIATIONS UNDER UNBUNTU ARE:-
- AWAKE (Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Karnataka)
- KASSIA (Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association)
- WISE (Women’s Initiative for Self Empowerment)
- FKCCI (Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry)
- WEKAS (Women Entrepreneurs Karnataka Association)
RatnaPrabha said, “All the associations are now going to be working as a team instead of working independently. It shows the strength and unity of women. Now we intend to touch Tier II and III cities and help the members get more business, facilitate marketing and vendor development. We aim to develop from grassroots to the capital. Since the industrial policy is mid-way, there can’t be a new policy but the associations have a few demands that have been put together and presented to the Chief Minister and Industry minister.”
POINTS WHICH WOMEN WANT TO ADDRESS AND ACCOMMODATE IN UNBUNTU MEMORANDUM
Redefining and changing the definition of women entrepreneur: Businesses in which women have 51 percent and above stake (presently, it’s 100 per cent) to be considered as women-owned businesses.
Loan: Finance from KSFC to be given with 20 percent as soft loan component at four percent interest and collateral-free.
Subsidy: Fifty percent subsidy for land and payment in installments as given to SC/ST, from KIADB and KSSIDC.
Investment subsidy: Revival of five-percent investment subsidy from State government for women entrepreneurs.
Fund allocation: Allocation of funds for setting up training centres for sector-specific skills across all sectors and for national and international and international certifications like WEConnect, UL, CE and other product certifications and ISO certifications. The memorandum asks for funding support of at least Rs 50 lakh to all women entrepreneur associations in the state for conducting growth-focussed events during the year.
Procurement support: Preferential procurement from women vendors for State government, corporations and PSUs to an amount of at least 20 percent.
Business incubators: Schemes and grant support for setting up business incubators and for women entrepreneurs to use IT tools for business growth.
Innovation: Encourage innovation by providing funding to women-owned businesses for innovation.
Trade license: Request to abolish trade licence totally for all, including traders, who are registered under Karnataka Shops and Establishments Act.
Tech parks: All other schemes such as women-owned businesses to get special allotments in tech parks, and an exclusive quota for site allotment both in KIADB and KSSIDC interest subsidy etc.
The function was inaugurated by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and presided by R V Deshpande, Minister for Large and Medium Industries & Infrastructure Development. Additional members present at the function are Priyank M Kharge, Minister of IT, BT and Tourism, Santosh S Lad, Minister of Labour, RatnaPrabha, Additional Chief Secretary of Government of Karnataka, and DV Prasad, Additional Chief Secretary to Government Commerce & Industries department.
The memorandum was thus submitted to the chief minister. PriyankKharge announced that Rs.10 Croce shall be allotted for states women entrepreneur. The chief minister also said that women must receive a 360 degree approach about the start-ups in terms mentorship, legal help and others so as they can expand their networks.