WEP Nxt – An Initiative to Nurture Women Entrepreneurship in India

Indian women are doing fantastic things in managerial positions compared to their counterparts globally. More than 98 percent of companies in India have at least one woman in the senior management post, and 47 percent of mid-scale companies have women CEOs.

However, the numbers are abysmally low regarding women entrepreneurship in India. Womenpreneurs constitute only 7 out of 100 entrepreneurs in India. To address the situation and improve the women count in the business community, the government of India announced WEP in 2017.

Given the excellent outcome of the WEP program, NITI Aayog with Cisco inaugurated the next phase of the WEP program, WEP Nxt (August 2021). The WEP Nxt Women Entrepreneurship Program will foster more women’s entrepreneurship in India.

In the following sections, we will explore the WEP Nxt program, pillars, verticals, and impact on women of India.

What is WEP Nxt Women Entrepreneurship Program?

WEP Nxt is the next phase of NITI Aayog’s flagship program to encourage women’s entrepreneurship in India. The program offers a unified and easy-to-navigate portal dedicated to the women of India.

The aim is to nurture an ecosystem where women sign up from different parts of the country and share their ideas with the world.

The idea of WEP was first coined by Shri Amitabh Kant, Ex CEO of Niti Aayog, during the 8th Global Entrepreneurship Summit in 2017. Building on the ecosystem for womenpreneurs, NITI Aayog tied up with Cisco and launched WEP Nxt in 2021.

WEP Nxt will leverage Cisco’s technology and decades of expertise to create women-centric tech-based solutions to boost the next wave of start-ups managed by women.

During the announcement, Shri Amitabh Kant said, “Women form only 13.76 percent of all entrepreneurs in India. We have missed the opportunity in the past, but I am sure as Government and Private sector have taken the initiative together such as WEP, we will attain the vision of a new and inclusive India. We will realize our dream where men and women enjoy equal opportunities to create and share in the glory of achievement.” (Source: PIB)

He further said, “WEP Nxt will further catalyze this ambition, and Cisco as the partner will ease the process with advanced technology solutions.”

Maria Martinez, Cisco COO, said, “A diverse, inclusive, and digitally connected world is far more prosperous. We are proud to get associated with NITI Aayog and hope to bring the best results from the WEP Nxt program for women through our tech solutions.” (Source: PIB)

Top Three Pillars of WEP Nxt

Iccha ShaktiEncouraging women to aspire towards their entrepreneurial dreams and begin their own businesses.
Gyaan ShaktiGyaan means knowledge. WEP Nxt program aims to provide relevant knowledge and build an ecosystem to support women to become businesswomen.
Karma ShaktiThis refers to handholding and setting up women-centric and women-owned businesses. The program also covers ways to scale up business from the start-up phase.

Six Focus Areas of WEP and WEP Nxt

The Women Entrepreneurship Platform works as the aggregator of information and services to support and encourage a pool of women entrepreneurs. The program also offers vital business-related content and organizes campaigns, workshops, and other methods to impart learning from trailblazers of the entrepreneurship and business community.

The next phase of the WEP Program, WEP Nxt, will provide inputs from the study of Indian women entrepreneurs for evidence-based decision-making. The program aims to boost the women entrepreneur ecosystem in India through six prominent verticals.

Six Verticals of WEP Nxt

WEP Partners provide support and services for women entrepreneurs through the following verticals.

Incubation and AccelerationCan join the program to help accelerate your business. WEP Nxt partners develop critical business skills and offer systematic interventions for the best outcome.
Entrepreneurship Skilling and MentorshipPrograms for entrepreneurship skilling and mentorship. Partners and mentors help to develop an ecosystem of learning, to grow, and maintain a sustainable business model.
Marketing AssistanceWEP Nxt helps with a marketing strategy for start-ups and established women-owned businesses to market your products and services.
Compliance and Tax AssistanceWomen entrepreneurs can use compliance & tax assistance services at WEP Nxt. Help with registration, loan applications, IPR, license, and different laws & regulations.
Funding and Financial AssistanceWEP Nxt, with partners, supports women through information on various fund sources such as debt, government schemes, grants, equity, etc.
Community and NetworkingPartners of WEP Nxt follow the community module on the portal and several offline events for networking to facilitate these connections. Join the network to support, learn, collaborate, and grow together.

Impact of WEP Nxt on Women in India

  • WEP Nxt currently has a strong network of more than 16000 women entrepreneurs and more than thirty partners.
  • As per a study focused on the impact of WEP Nxt, the program could generate up to 17 crores of job opportunities by 2030 and push GDP by 1.5 percent.
  • With the WepNXT portal dream high and see your ideas fly high.

The platform is open for every woman: a start-up, early-stage business, established business, or someone with just an idea. You can also join as a partner on the portal

Final Words

If you are a woman and have a dream, register with WEP Nxt and achieve your goals.