Women own three million micro, small and medium enterprises in India, employing eight million people and contributing 3% to the country’s industrial output. And yet, they have the potential to do so much more.

Many women struggle to access training and information, or secure the capital needed to grow their enterprises and break into the formal economy. North India ranks particularly low when it comes to numbers of women-owned businesses. Developed in close collaboration with and funded by U.S. Embassy India and delivered in partnership with Dhriiti, the WE Can: Workshop and Business Plan Competition for Women Entrepreneurs is supporting young women entrepreneurs in this region to realise their potential.

Working across five cities (Delhi, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Jaipur and Lucknow), we are empowering 150 young women entrepreneurs to build the confidence and capability they need to manage and grow sustainable businesses.

The project provides five days of intensive business training, followed by six weeks of mentoring. Twenty-five women will go on to receive incubation support to kick start their businesses, which will include one-on-one coaching, advanced business training, as well as links to networks, markets and financial services. In addition, five enterprises with high growth potential will be awarded a start-up package which includes a cash prize and ongoing advice from business experts.

“Tackling the gender gap in entrepreneurship in India will release a powerful economic force for good. By supporting young women entrepreneurs, we are empowering a new generation to create change – not just as money makers and employers, but as empowered daughters, sisters and wives.”

– Mark E. Azua, Director of Programs, North India Office,
U.S. Embassy India

Enterprise Development Projects


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