Three months after announcing an incubation center exclusively for women, Government of Telangana launched Women Entrepreneurship Hub (WE- Hub) in Hyderabad on Thursday. WE-Hub is India’s first state-led incubator exclusively for women entrepreneurs.
Unlike T-Hub, which is meant for technology startups, WE Hub will be open for all kinds of startups led by women.
Former Joint Director for Electronics Promotions (Electronics, Semiconductor and Business) for the State of Telangana, Deepthi Ravula has been appointed as the CEO of WE Hub.
Applications for the first batch of the incubator will open on Friday on the website of WE Hub and will close on March 31. After a scrutiny process, the first batch will be onboarded in two months. WE Hub will be temporarily based out of the office of T-SAT in campus in BR Ambedkar University in Hyderabad with 100 seats.
WE Hub will eventually be moved to the phase 2 of T-Hub, which is currently under construction.
“Currently in the Indian system, women have to overcome many social, cultural and financial barriers to be able to realise their potential and be an equal partner, not just as job seekers but also as job creators and entrepreneurs. This platform is being created not just to create and foster women entrepreneurship but also to understand the solutions needed to encourage women to be a part of the startup and business ecosystem,” Deepthi said.
She further adds that while the creation of WE Hub may not solve all the issues that women face to be a part of the economy but they are embarking on this journey with the humility that there are barriers to overcome and a lot of learnings to make.
WE Hub was launched by Tessy Thomas, Director, ASL, DRDL and Vani Kola, Managing Director of Kalaari Capital, in the presence of IT & Industries Minister KT Rama Rao.
Addressing the gathering at the launch event of WE-Hub, Minister KT Rama Rao said, “WE-HUB will promote women-led, women-owned enterprises in Telangana. It is a platform which is open to all kinds of innovations including a tech start-up, a start-up in social innovation or an idea which is completely and radically different. It will not only provide women with access to mentors and capital but also aspire more women to become entrepreneurs.”
WE Hub will forge several partnerships and collaborate with all the 32 incubators in Hyderabad. It is also the first state-led incubator to partner with the platform for women entrepreneurs launched by Niti Aayog on the same day.
KTR also promised women entrepreneurs who will be a part of WE Hub that the Telangana government will be its first customer.
“WE-HUB will be viable, commercially successful and inclusive for all women entrepreneurs…Kalaari Capital is committed to extend its support to WE Hub and the startup ecosystem in Hyderabad,” Vaani Kola, Kalaari Capital said.
The government also announced launched a Venture Capital fund with a corpus of Rs 15 crore to fund women enterprises with T-Fund, an investment partner to Telangana’s T-Hub.
The fund will invest anywhere between Rs 25 lakh to Rs 1 crore in startups run by women and will be taken forward by the industries and commerce department of the Telangana government.
Additionally, as part of the procurement policy of the state government, where 20% of the government procurement comes from private sectors and MSMEs, at least one-fourth of this will be done from women-run enterprises and will be initiated by then government this year.
Six MoUs were signed at the WE-Hub launch event. The six partnerships will help promote women entrepreneurship through co-incubation programs, events, workshops and social innovation programs.