Government of Karnataka, in association with AWAKE, the Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Karnataka, celebrated the International Women’s Day and launched Ubuntu, the consortia of women entrepreneurs Associations, at IAS Officers Club, Bengaluru, today.
Women entrepreneurs and officials from various women’s associations were present at the programme and extended their support to women entrepreneurship.
The programme was inaugurated by Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary – Commerce and Industries, IT, Biotech and Science and Technology and Retired IAS officer and former Karnataka Chief Secretary K Ratna Prabha.
Ubuntu was launched by Principal Secretary Gaurav Gupta, in the presence of Ms. Ratna Prabha and the nine founding members of Ubuntu.
The brain behind forming the consortia, Ratna Prabha, introducing Ubuntu, stressed on the need for women to move forward by empowering and encouraging each other. Ubuntu focusses on entrepreneurship development of women, she explained.
She said that Ubuntu has been launched with the spirit of “I am because we are.” The consortia aims at reducing the gap between rural and urban entrepreneurship and slowly merge them. It also intends to have a holistic approach towards development of women tackling major concerns like health, education, security, financial support under one umbrella, she added.
Ratna Prabha asserted that without women there’s no balance as they play a very crucial part in society. The government too has the responsibility on them to account for women’s contribution and acknowledge and give value that they deserve, she said. She called on the women entrepreneurs to be good entrepreneurs as well as good human beings. The only way forward is to help and encourage each other and achieve progress together, she felt.
In his keynote address, Gaurav Gupta said technology has been a great leveller in the society. Because of technology, women have been able to work and achieve on equal footage with men. He said the Karnataka Government has been taking several steps to encourage women entrepreneurs. He said the Government has introduced ‘Chethana’ project, in association with Samsung and Infosys, targeted at girl students of Government schools across Karnataka. Through this, 500 girl students will be mentored at a week-long training camp, he said. He also noted that there are special preference for women entrepreneurs in all the incubation programme by Karnataka Government. He advised the women entrepreneurs to not only concentrate on the conventional mode of business but also integrate new-age entrepreneurial systems and opportunities.
The inaugural event was followed by insightful sessions by Wanitha Ashok and Roopashri Kathri. Urban and Rural women entrepreneurs shared their success stories on the occasion.
Ms. Shalini Rajneesh, Principal Secretary Primary and Secondary Education, several members of several associations of women entrepreneurs such as AWAKE, Emerge, COWE, KASSIA, WEKAS, LAMP were present on the occasion.