NITI Aayog, the premier think tank of the Government of India, has launched the Fourth Edition of Women Transforming India (WTI) Awards, in collaboration with the United Nations in New Delhi today. UN Resident Coordinator in India, Renata Lok-Dessallien, opened the nomination process for WTI Awards 2019, in the presence of CEO NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant, senior government officials and partners of Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP).
The applications for the awards are now live, and nominations can be filed on behalf of individuals or by the individual themselves at https://wep.gov.in.
The WTI Awards, since its inception in 2016, has been recognising and celebrating stories of exemplary women from across India. The theme for WTI Awards 2019 is “Women and Entrepreneurship”, in continuation with last edition’s theme that recognizes women entrepreneurs who are breaking the glass ceiling and challenging stereotypes, through businesses and enterprises and are providing innovative developmental solutions to building a dynamic New India.
Whatsapp has collaborated with the WEP for the WTI Awards of 2019, and will be providing support equivalent to US$100,000 to the winners.
The campaign builds on the success of the WTI Awards for the past three years. WTI Awards 2018 received more than 2,300 nominations. Through a highly objective and rigorous selection process, 15 women entrepreneurs doing inspirational work from diverse sectors viz. Renewable Energy, Education, Sanitation, Art and Culture, Social Innovation and Impact, were recognised. The first two editions of the WTI Awards felicitated 12 phenomenal stories each of women undertaking phenomenal work to transform societies across India’s cities, towns and villages; and empowering themselves and their communities.
Addressing on the occasion, Amitabh Kant said,“WTI Awards is a flagship initiative of NITI Aayog. For the past three years, we have been celebrating the power of women and recognising their efforts in championing the cause of their societies. The next wave of disruption in India’s start-up ecosystem would be led by women-led enterprises. I am personally invested in ensuring the success of winners of the WTI Awards”.
Calling Women Transforming a movement, Dessallien said, “We chose women’s entrepreneurship as our theme because at the heart of these Awards, this movement rather, is the idea that women lead change. I believe that if there is any one group, which can decisively accelerate India, and the world’s, achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, it is India’s women. The over half a billion women are not a target audience. They are not the recipients of development. They are stakeholders. Their full and equal participation changes conversations, the way we talk about development; it transforms politics and decision making; it improves policy.”
WEP is one of its kind facilitation platform, which enables convergence of multiple stakeholders on a single platform, work in collaboration with these stakeholders to bridge the gap in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, host relevant information about several schemes and partner organizations on WEP website to connect women entrepreneurs with relevant partners.
WEP focuses on both reaching out to the community through online means as well as increasing interaction of stakeholders with grass root women entrepreneur community through offline activities so that the benefits can reach the bottom-most of the pyramid. WEP, through its partners, in various verticals such as Finance, Marketing and Networking, Entrepreneurship Development, Mentoring, Incubation and Acceleration aims at providing services such as free credit ratings, skill development, local support, corporate partnerships, funding support etc. to women entrepreneurs.
WEP also works to enable sharing of best practices among women entrepreneurs and partner organizations and act as a facilitation platform through which relevant data can be collected and research activities can be undertaken, in association with partner organizations to understand and provide solution to women centric problems in entrepreneurial space.
In the span of past 15 months, WEP has seen several success stories emerging. WEP has more than 5,000 women entrepreneurs registered on the platform, more than 30 partners and has committed funding of more than US$10mn for these startups.