Young entrepreneurs from West Bengal got a chance to build their dreams at the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) 3.0 bootcamp conducted by the US consulate, Kolkata, in partnership with Aroh Foundation, a New Delhi-based non-profit organisation.
The two-day workshop held at the American Center saw US consul general in Kolkata, Melinda Pavek, interact with the participants during the opening session.
Melinda Pavek interacted with the participants during the opening session
“AWE started in India in 2020 to support participant access to peer-to-peer mentorship, business partnerships, and scaling opportunities both with businesses in the region and in the United States. So far, the programme has supported 350 business owners by providing US-style online education with guided facilitation from local women business leaders and other partners. Our AWE entrepreneurs have also successfully raised about $375,000 in funding,” Pavek said.
Before attending the workshop, the AWE participants attended an eight-week online "dream-builder" programme at the University of Arizona. Following that, they worked on their business plans, fundraising and business pitches, and presented before an expert jury on Friday and received feedback to improve their skills. Namami Ghosh, head - portfolio management, IIM Calcutta Innovation Park; Sonali Bhope, investment consultant; and Arihant Kothari, deputy manager, NASSCOM; were the three jury members.
Before attending the workshop, the AWE participants attended an eight-week online "dream-builder" programme
Divya Rajput, the lead facilitator and CEO of JSS Science and Technology Entrepreneur Park, one of the main instructors of the workshop said almost all participants have some training and knowledge of entrepreneurship. “But they are either stuck somewhere or want to take their business to a different level. Workshops like this help them to overcome such temporary challenges,” she said.
Neha Garodia, a participant, said she has been working and building a business around snake venom for a few years now. “India is the snakebite death capital in the world and with our anti-venoms, we want to reverse that situation. We have been working in the eastern part of the country and now we want to expand. I am here to get that training and opportunity,” Garodia said.