Why Should We Support Experienced Women Entrepreneurs?
Uma Reddy about women’s entrepreneurship in India
An expert session titled ‘BRICS: Economic Agenda for Inclusive Growth in the Digitalisation Era’ took place as part of the women’s forum in Novokuznetsk. International guests took part in the meeting. Uma Reddy, President of India’s association of women entrepreneurs in technology called Engineering Manufacturer Entrepreneurs Resource Group (eMERG), told about the organisation’s activities and support of women entrepreneurs in her country.
Uma Reddy - Founder President of the Engineering Manufacturer Entrepreneurs Resource Group (eMERG), India
Una Reddy is an engineer by training. Her business deals with manufacturing of custom built transformers for electronic apps. She started her business when she was a final-year student. It took her 9 months and much effort to receive a license. Today, one mouse click is enough to make that, which proves how many opportunities digitalisation gives to people.
“Women entrepreneurs in India face the same barriers in many fields as their colleagues worldwide do. Today, it is important for them to acquire open access to information and finance and to become more confident”, said Ms. Reddy. As a successful woman entrepreneur, she finds it her duty to help other women launch and develop their businesses, share her knowledge and experience in addressing the existing problems.
When Uma Reddy created the eMERG association, she paid attention to the fact that the country had many organisations supporting women who are beginners in entrepreneurship. However, almost nobody helps experienced businesswomen in ascending to the new level and heading the leading companies.
“Women leaders more often than men leaders employ other women. Influenced by stereotypes, men do not believe in women’s professionalism. That is why women’s promotion to leadership positions will contribute to women’s inclusion in all levels of economy”, believes Ms. Reddy.
Uma Reddy founded the eMERG association several years ago jointly with her 7 like-minders, women entrepreneurs specialising in engineering. They launched several initiatives aimed at supporting women in business, increasing their digital literacy, and development of professional skills.
The association set itself two tasks: to assist women in starting their business and to help women who already have business projects to reach the new level.
The eMERG association pays much attention to educational programmes related to digitalisation. The education is structured in a way that people who can barely deal with technologies have an opportunity to undergo basic training on how to use a computer. They study standard programmes, which will help them find job at small enterprises where they are used.
Advanced PC users can master more difficult apps and immerse in studying special technologies. At the end of their training, many women acquire the opportunity to work in engineering, which is a demanded field nowadays.
In addition, eMERG members participate in a number of fairs, forums, web-conferences including international ones.
“The organisation can be very helpful to women entrepreneurs. However, the better way for them is to help one another. Our association puts every effort to ensure that women actively communicate and exchange their personal experience”, says Ms. Reddy.
The eMERG association also strives to bring together those entrepreneurs who can effectively develop partnership relations on mutually beneficial terms.
According to Uma Reddy, in the digitalisation era, modern women have a number of opportunities to develop their businesses. They can find partners and sponsors in all regions of the world remotely and share about their goods and services via internet. The eMERG association launched a special website where women can create a separate page and write about their businesses. There is a number of such web-portals, services, and apps nowadays. They all can largely contribute to promotion of a business to the next level.
Anna Repina, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov