Karnataka to set up women’s parks to facilitate entrepreneurs

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government on Monday invited women entrepreneurs to explore investment opportunities in the state, saying it will set up ‘Women’s Park’ in all 30 district to facilitate their business endeavours.

“Our government has rolled out a red carpet for women entrepreneurs to explore investment opportunities in Karnataka and make it their base,” said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at an international conclave here.

Asserting that the state’s new industrial policy gave special attention to women entrepreneurs for inclusive growth, the Chief Minister said the state government will set up ‘Women’s Park’ in each district across the state to facilitate their enterprises and industrial capacity building.

“Though we decided to set up a Women’s Park at Harohally near Bengaluru initially, we received demands for similar parks from all districts (30) across the state,” Siddaramaiah said while inaugurating the two-day ‘ThinkBig 2016’,a women entrepreneurs summit, at a convention centre here.

Organised by the state government in association with WEConnect International, Asia’s largest women entrepreneurship platform has brought 2,000 delegates, 300 industry leaders and 400 organisations from across the world on one platform to inspire more women to become entrepreneurs in diverse sectors.

The US-based WEConnect is a global network that connects women-owned businesses to qualified buyers the world over and helps women entrepreneurs to succeed in global value chains.

“As WEConnect helps women-owned businesses succeed in global value chain and connects them to Indian and multinational corporations, I have approved to reimburse its fee for the next three years to encourage women entrepreneurs,” the Chief Minister said.

He said the state had the best diversity ratio in employment and entrepreneurship in the country.

“I am sure all delegates will experience the rich programmes, matchmaking and networking with corporate, government and women entrepreneurs and exhibitors showcasing brands, products and services,” Siddaramaiah said.

According to the fourth Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSME) census, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have 51.9 per cent of the country’s women-owned businesses, indicating the potential for further growth.

As per a World Bank report, the US has the highest women workforce (45 per cent), followed by Britain (43 per cent), Canada (42 per cent), Indonesia (40 per cent), France (38 per cent) and Brazil 38 per cent and India (31.6 per cent).

“We have 50 per cent reservation for women in local bodies to ensure equality, promote their participation in governances even at the grass-roots level for all-round socio-economic development of the state,” added Siddaramaiah.