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Ubuntu head and former Chief Secretary K Ratnaprabha has listed out the demands to CM for inclusion in his Budget

Bengaluru, NFAPost: To promote women entrepreneurship in the State, former Chief Secretary K Ratnaprabha has made a slew of recommendations to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to include them in the State budget 2022-23 so that the Ubuntu (a pan-India consortium of women entrepreneurs) can play a role of facilitator for its implementation.

Ratnaprabha said the recently launched Industrial Policy 2020-25 does not have any prominence and scope for Women Entrepreneurship Development. Hence, she requested to restore the schemes specifically related to women Entrepreneurs in the 2014-19 Industrial policy. Ubuntu Consortium will be glad to facilitate in framing the women centric Industrial policy.

Commenting on the proposal, Ratnaprabha said the allocation of Rs 5 crore for the ELEVATE programme for Women Entrepreneurship proposed in the previous budget, was not implemented and needs a new ‘avatar’ anchored by the Department of Industries and Commerce both for initiation and reach, and not IT/BT as most of the women Entrepreneurs across the state are in the manufacturing sector, agro, health handicrafts, food processing etc.

“A change in name will also help avoid confusion with the ELEVATE program for startups in the IT sector. We may name it “Shakti”. The cost of land has become prohibitive for women entrepreneurs. There is a need for allotment of Land in the industrial estates and parks with 50% subsidised cost for Women Entrepreneurs,” said Ratnaprabha.

Former Karnataka Chief Secretary also said this would help boost the investment in Karnataka, just as is being done for SC/ST in Karnataka and in neighboring states like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat.

“There is also a need to increase the four industrial estates in Harohalli, Mysuru, Kalburagi and Dharwad to other districts in the state, in a phased manner and at a subsidized cost for Women Entrepreneurs,” said Ratnaprabha.

She further said that start-ups don’t require land but need hand-holding. “For such enterprises, there is a need for incubation centers with plug and play infrastructure facilities and a flat factory system for women entrepreneurs to start and operate at subsidised and affordable cost,” said Ratnaprabha.

She said this effort can begin in a phased manner preferably at Bengaluru, Hubballi, Mysuru and Kalburagi, to address the scarcity of industrial land.

“It can be named as KWEENS HUB – Karnataka Women Entrepreneurs Enterprise Networks, just as WEHUB in Telangana. Currently, the KSFC is providing a loan at 4 pc interest for Women Entrepreneurs with 11% reimbursement through WDC. It is an earnest request that instead of channeling through the women and child development department (which is causing delays as they are not aware of the process),” said Ratnaprabha.

The Department of Industries and Commerce (DIC) is providing Rs 5 crore loan for general entrepreneurs, under subsidised interest rates. Women Entrepreneurs should also get a similar benefit from the DIC.

“We also request for a support with interest-free soft loan of 20 pc for women entrepreneurs as seed money for new and expansion projects (which were prevalent in the 90’s),” said Ratnaprabha.

She also requested the CM for increased budget provisions for participation in more national and international events as larger participation of women entrepreneurs will motivate the growth and exports.

She demanded that a dedicated Space for marketing products made by Women Entrepreneurs be earmarked in Bengaluru (akin to Dilli Haat) for promoting Women Entrepreneurs’ products. In addition, identify public spaces like Metro station, Freedom Park, prominent Bus stations and Industrial Estates, etc. An annual large Exhibition of women entrepreneur’s products can be planned, especially during Pre-Deepavali with services similar to Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

“For Certifications like ISO, FPO, BAR CODE, UL, and CE, the former Karnataka Chief Secretary said the government can support 75%, 50% and 25% subsidies for a span of three years and by then the women-owned enterprise can establish itself.

“In parallel with the national budget provisions for technology and R&D in MSMEs, most women-owned enterprises being micro / small, we have requested for provision of 90% subsidy on Technology transfer to women Entrepreneurs engaged in manufacturing process from institutions like CSIR, CFTRI, IISC, DFRL, IIHR, etc,” Ratnaprabha said adding that under Ashadeepa Scheme SC and ST employer’s ESI and PF contribution is reimbursed by the government. Hence, similar support can be extended to women-owned enterprises.

“We strongly believe that all these suggestions and recommendations will contribute to the growth of Women Entrepreneurs in the state of Karnataka and pave the way for Karnataka to be a pioneer state and be on top for Women Entrepreneurship development in the country,” said Ratnaprabha.

About UBUNTU

“Ubuntu Consortium” is the philosophy that inspired a group of successful women entrepreneurs, guided, and led by a visionary leader Ratnaprabha IAS, former Karnataka Chief Secretary, to launch ‘UBUNTU Consortium’ a consortium of Women Entrepreneur associations pan India. UBUNTU Consortium is a not for profit, non-government organisation, established in 2015 and registered under Societies Act on 8th March 2019 at Bangalore.

The objective of Ubuntu Consortium is to provide a platform for Women Entrepreneur Associations / Committees / Chapters, to interact and support in Capacity Building and strengthening, for the growth of their organization to support the growth of their women entrepreneur members.

Ubuntu Consortium is proud to have 30 plus member associations with more than 21000 women entrepreneurs representing 8 states across the country. 23 association members across Karnataka with around 10,000 members interacted virtually, especially during the pandemic, exploring new ways of doing business, while upgrading their digital skills and supporting each other.

Ubuntu’s flagship events, WOW – Enterprise Connect and Together WE Grow held in 2020 & 2021, facilitated B2B and B2C events, partnering in selected sectors to explore business opportunities & partnerships, vendor listing & procurement. Each event brought together over 400 women entrepreneurs to network and interacts across corporates, global organisations, trade associations and government by ensuring their growth and encouraging them to expand their business

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