WE Hub is India’s first state-led incubator with the primary goal to foster and promote women entrepreneurship to startup, scale up, and accelerate.
WE Hub is a ﬁrst of its kind state-led platform with the primary goal to promote and foster women entrepreneurship by way of incubation, access to Government and building a collaborative ecosystem. Since its inception, WE Hub has conducted various programs, primarily focused on three segments/target groups of beneﬁciaries.
The Startup Incubation vertical at WE Hub enables women entrepreneurs from the Metro and Tier-1 regions across the country to validate, scale up, and be investors ready.
An initiative to create awareness and coach aspiring women about entrepreneurship and ensure that the ideas with potential graduates with prototypes. Currently, WE Hub is supporting 67 entrepreneurs through 2 of the following programs:
- UPsurge: A program launched by WE Hub in collaboration with the Australian Consulate, Chennai. The aim of this program is to support 120 aspiring women entrepreneurs spread across 4 cohorts, each for 12 weeks, to validate their ideas and develop them into Minimum Viable Products (MVP). WE Hub onboarded 23 entrepreneurs from 3 states across India and the US in the second cohort.
- Greater 50 – WE Spark: Greater 50 – WE Spark is an initiative in partnership with FICCI Flo that provides access to technical, financial, government and policy support required to enterprise, scale up and accelerate with global market access, to all women entrepreneurs in the country.
An initiative to ensure that women entrepreneurs across the country have an avenue to scale their start-ups and become investor ready.
- Incubation Cohort 3: Under WE Hub’s ﬂagship incubation program, 25 startups were selected from six cities in India. The 3rd cohort of the incubation program was launched in November 2021 with 26 entrepreneurs from EdTech, FinTech, FMCG, HealthTech, AgriTech, DeepTech, OceanTech, E-Commerce, retail and live commerce.
- FLO Incubation: In partnership with FICCI Flo, WE Hub has kick-started a 6-month incubation programme with 5 startups in the cohort.
- WEnture: Curated in collaboration with i-Hub, Gujarat and targeted at supporting 11 entrepreneurs across India. The cohort has 5 entrepreneurs from WE Hub and 6 entrepreneurs from i-Hub.
Small and medium enterprises (SME) Vertical
The SME vertical works towards enabling aspiring and existing women entrepreneurs and women in business across the Tier 2 and Tier 3 regions of Telangana. 354 entrepreneurs have been supported through various programs. They have been classified under two categories:
- Livelihoods/ Women in Business
- Small and Micro Enterprises
- Rural Incubation: WE Hub has launched its ﬂagship rural incubation program with a two-fold vision of accelerating existing enterprises as SMEs and strengthening local supply chains. Currently supporting 17 rural women entrepreneurs from across Telangana.
- Model Municipality Project: To unlock the power of women in business, WE Hub in collaboration with the Municipal Corporation of Ramagundam, launched a 6-month Sustainable Livelihoods project in June 2021 to digitally and financially enable existing and aspiring women in livelihood businesses. The project is curated to inculcate the knowledge of entrepreneurship and equip women in businesses with digital literacy and financial inclusion and ensure the sustainability of the businesses through tailored Enterprise Development Programs (EDP). A total of 166 enterprises were sanctioned loans to the tune of Rs. 7,39,20,882 so far.
- WE Hub – TRICOR Incubation Program: The second cohort of the WE Hub TRICOR Incubation program was launched in 2021, with 93 entrepreneurs. The program is supporting women entrepreneurs through forward and backward linkages, particularly in setting and grounding sustainable enterprises through bank linkages to the tune of INR 5,09,61,264. It is also the ﬁrst initiative under the Tribal Welfare Department that marks the shift from the beneficiary model to the entrepreneurship model.
- Dalit Bandhu: WE Hub facilitated the implementation of Dalit Bandhu in the Karimnagar District with the primary aim of inculcating an entrepreneurial mindset amongst women. 790 women were given EDP training and 174 women are being supported in grounding their businesses.
Student Entrepreneurship Vertical
To encourage more girls to enter Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) ﬁelds, WE Hub has designed programs for age groups of 13-18 and 18-24 years.
- Girls in STEM – Schools: For the 13-18 years age group, the program was launched with focus on Data Science skills. About 75 students from 6 international schools were selected for this program. Of these 6 schools, four are from Hyderabad, one is from J&K and the other is from Assam. WIDS, an initiative of Stanford University for encouraging women in Data Science, taught theory to the students and MathWorks had given Matlab a platform for putting these concepts into practice. Students were divided into eight different teams and their projects developed through Matlab were pitched to a jury composed of corporates.
- WE Alpha: For the 18-24 years age group, ideas of 12 students were selected from across six women colleges in Telangana and the program is underway to pilot these ideas at their respective colleges. Faculty from each of these colleges were guided on creating outcome-driven Student Entrepreneurship Programs by leaders of the Telangana Innovation Ecosystem.
Access to Finance
- Start-up India Seed Fund: WE Hub has been selected as an incubator under the Startup India Seed Fund scheme. A sum of Rs. 5 crores was sanctioned to WE Hub, out of which WE Hub has already sanctioned Rs 4.5 crores to 13 startups. It was for the ﬁrst time that WE Hub itself invested in start-ups.
- Enabling Start-ups to raise funds: WE Hub prepared start-ups to pitch and raise funds through various channels. The amount of funding raised through the different channels includes equity of 4.25 crore, grants of 90 lakh and debt of 5 lakhs.
Access to Markets
- Business to Government (B2G) – Pilot with the Government of Telangana:
- Renovation of Palliative Care Center in Rajanna Sircilla District at a cost of Rs. 11,96,839.
- Renovation of Anganwadi Center at Gudem Village, Rajanna Sircilla District with an amount of Rs. 26,76,791.
- Designing and manufacturing uniforms for frontline health workers to the tune of Rs. 2.45 Cr
- B2B – WE TRADE: To enable Women-led SMEs gain access to markets, CII Indian Women Network (CII IWN) and WE Hub together launched “WE TRADE”, a platform for B to B Connects.
- Business to Business (B2B) – Launchpad: A six-week market readiness program to ensure improved market access for women entrepreneurs with a two-fold aim of:
- Offering a platform for women entrepreneurs to be equipped with the needed tools to become market-ready.
- Providing an opportunity for retail and wholesale brands in Telangana to create access to required forward linkage support channels for women entrepreneurs in the FMCG sector.
WE Hub, in partnership with QMART, has created a “WE Corner”, the ﬁrst retail forward linkage support channel for women entrepreneurs in the FMCG Sector in August 2021. To date, the shelf has over 20 brands and 170 Stock Keeping Units (SKU), generating an average monthly revenue between Rs. 1,00,000 and Rs.1,50,000.
Access to Information & Networks
- LauncHer: A ﬁrst-of-its-kind Entrepreneur Awareness Initiative for aspiring women entrepreneurs across the state of Telangana. The 20-part video series will not only offer an insight into starting a business but also enable women to establish their enterprises.
- Dubai Expo 2020: Five of WE Hub incubates showcased and pitched (Elevate 2.0) at the Innovation Bus from 8 to 11 November 2021 to potential investors and consumers.
WE Hub entered an MoU with MathWorks to develop a customized curriculum and deliver programs to inculcate, promote, and foster entrepreneurship among women. The focus areas include encouraging girls in STEM ﬁelds and providing start-up support in the Deep Learning Sector and subsidized access to the Matlab platform for WE Hub incubated start-ups.
WE Hub and Meesho: Under the partnership launched in 2021, 183 Women from 5 districts of Telangana were onboarded for the joint program with Meesho. Ten thousand Homepreneurs across Telangana will be supported with access to social commerce by bridging the digital divide.