The 3rd edition of Women Power 2019, organized by Billennium Divas Fund, a day long mega conference celebrate the spirit of Women Empowerment like every year for Women led / co-founder Entrepreneurs / Startups, wannapreneurs concluded on the 11th May 2019 at National Stock Exchange, BKC, Mumbai with a roaring applause and was a humongous success.

Inauguration of Women Power 2019
Inauguration of Women Power 2019

The much awaited event was attended by the “Who’s – Who” of the Women Entrepreneurs / Thought Leaders & Startups fraternity and Industry stalwarts. More than 170+ Women Entrepreneurs / Founders along with their Women / Men Co-Founders and Industry Though Leaders participated at the Women Power 2019 from across verticals across the country.

More than 170+ Women Entrepreneurs / Founders along with their Women / Men Co-Founders and Industry Though Leaders participated at the Women Power 2019 from across verticals across the country.

The daylong event was chaired by Dr. Molishree IES – Sr. Research Officer, DM & A, NITI Aayog, Government Of India with a power packed address by around 26 high profile Women Thought Leaders / Speaker and eminent personalities including Men as well sharing their expertise and insights on though leadership, empowerment and overcoming challenges faced by Women Entrepreneurs & Startups.

This theme for this year’s Women Power 2019 was “Unleash the Power within You!”. Keeping in line with the theme the daylong event focussed and deliberated on key topics such as

  1. Thought Leaders of Today, Creators of Tomorrow. Breaking the Glass Ceiling!
  2. Government’s perspective and its proactive policy interventions for promoting women entrepreneurship in India! (A scintillating fireside chat).
  3. How Women are cracking the Codes!
  4. SME IPO: Alternative Source of Fund Raising.
  5. Taking the Next Step: How to use your money to reach your goals.
  6. Empowerment – A state of Mind; Make it your Soul!
  7. Do Women really need to be empowered?
  8. Why Investors are betting big on Women Founded / Co-Founded start-ups!
  9. Top 10 selected Startups to get an opportunity to pitch at the “PowerPitch” Session in front of an esteemed Mentor / Investor panel.

These along with other key challenges were put together in the form of fireside chat, individual talks, panel discussions and highly interactive group discussions to enable the participants and speakers share insights and benchmark industry best practices.

“Women Power 2019” started with the Inauguration & Welcome address by Dr. Molishree – Sr. Research Officer, DM & A, NITI Aayog, Govt Of India. She spoke about how today “Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP)” an initiative under NITI Aayog, Government of India, with an objective to support women entrepreneurs in the country. She also stressed upon an important factor that today it’s all about gender equality and how their male counterparts are proactively extending the much needed support in empowering the women of today. There was a huge round of applause from the entire audience and the stage was set for the exciting discussions and learnings ahead. The Opening address by our Founder Director – Billennium Divas Fund, Mr. Bhavesh Kothari, threw light on the mission of Billennium Divas Fund and its objective of bringing together more investors and nurturing women startups / entrepreneurs in the country. Empowered women will empower more women is the way forward in its vision of creating fund by the women for the women.

Guest of Honor Dr. Molishree, NITI Aayog
Guest of Honor Dr. Molishree, NITI Aayog

This was followed by an enlightening Panel discussion titled “Thought Leaders of Today, Creators of Tomorrow – Breaking the Glass Ceiling!” with eminent panellist Ms. Sharatee Ghosh – Executive Vice President & Principal Nodal Officer, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Ms. Reeti Chhibber – National Stockist, Tupperware, Ms. Revathi Roy – Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, HeyDeeDee, Ms. Salma Moosa – Chief Executive Officer, Startups Club and moderated by Ms. Saagarika Ghoshal – Managing Director, Matchboard LLP. The panel deliberated on areas such as entrepreneurship being gender agnostic, challenges faced by women entrepreneurs and mindset, expecting parity in everything you do, breaking barriers and women today are breaking the glass ceiling, etc. to name a few.

The second session was a scintillating “Fireside Chat” an interactive one on one discussion with Dr. Molishree IES – Sr. Research Officer, DM & A, NITI Aayog, Government Of India with Mr. Bhavesh Kothari, Founder Director, Billennium Divas Fund, engaged on a conversations dwelling on areas on the proactive policies by the government to make entrepreneurial environment conductive for women entrepreneurs, role of private partners and big corporates to promote women in boardrooms, WEP’s proactive approach in promoting women in entrepreneurship via WEP’s platform, sources of funding, mentoring support, empowering more women via social entrepreneurship, etc were among the points apart from other area to bring the ecosystem together under WEP’s platform.

NSE and Kotak Bank Officials
NSE and Kotak Bank Officials

This followed with another power packed panel discussion on “How Women are cracking the Codes!” with dynamic panellist such as Ms. Surabhi Rao – Director, Narsipur Chemicals Private Limited, Ms. Monisha Sarage – Founder, Seduction Lasvegas, Ms. Reshma Chhabria – Founder, HIIH Artefacts. Ms. Sumedha Naik – Chief Executive Officer, Syntellect, moderated by Ms. Nabomita Mazumdar – Founder, Nabomita.com, Ambassador to Ministry of Women and Child Development. The panel deliberated on issues such as identifying the opportunities and building businesses, overcoming challenge’s and a change in the mindset that helps them lead businesses, building value to customers, stakeholders, partners and employees, What made these women start their businesses, and how did they brought the necessary change and cracked the code in a world where gender biases still exist. This helped the participants to gain valuable sights on how women CEO’s today are utilizing the tools available to build Value.

The next up in line was an Empower Track 1 titled “SME IPO: Alternative Source of Fund Raising” led by Ms. Rachana Bhusari – Vice President SMB, National Stock Exchange Limited. Ms. Rachana Bhusari highlighted on the changing trends in entrepreneurship, the untapped potential opportunities in entrepreneurship, how more women entrepreneurs are taking up the entrepreneurial routes and contributing to the growth of the society, universals problem of access to funds. In this direction how National Stock Exchange has taken the most imperative steps in creating a platform called “NSE Emerge”, thereby providing the opportunity to launch their business and list them on the platform to raise funds. As late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam said, “Empowering women is a prerequisite for creating a good nation, when women are empowered, society with stability is assured. Empowerment of women is essential as their value system leads to the development of a good family, society and ultimately a good nation.”

This was followed by another scintillating Empower Track 2 titled Taking the Next Step: How to use your money to reach your goals. by Ms. Neepa Shah, Associate Vice President, Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited. Ms. Neepa Shah spoke about the importance of money management to reach your desired goals and achieve success. She highlighted the importance of Power of Compounded. As Albert Einstein rightly said “Compound interest is the eight wonder of the world, she / he who understands it earns it, she / he who doesn’t pays it. She also highlighted how Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited’s philosophy for women empowerment via their Silk product and its benefits specially for women in the country. The session ended with a very special message to the audience on “Mother’s Day” touching hearts of each one in the audience and sending goosebumps”. An “Empowered Moment” indeed.

The Post lunch started with another impactful Empower Track 3 aptly aligned with the theme of the event, Empowerment – A state of Mind; Make it your Soul! by Dr. Jolly Shah – Aesthetic Dermatologist Trichologist, Skin Nurture Clinique. Dr. Shah spoke about Women, Shakti, Diva and how she broke those stereotype societal barriers inspite of challenges. She quoted, “Distance of your hands and feet’s doesn’t matters, you just reach your goal. People have their own spectacles and they will always see the way their mindset is, you have your goals to achieve. You cannot change their specs, their perspective, move on and follow your passion. Pursue your dreams for they are yours. Own It and fly high. The auditorium was filled with a thundering applause.

This was followed by another power packed panel discussion on “Do Women really need to be empowered?” with another fabulous set of panellist such as Ms. Fatima Agarkar – Co-Founder, KA EduAssociates, Ms. Monika Misra – Founder & General Manager, Ikeva Coworking, Ms. Reema Sanghavi – Founder, Maximus Mice / Pinkathon, Ms. Tanul Mishra – Chief Executive Officer, Afthonia Labs and moderated by the dynamic Ms. Kruti Arora – Founder, Vivaa Consulting. The panel deliberated on a how women needs to break their own shackles and barriers to chart their own course. It is all about the mindset on whether women really need’s empowerment or are they already empowered, it’s the support that matters the most? How Men today are acting as a catalyst and providing the much-needed support to their women counterparts. The panel also deliberated on the challenges that still exist, the unconscious and environmental biases which needs acknowledgement in the society. The debate still continues but the change is clearly visible.

The last power-packed panel discussion was on “Why Investors are betting big on Women Founded / Co-Founded start-ups!”, with an elite panel of investors comprising of Ms. Paula Mariwala – Managing Director, Seed Fund, Ms. Archana Khosla – Founder Partner, Vertices Partners, Mr. Adhiraj Banerjee – Chief Technology Officer, Nisa Global, Mr. Anshul Dave – Chief Executive Officer, Oceans Bridge LLP and moderated by Mr. Vinayak Burman – Managing Partner, Vertices Partners. The panel deliberated on the investors experience on gender diversity of start-up founder, how there is a shift of mindset change and trends in the funding in women founded / co-founded startups. The work-life balance factor, motherhood, family management are some of the societal issues, largely male dominated investor community are still some of the big challenges. The challenges women face while pitching their business to investors varies from the hierarchy, communication barriers, perceptions about women unable to deal with numbers, the roles and the myths around women led startups being investment ready. Another key point that came out distinctly is the need to encourage more women in the startup and funding domain.

Post the investor session, followed an interesting Empower Track 4 on “Money Manifestation – Double your turnover”! by Ms. Zenobia Khodaiji – Motivational Speaker | Trainer | Life Coach. Ms. Khodaiji spoke about money manifestation and as startups why it is very important to understand how to build a mindset and culture in optimizing the utilization of money. Manifesting money is all about the energy that you bring to the experience. How do we as entrepreneurs utilize the power of our subconscious mind and grow our enterprises. Building a culture to empower our teams and align them with the organizational goals and set sail in the path of growth and happiness.

The final cherry on the topping was the PitchPower session by top 10 Selected Startups to the elite Investor Panel. The battle ground was ready with each of these startups huddled up to showcase their business idea and how it is creating a niche value preposition to the market. Among the top selected startups the jury as usual had the tough task ahead of them to select the winner. And the Top three winners of the PitchPower session were 1. Kidaura, Ms. Tanya Pradhan, 2. Nanoxa, Ms. Nishu Kothari and 3. Adiro Labs, Ms. Saaniya Mehra. Heartiest congratulations to all the three winners on behalf of Women Power 2019.

The winner and the participants are offered incubation and mentoring support by JIIF Incubator, free one month co-working space by our Co-Working Space Partner “Millennial Worx” along with “Mentoring” support from The Billennium Divas on one area of their business challenge. Like every year, the objective of this year’s Women Power 2019 was once again to bring together all the Women Entrepreneurs, wanna be women entrepreneurs, thought leaders, policy makers, and the supporting ecosystem under one roof, to share their expertise and experiences, to empower more women in their quest toward being entrepreneurs and create a collaborative environment, The event saw participants thrilled and enlightened, motivated and determined to change, positivity and high energy was in abundance as the objective was finally fulfilled with the conference received a very positive response from the participating delegates, speakers and partners. The overall program content and topics received a rating of 4.4 averages while the speakers received an average of 4.5 to 4.7 on their presentations.

The Women Power 2019 would like to once again take this opportunity to thank all our “Participating Delegates”, and especially our Event Partners, such as our Banking Partner – Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited, Exchange Partner – NSE Emerge, Associate Partner – HeyDeedee, Digital Partner – Pepperspray Studios, Knowledge Partners – Vertices Partners, Beauty Partner, Mirah Bele, Gifting Partner – Mcaffeine, Hygiene Partner – Pee Buddy, Our Wellness Partners – Bioayurveda and Vrudhi Holistic, for providing us the much needed support, Our Event Partner – Pinks Event, Our Coworking Partners – Zoom Start India, Meetingsandoffices.com, Millennial Worx, our community partner – Mumo Mumbai Moms, our ticketing partners – Explara and Meraevents, our Investment Partners – Naman Angels, ah! Ventures, Oceans Bridge, Sridham, and WeforShe Fund, our Media Partners, The Free Press Journal, NewsWithChai, and WomanTV, our Magazine Partner – SME WORLD Magazine, our Incubation Partner – JITO JIIF, our ecosystem partners such as Startups Club, IBG, Navayuvak, Womennovator and Entrepreneur Excel, our audit partner KGS, and our support partners such as LAJA, Websites.co.in, WomenWhoWin and Cafebiz Women Entrepreneurs for their wholehearted support towards making Women Power 2019 once again a huge success. (Keep watching this space – https://www.facebook.com/thebillenniumdivas for the updates and visit us on http://www.billenniumdivas.fund).

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