India | 21st April 2020: WE HUB, India’s first state-led incubator to foster and promote women entrepreneurs to start up, scale up and accelerate with global market access, has been working diligently on various initiatives to help its start-ups during COVID-19 pandemic that has sparked the slowdown of businesses globally.
WE HUB is helping start-ups from various sectors by addressing their pandemic-related challenges, and then extensively mapping solutions for them with the prime goal of keeping their business afloat. During this lockdown period, it is helping start-ups to re-strategize and reconnect with the market after the pandemic is over.
Deepthi Ravula, CEO of WE HUB said, “As an enabler for Women Entrepreneurs, WE HUB’s focus during this times of a global pandemic is entirely on ensuring that the start-ups we work with are able to sustain during this period. We are doing this by working with our start-ups 1-1 to guide them with interventions needed in organizational management, financial remodelling, financial Linkages including debt and credit linkages, Government liaising, new customer acquisition, product diversification, ideation including pivot on a few of our start-ups. With the steps being taken by the State and Central Government to contain the COVID-19 scenario, we as WE HUB are extending our support to Women led enterprises to sustain and scale and be prepared for the post lockdown scenarios.”
Radius EduTech, a WE HUB incubated start-up, provides end to end digital transformation for educational institutions. Radius has taken a hit as the hardware they use to build equipment has run into logistical issues due to the ongoing global crisis. WE HUB helped Radius in creating and strengthening alternate software platform, OCTA, a video conferencing platform by helping with design, test, and validation of the tool internally in the team first and by also using the tool for external meetings held by WEHUB. This has enabled the start-up to reuse resources and use the time of lockdown to build an alternate revenue model and work on product development, customer acquisition, UI/UX design, technical mentoring with multiple stakeholders. WE HUB has also been successful in enabling Radius to acquire the first paid proof of concept (PoC) from the Government at the time of lockdown when most of the officials are working from home.
Sweetooth, another WE HUB start-up, has strategised its business plan during the pandemic by focusing on manufacturing only the essential food items (bread & bun). During this crisis, WE HUB has helped the start-up by providing a debt fund of INR 1.35 crores through Credit Guarantee Funds Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) in association with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). It connected the start-up with the Joint Director of the Agricultural Department to bridge the supply chain by providing the essential food items to Rythu Bazaars that facilitates a direct interface between farmers and consumers. WE HUB also helped the start-up in filing a document for the food processing subsidy scheme and also getting it registered under MSME-COVID relief, where the start-up will be able to supply bread to hospitals. These steps will enable the start-up to pay the rentals and the salaries to half its employees.
Nurture Fields from the first cohort of WE HUB’s incubation programme,has partnered with City Police department. WE HUB helped the start-up in procuring an order for dehydrated 3000 Kilograms of gooseberries for the police department. Since the police officials are being exposed to the virus during this pandemic, the intake of dehydrated gooseberries will help build immunity.
Adiro Labs Private Limited, a design, innovation and research start-up, a part of WE HUB’S Community Slate / Acceleration Programme is facilitating the supply of essential supplies to the Government Institution Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), which is the nodal point for the distribution of PPEs to all state government hospitals. To support the start-up during this lockdown period, WE HUB is using its partnership with Office24by7 to help Adiro Labs Private Limitedstreamline and automate the main business areas using Office24by7’s software for one year for free.
CabDost Private Limited, a socially driven fintech-based start-up, has been impacted drastically due to this global pandemic. It needs an interim working capital loan to facilitate salaries and further tech development. WE HUB is exploring ways to identify suitable grants and also looking out for interested corporations/ CSR who can support CabDost with tech development.
V .T. Enterprises, a manufacturing start-up and a part of WE HUB’s Her & Now programme hasn’t received any order since lockdown. The start-up is stitching face masks and selling them to the hospitals to overcome the loss, WE HUB is exploring avenues in connecting the start-up to the market for the masks produced. WE HUB is helping the start-up by providing debt fund through Credit Guarantee Funds Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) in association with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).
WE HUB is also adapting to these crucial times and exploring new ways to support and sustain the businesses of its start-ups. It is looking forward to connecting with corporates and CSR, who would like to support WE HUB’s start-ups during this crisis.