The Vizagapatam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Women’s Wing has brought new facets to women’s empowerment in Visakhapatanam. The professional body aims at encouraging women from all walks of life towards developing a skilled community of employable people and inculcating the spirit of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial advocacy, training and events are the main forays through which this platform helps women in business from across the city. Established four years ago, the esteemed platform is run by 39 women, who own different businesses in the city. Working relentlessly round the clock, achieving its objectives one at a time, this wing is a revolutionary. Take a look at how the three verticals of the VCCI Women’s Wing combine their workforce to take strides towards achievement.
This vertical mainly aims at imparting market-relevant skills and also aims to promote entrepreneurship by organizing need-based programmes in specific segments.
Women face a number of barriers as entrepreneurs. Evidence from across the world point to social, cultural, educational and technical barriers that hinder women from being successful entrepreneurs. A majority of women entrepreneurs own and operate businesses themselves without any staff support. These are usually home-based businesses, either urban or rural. Many significant barriers hinder these women from expanding or scaling up their business operations, and many shut down due to a lack of timely support. To address these needs, the Women’s Wing has initiated a program called Training in Entrepreneurial Advancement and Management (TEAM) under which women entrepreneurs in the city, as well as women who wish to enter the field of business, have been invited to enrol. TEAM has the following goals.
- Establish a need assessment system to continuously identify evolving needs of women entrepreneurs in establishing, operating, and growing their business. Such need assessment includes both their professional and business needs.
- Establish a learning and development program that can enhance the professional and technical skills of women entrepreneurs through diverse program models such as continuing education programs, periodic seminars and webinars, Additionally, stand-alone courses on specific topics. Internships, shadowing programs, and soft skill training will also be a part of the program.
- Establish a professional network and information hub that can help women entrepreneurs to thrive in Visakhapatnam. This will help women entrepreneurs along their entrepreneurial journey by providing network opportunities, professional development opportunities, and a knowledge and information hub.
In response to an invitation to this program, fifty enthusiastic women from the city have enrolled for this program. A systematic survey was conducted to understand their specific needs and challenges faced by them. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many webinars have been conducted for the benefit of these members and currently, the Women’s Wing has started conducting offline training sessions. Training sessions such as an interactive session evaluating the business cash flow cycle and identifying areas of improvement were conducted by the wing. A state-level network meet is also under the planning stage that would provide them with a platform to build their network connections.
This vertical mainly focuses on organizing trade promoting events such as exhibitions, trade fairs, investment meets, and networking meets thereby acting as an interface between vendors and customers.
Recently, Women’s Wing VCCI has put together a Natural Living Expo to provide a platform to all the women entrepreneurs of Vizag, who deal with natural, healthy & conscious living products. The Visakhapatnam Mayor, Golagani Hari Venkata Kumari, has inaugurated the expo. The expo exhibited the local presence of products such as healthy fruit smoothies, organic skin products, coir home products, eco-friendly tableware, organic clothing, millets, microgreens, eco-friendly waste management products, snacks and fresh farm produce.
This vertical identifies the pressing needs of the community and campaigns for particular initiatives and policies by collaborating with the concerned stakeholders thereby making the city a better place in all aspects. Presently, Women’s Wing is promoting the concept of eco-friendly substitutes for plastic. A lot of substitute products have been identified and a proposal to work with GVMC is on the cards.
Women’s Wing, VCCI is headed by Dr Hema Yadavalli as its President with Jeeja Valsaraj as Vice President, Sandhya Godey as the Secretary and Vani Kancharla as Treasurer.
IgnITe 2022- Harnessing Technology for Business Growth
The Women’s Wing will be combining the activities of all three verticals to conduct their next event ‘IgnITe 2022’. This event with the help of subject matter experts on digital marketing, online safety protocols, business processes and e-commerce will train entrepreneurs to digitally transform their business. Advocating the use of digital options to maximise the potential of their business and also ease the effort will be the learning at the end of the day-long event. Limited seats at this ticketed event will ensure maximum interaction and networking opportunities with all the trainers.
For further information regarding IgnITe 2022 and future events, contact: +91 9908081444, +91 9848193250.
Address: Vizagapatam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 2nd floor, Dutt Island, Siripuram, Visakhapatnam.