The Dream to Destination (D2D) program jointly offered by the National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) and the Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) aims to help 100 high-potential women entrepreneurs improve the fundability, scalability and revenue growth of their businesses through robust enterprise-development support.
National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN), the flagship initiative of Wadhwani Foundation has conceptualized and spearheaded this initiative, leveraging its decade long experience in developing successful entrepreneurs & profitable start-ups. The Dream to Destination program (D2D) is designed for women entrepreneurs who own and actively run businesses with potential for growth.
The selection to the D2D program is through a careful scrutiny of applicants against a set criteria. This exclusive women-only mentoring-cum-workshops (mentor-shops) has been planned in 5 cities – Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata, Jaipur and Hyderabad. These mentor-shops will equip the participants with tools to grow their businesses and assess their needs and then draw up a development plan for each participant. The selected entrepreneurs will receive support from NEN mentors and educators to developed tailored programs that fit their needs and enhances their potential for scale-up.
The applications were received from a diverse group ranging from late twenties to late forties, from full-time entrepreneurs to professionals turned entrepreneurs, and their business ranging from early stage to growth stage with revenue slabs from Rs. 0 – 5 Lakh p.a. to Rs.1 crore and more. As far as industry type is concerned majority was of the participants were from IT, Manufacturing, Retail, Education and the rest from Biotech, Consulting, F&B and Hospitality.
Recent workshops organized by NEN at Bangalore on 7th & 8th March & Hyderabad on 14th & 15th March 2014 witnessed enthusiastic participation of women entrepreneurs.
Dr. K. Srikrishna, Executive Director, National Entrepreneurship Network says “We believe that women have tremendous, untapped potential that that can transform local economies. Today only 15-20% of new entrepreneurs are women and these women face substantial challenges in access to networks in addition to skills and knowledge that all new entrepreneurs need. The D2D program has been designed exclusively to help women entrepreneurs grow their own businesses through proven tools & strategies that NEN has developed, over the years. The enthusiastic participation and response by women entrepreneurs to the first Dream to Destination workshops in Bangalore and Hyderabad tells us that we are on the right track to helping them take their businesses to the next level.”
Attending the Bangalore workshop, Ruche Mittal, who is in the business of Marketing and Branding through her venture Idea Perfect Communication, says “Dream To Destination’ is a very promising program. Being a complete and customized solution for each participant, it is a great idea and I am glad NEN along with ANDE could really think through the real requirement that entrepreneurs like me have today.” She adds “I have experienced the 2 days class-room session and I am now eagerly waiting to get connected with my mentor”
Kavitha, one of the participants of the Hyderabad workshop, is in the business of paints through her venture Om Sai Andhra Paints, sums up her experience of the program as “Very educative & informative. I understood certain aspects of the business which we normally overlook using in own business”
Post the 2 day program, NEN is firming up customized development plans for each entrepreneur. The next phase of the program will roll out development plans by connecting the participants to relevant resources & support system. The aim of this program is to arm all the participating women entrepreneurs with access to knowledge & skills through intensive workshops, online courses, and courseware on topics such as business plans, business models, start-up finance, and customer acquisition; Goal-driven 1:1 mentoring support through NEN’s certified network of mentors and access to Industry experts & networks drawing on the NEN Resources Bureau network of 4,500 experts.
The next leg of workshop cum need assessment sessions is planned in the following cities, in the month of April 2014. Kolkata on 4th & 5th, Delhi and Jaipur on 11th & 12th, and Bangalore on 18th & 19th.
Program / Workshop facilitators:
Radhika Meenakshi, Founder of Wise Owl Consulting has trained more than 1000 entrepreneurs and mentored many practicing start-ups. She is the President of South East-Hyderabad chapter of Bharat Yuva Shakti Trust (BYST) engaged in mentoring and guiding young entrepreneurs
Raj Shankar, Founder of Ichiban Business Consultants Pvt Ltd and a visiting faculty teaching Strategy and Entrepreneurship at B Schools. Experienced in starting up ventures, specializing in Business Growth and Innovation
Anil Paranjape, Co-founder of Pune Cleantech and has been atively helping companies with strategy, business development, technology and marketing
Nitin Mukadam, Consultant for marketing & advertising, specializing in technology management & technology related to marketing. He has mentored many entrepreneurs in the areas of building business model, business plan preparation, achieving VC funding.
Akhil Shahani, Serial Entrepreneur with Ventures in Education, Private Equity and Non Profits. He is the Director at Smart Entrepreneur and Kaizen Management Advisors Pvt Ltd and Managing Director at Centre for Management and SAGE Foundation.
Deepak Khaitan, Chairman of Eastern India Regional Council of ‘The Institute of Company Secretaries of India’ and faculty of Law & Entrepreneurship at several prestigious colleges.
Shashank Rajurkar, Co-founder of two start-ups – Zephyr Turnaround Advisors Private Ltd and Knights Restructuring Services Southern India Private Ltd. He has extensive experience in venture capital investments, building business models & securing customers and mentored many start-ups
NEN and its eco-system partners are working closely on this D2D program to handhold entrepreneurs in their progress.
– Association of Lady Entrepreneurs of Andhra Pradesh (ALEAP), SHEROES, Her Entrepreneurial Network, India (HEN, INDIA), The Indus Entrepreneur (TiE) – New Delhi, Engineering Manufacturer Entrepreneurs Resource Group (eMERG), Fab Women Foundation Trust (FAB), WEConnect International – India, Young FICCI Ladies Organisation (YFLO) – Kolkata, Confederation of Women Entrepreneurs, Karnataka (COWE, Karnataka) and FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO), Jaipur.
Entrepreneurs who are specifically looking for funds, after assessing their readiness will be given a platform to pitch in front of the investors. Having seen the success of its two programs at Bangalore & Hyderabad, NEN is planning for a larger and more ambitious future rollout of similar programs within India and other developing countries.