Hyderabad: Chennai-based WSquare, a company that provides co-working and incubation ecosystem exclusively for women, is working with several co-working companies in India to provide incubation support for women entrepreneurs. The company is planning to expand into Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Gurugram in the next 1-2 years.
WSquare is bringing women back to work, by providing not just a workspace, but also the support needed to achieve in the entrepreneurial or corporate space, both in the technology and non-technology verticals. The company began operations in March 2017 providing infrastructure, training and workshops for both women professionals and entrepreneurs. It created a 40-seater co-working space in Chennai for women-founded startups besides providing them mentorship connect.
Vandhana Ramanathan, CEO, WSquare, told Telangana Today, “One of the key problems faced by working women or working mothers is the guilt that stems from not being there for the family. Today, 78 per cent of women quit their jobs when they enter motherhood. And only 14 per cent of entrepreneurs in India are women. We want to improve this scenario and bring this to 50 per cent. With our partners, we are keen to provide an ecosystem that enables women to be focused on their work at the same time be emotionally connected with their family and personal needs.”
She added, “We are focusing on digital transformation for these entrepreneurs using social media marketing and bringing women back not just into technology but into emerging technologies by up-skilling them.”
One of the key learnings from WSquare is focused on finding the need of specific platforms for women-founded startups, which required guidance on how to take their businesses forward and aspiring women entrepreneurs who had ideas but did not know how or where to start.
The company thus launched W-INcubate (Women INcubate) to provide an incubation / acceleration programme focused at women-founded startups. An incubation / acceleration centre for startups, college students, entrepreneurs that provides mentorship, access to key resources such as legal, auditors etc as well as investors and corporate partners.
Jinal Patel, COO WSquare, said, “We will be providing support and the needed ecosystem for women entrepreneurs operating in various co-working spaces across India to take their business to the next level. We are planning to expand our operations to Hyderabad and in near future we would be tying up with the co-working spaces in the city. With quality real estate already available, we are keen on providing incubation support rather than duplicating further infrastructure creation.”
WSquare has received one round of funding already and is planning to go for a second round to foray into Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Gurugram. There is an effort to tap the opportunities in the 26 tier-2 cities across India focusing on digital transformation. Talks are in progress with the investors for the second round of funding that will enable such expansion.
“We are also holding hackathons involving women professionals across India in collaboration with Facebook. We have carried out hackathons in Bengaluru and Hyderabad recently, followed by Gurugram and Pune. T-Hub has been our outreach partner for the hackathon held in Hyderabad recently. Nasscom and ThoughtWorks are also extending support towards these hackathons,” Jinal added.