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Tide, WE Hub Launch 'Sarthika' To Operationalise Government Schemes For Women Entrepreneurs

The collaboration targets to ease doing business for 5 lakh women entrepreneurs across India by 2027

Tide, WE Hub Launch 'Sarthika' To Operationalise Government Schemes For Women Entrepreneurs
Deepthi Ravula, CEO of WE Hub

Outlook Start-Up Desk

POSTED ON March 09, 2023 4:52 PM

Tide, a UK-based SME-focused business financial platform that was recently launched in India, and WE Hub, Telangana's state-led incubator for women entrepreneurs, have launched the 'Sarthika' program. It aims to bridge the information and last-mile delivery gaps in state and central government schemes for women-led micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

Through this initiative, the fintech is attempting to reach women entrepreneurs across India and enhance the ease of doing business by improving access to information and uptake of public schemes and initiatives. 

The Sarthika web portal will work with the cohort at the grassroots level to help them navigate the application process, eligibility criteria, and other vital aspects of the schemes. After completing the whole KYC process, Tide India and WE Hub will work with relevant government departments to quicken operationalization of the projects.

The first phase consists of the Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) for credit subsidies for self-employment, Raw Material Assistance Scheme to give them access to higher quality raw materials, and Barcode Registration Subsidy to enable businesses to conform to global standards of trade and commerce. 

The Government of India has rolled out a series of measures to boost growth and opportunities for women in business. However, lack of information about eligibility and availability of schemes, poor allocation of resources, and complex processes have led to weak demand from the people these schemes could best serve. 

The Sarthika program comes at a time when W20, under India's G20 presidency, is focused on realizing the vision of women-led development, with women as active change agents of India's growth story rather than passive recipients of development. The W20 is an official G20 engagement group focused on gender equity.

WE Hub's chief executive officer (CEO), Deepthi Ravula, said, "Enabling access and opportunity for women to partake in the economic workforce of the nation is of pivotal importance to the nation's growth. While there have been efforts to ease this process, awareness and handholding support are often amiss. In our collaboration with Tide, we are looking at addressing this problem statement and are positive that this will lead to a monumental change!"

With this move, Tide plans to work as an incubator to digitally transform women-led SMEs beyond the country's tier 2 and 3 regions. Kumar Shekhar, Deputy Country Manager, Tide India, said, "Last mile delivery of schemes and incentives is a common challenge faced by governments across the globe. While there is no magic bullet to bridge this gap, we are proud to launch a program that will remove barriers to women-led development and help them realize their full potential."

Earlier this year, Tide also conducted a mentorship program for women entrepreneurs to decode the Union Budget 2023 and help them understand how new government policies, tax laws, and funding opportunities may affect their businesses.

Founded in 2015 and launched in 2017, London-based Tide has nearly 500,000 SME members in the UK and recently launched its Indian operations. It is funded by Apax Digital, Anthemis, Augmentum, Creandum, Goodwater, Jigsaw, Latitude, LocalGlobe, Passion Capital, SpeedInvest, SBI Group and Tencent, amongst others. 

The fintech employs 1250 professionals worldwide, with 500 employees in India. It launched two business financial solutions for Indian SMEs, a Business Account and a RuPay-powered Expense Card, and is working to introduce a host of other features to the Tide app in the next few months.

WE Hub is a state-run platform by the Telangana government that supports women entrepreneurs by eliminating financial and societal barriers to help them succeed in their enterprises. It aims to create a supportive community for women entrepreneurs where they can interact with VCs for funding, connect with corporates to scale up their businesses, get advice from mentors to fine-tune ideas, and benefit from technical mentoring.

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