India: Accelerator Group to launch $25m fund for women entrepreneurs

Gurgaon-based investment banking firm Accelerator Group has committed to launch a $25 million early stage private equity fund, a Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) Fund I, specifically for women-owned and led enterprises.

The announcement was made by Seema Chaturvedi, managing director of Accelerator Group LLC, in a conclave organised by California-based TiE Global in Delhi on Monday. The two-day conference will also host a convocation ceremony for the All-India Road Show on Women’s Economic Empowerment through Entrepreneurship (AIRSWEEE) participants.

The AIRSWEEE program was funded by the US Department of State and aims to promote Indian entrepreneurs. It was initiated in September 2016 to educate and inspire women in smaller Indian cities to consider entrepreneurship as a viable and rewarding career path.

“The program has created a multi-dimensional impact. Economic empowerment of a woman creates a ripple effect, which not only catalyzes gender equality and resulting positive social reforms but can also truly have a multi-generational impact. We are very appreciative of USG’s recognition of the impact Project AIRSWEEE created and seek to create a bigger impact in the second year by setting a target of impacting 450 women entrepreneurs in India,” said Chaturvedi.

TiE Global has mentored 125 women from 27 largely tier 2 and 3 Indian cities.

“India is a country bursting with potential, particularly among entrepreneurs, but it’s largely untapped, especially with respect to women in Tier II cities. The US government’s objective through this program is to tap into this amazing potential women in second tier cities have, to encourage them, to support them, to help them network, to mentor them to believe in themselves, not only to launch a start-up but to reach commercial success. Our objective is to empower women in second tier cities through entrepreneurship, so that they can become leaders,” said Craig Dicker, acting public affairs officer, US Embassy in India.