Ever year around this time, we see several women from across India converging to Bengaluru. This is for the Summer Special @ IIMB; i.e. The Management Programme for Women Entrepreneurs (MPWE). This year there are over 130 confirmations, with participants also coming from outside the country. Registrations are still open for a few seats, for the programme which starts on Wednesday, April 15th, 2009. If interested, please look at the MPWE programme brochure at www.nsrcel.org/home/mpwe2009.pdf for details.
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The Course Directors, Prof. Ganesh Prabhu and myself (Anjana Vivek) are very pleased to see this interest. I have been associated with this programme from 2005 and I have seen the difference it makes to the many women who have attended it. In fact this is the course which propelled me to move from a full time faculty member at IIMB to guest faculty along with starting my own venture.
MPWE participants are a mix of entrepreneurs, wannabe entrepreneurs as well as some persons who are curious about entrepreneurship and are undecided about what they would like to do. The career path taken by many women is different from the typical career path taken by men. This may be by choice or due to necessity. Entrepreneurship is a great way for women to develop their potential as business leaders and for them to make a difference to themselves, their family and friends and the world at large.
In addition to classroom sessions, MPWE participants also interact with other women entrepreneurs during site visits and at panel discussions. The panelists at MPWE 2009 will speak about their journey and answer some questions such as why they decided to start their own venture, the joys and challenges of entrepreneurship and how they deal with the ups and downs of business, particularly in times like today, when the economic scenario is uncertain. There is also a session on frugal marketing in these changing times and a networking event.
The panel discussions and networking event are on Saturday, April 25th, 2009, 10 am – 5 pm at the IIMB auditorium. MPWE alumni from earlier years will also participate in this event. This programme and the networking event for women entrepreneurs, is open to others on payment of a small fee. If someone is interested in knowing more about this, they may contact Prof. Ganesh Prabhu at gprabhu@IIMB.ERNET.IN or call him on 9844175078.
MPWE is doing its bit for entrepreneurship, slowly but surely, not just in the city of Bengaluru, but across the world, with many alumni scattered across the globe. In a recent function I ran into 5 alumni, some of them had started their venture post this programme!
There is so much variety in the businesses run and managed by these alumni. Their projects are in different industries and also vary in terms of size and reach. The industries include inter-alia manufacturing concerns, IT product and service companies, consulting firms, restaurants, designer and styling firms, architecture and interior design firms, adventure camps, martial arts centres, art and culture centres, education centres, publications… the list is endless. Oorvani Media, publishers of Citizen Matters, which hosts this blog, is also co-founded by an MPWE alumni, Meera K.
While some of these companies have a handful of employees or are one women firms, others have grown big and have significant revenues and profits. It is indeed heartwarming to see the energy and enthusiasm of these women entrepreneurs. We look forward to see many of these alumni making a name for themselves and their companies in the years to come.