This global incubator supports women entrepreneurs to build and scale their businesses, become job creators

Tripti Singhal Somani believes that women around the world are limited and unable to advance due to the Golem effect.

The Golem effect is referred to as a psychological phenomenon or belief when lower expectations are placed on an individual by a superior or by the person themselves resulting in poor performance. It is a negative self-fulfilling prophecy that hinders growth and development.

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Tripty Somani

In 2017, when Tripti returned to her alma mater Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) for an alumni reunion, she announced an ambitious initiative to launch “100 Women Faces of SRCC” and invited applications from high achievers. .

“I received only 20 applications and realized that there are few women who stand out in innovation and entrepreneurship after studying in one of the best colleges in Asia. led to launching Womennovator and changing the concept to 100 Women Faces”, says Tripti His history.

womeninnovators is now a global women’s incubator that supports women entrepreneurs in scaling operations domestically and internationally and building distribution networks, empowering women leaders and professionals to become directors or creators of jobs, and women community leaders to be agents of political change.

Tripti recognizes the privileged background from which she comes. Born and raised in Bareilly, she lived in a mansion where she had to “cycle from one part of the house to another”, and moving to Delhi and SRCC was something of a wake-up call.

Navigating university life in a big city came with her learnings – living in the hostel and traveling for hours to reach her aunt’s house in Gurugram until fighting back when she was fumbled on buses – all checks of reality that taught him life lessons beyond privilege and comfort.

After earning his CA, Tripti worked with companies such as Grant Thornton and Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) before deciding to join his family’s CA practice. She currently oversees 200 employees and also sits on the boards of the largest companies in the country.

Funding, but more

While creating “100 Women Faces” and networking with women, she realized that incubators functioned more like training centers when demand was greater.

“Women need information, mentorship, talking to the right people at the right time, how to approach the media, working on a press release, the right time to invest, and getting the packaging and costs right. sorted remained at the top of their list of concerns,” she explains.

Womennovator’s focus quickly expanded to incubation. In 2018, it entered Asia’s record books when they helped 100 women pitch their products and services in 100 minutes.

“From an organization based on networking events, we became an incubator, received crowdfunding, found mentors to explore investments, and one of our incubatees even went to Australia to explore a business opportunity. ‘export’, she says.

Interestingly, you would think that financing would be at the top of the list for every female entrepreneur, but Tripti says it’s the opposite.

“Women need working capital to make their purchases, they want advice to create a source of income on the social strategy. Maybe out of 100, one woman would have asked me for funding,” she adds.

There is no membership fee to join Womennovator – Tripti’s only request to “100 Faces of Women” to bring other women into the fold – to form a give and take circle. The platform has successful leaders and influencers who mentor other women and help grow the community.

“Our job is to grow that circle of community and help develop strategies to enable that growth. The second is to help you at the income stage with your first loan/grant and build yourself from scratch. »

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A social initiative

His only demand was that the women give him and the mentors their time. The incubation process is multiple. It starts with an interview with the Womennovator team, followed by an interview with its partners, and takes 3 to 4 months for the pre-selection and the final integration. Incubation depends on the scale of the business or the stage it is at. The incubation lasts 10 to 14 weeks.

It is a social initiative where Tripti devotes 90% of its time and effort and most of the money comes from grants and CSR funds.

So far, Womennovator has created a network of 10,000 women in over 50 cities in India and internationally in Australia, Dubai, South Africa and the United States. Local chapters in each city are led by selected influencers and mentors through whom the platform provides support. It has so far integrated more than 150 incubated women across five cohorts.

In 2021, it launched the Glimpse of 1000 Women of Asia Awards and in 2020 was listed among the top seven venture capital incubators for women. It also offers a WE Supplier Development Program that helps women entrepreneurs secure orders from government agencies and businesses.

Despite female-focused platforms like Womennovator, why is the number of women entrepreneurs in the country still horribly low?

Tripti attributes it to self-doubt and impostor syndrome that afflicts most women.

She takes her own example. “I run my organization with 200 employees and fundraising for Womennovator made me feel uncomfortable. But I thought I had to do it to change the status quo. The problem with women is that as soon as they get a little stretched, they start asking questions like “why do I need to do this?” “It’s the Golum effect that plays all the time,” she says.

Additionally, Tripti points out that a number of government organizations and banks have programs that few women are aware of.

“There have been times when banks have not been able to meet their goals of offering loans to women. Women come to me for help getting funds, but as soon as I ask them for more information, they don’t want to do the extra work and disappear,” she says.

Currently, Womennovator is planning a Global Drive Yatra with a pitch competition in each location over a five-year period.

“I believe in collaboration and co-creation, not working in silos,” concludes Tripti.