New Delhi: Student-focused venture capital firm gradCapital is launching a $500k fund directed towards female founders named Entreprenher (www.eher.in). This micro VC is building a safe space for women through mentorship and cohort based training that inspires women to start the next set of revolutionary companies. Currently, only 13% of India’s startup founders are female, with 2% of the capital raised and 4% of funding rounds going to female founders. All-male founding teams, in comparison, raise 92% of capital from 85% of rounds.
The Entreprenher team comprises female founders across diverse sectors, including Zouk, Snap, ShareChat, CIIE, and Unitus Capital guiding new female entrepreneurs towards tackling the problems women founders face in India, such as lack of mentorship and support, as well as funding. Entreprenher is currently seeking applications on its website and plans to make selective monetary investments within their cohort to support female founders.
Entreprenher joins other initiatives aimed at women entrepreneurs, such as Dorm Room Fund’s Female Founder Track. However, it focuses on building up the Indian founder and consumer ecosystem, as India rides the next wave of the startup revolution.
Established in 2020, gradCapital is a pan-India, student-focused VC fund designed to help college graduates grow their ideas into businesses. Entreprenher will host an eight-week, intensive program by experienced founders for companies founded and run by students. The program will provide a layout conducive to the context of students to make sure they are all set to raise their subsequent funding round. Apart from building a strong and sustainable structure for their company, these young entrepreneurs will leave with countless tools, crucial knowledge, a network of peers, mentors and investors, and funding of $25,000.
Each of the eight weeks that gradCapital’s cohort will be part of will feature weekly keynotes, 1:1 mentorship, workshops, challenges, office hours with experts and, in the end, an investor-focused demo day. They aim to bring out the next generation of unicorns started by founders out of university. In the next 3 years, Entreprenher plans to deploy $500k equity-free capital to 30+ female entrepreneurs each year through a program where founders are paid a salary through Entreprenher’s funds, allowing founders to focus on scaling up their companies.
Commenting on the launch of the women-centric cohort, Simran Handa, Team Lead at Entreprenher, ”We genuinely believe in female founders. Currently, companies with female founders perform 63% better than those of their male peers. However, most women don’t receive the support to pursue this dream. Entreprenher’s aim is to create a network of women who all support each other in the business space and empower each other to fulfil their needs and wants.”
The objective of this fund is to create a stronger female founders pipeline – under the guidance of the team leadership – Simran Handa and Abhishek Sethi (Co-founder at gradCapital). Mentors will include, Richa Kar (ex-Zivame), Priyanka Chopra (Partner at Bharat Fund), Richa (Partner at Unitus Capital) at Dr. Gayatri Hela, founder at Reseda and featured as a UN Woman, as well as 10+ more entrepreneurs and executives across companies in India.