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UNCTAD Empretec Award nominates First Indian Woman Entrepreneur

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UNCTAD Empretec Award nominates First Indian Woman Entrepreneur

 The CEO Magazine ● Mumbai

June 30: United Nations Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD) Empretec Women in Business Award, 2016, has for the first time named an Indian Woman Entrepreneur as Finalist. Dr Vinaya Shetty, Founder & President of VIN Management Consultants Pvt. Ltd., was named among the 12 finalists for the Empretec Women in Business Award, 2016. Twelve finalists were selected for this award by an UNCTAD panel of experts based on the nominees showing innovation, leadership and impact in their communities.

The prestigious UNCTAD Empretec Women in Business Award, celebrates exceptional women entrepreneurs who have benefited from  UNCTAD’s Empretec training programme. For the first time, an Indian woman entrepreneur has been nominated for this award.

Arnab Chakrabortty, National Director at UNCTAD-Empretec Programme for India said, “It is indeed a proud moment for India to have a finalist for the prestigious awards. Efforts of an Indian woman entrepreneur—and one many aspiring women entrepreneurs can relate to—are being recognized. I am confident that this will inspire women in our country to set up businesses and contribute to their communities”.

Empretec is the flagship capacity-building program of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), coordinated from Geneva, Switzerland, by the Enterprise Branch of the Division on Investment and Enterprise.

“ The nomination is indeed a honor and very humbling, as there has been some incredible work done by women across the World amidst tremendous challenges. UNCTAD’s efforts in encouraging women entrepreneurs is commendable and I hope Indian women optimize the opportunity of the Empretec methodology being made available in India”, Dr.Vinaya said.

The Empretec Women in Business Award (E-WBA) is awarded to women who have benefited from the business development services of the Empretec programme – a pioneering UNCTAD programme for the promotion of entrepreneurship that operates in 37 developing countries.  In line with the theme of this year’s World Investment Forum, the E-WBA will focus on the crucial role that women’s entrepreneurship and empowerment contribute to the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals agenda.

Empretec was launched in Argentina in 1998 and since then has expanded to 37 countries across the developing world. In cooperation with local counterparts, the program has assisted over 500,000 entrepreneurs through local market-driven Empretec centres. The main beneficiaries are aspiring entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs, small and micro businesses (including local small suppliers), young people and employees of large public and private companies.

More than 50 nominations were submitted by Empretec centers from 23 countries this year. The Empretec Women in Business Award winners will be named on 21 July, 2016 at the World Investment Forum, held during the fourteenth United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD14) in Nairobi, Kenya, in July.

Public voting has been introduced for the first time this year for Empretec – Women in Business Award, 2016, and anyone desirous of voting may do so.

Dr. Vinaya Shetty is the Founder and President of VIN Management Consultants (VIN), established in 2001. The company objective is to effect change in organizations with particular attention to social issues. The ultimate objective is to transform individuals and to create a cultural context for change.  A Strategic HR, OD & Career Consultant, with specific expertise in  Transformation, Change & Executive Coaching to deliver business results and to effectively impact Communities. Collaborate with leaders and stakeholders, to create strong relationships and meet ambitious outcomes to grow business performance. Proactively engages in building a work culture that facilitates talent to outperform and realize their potential.

Community Impact

Since 16 December 2012, after the tragic Nirbhaya rape case, there has been a radical change in the definition of rape in the judicial system in India. Government bodies have had to address this burning issue. When the Mumbai Police planned to create two squads within the police force, one to spread awareness and the other to be a unique helpline for women, VIN was given the task of executing the plan. The first squad is called Right to Freedom. Fifty-five police personnel, mainly women, were trained, coached and counselled to take part in one of the largest citizen outreach programmes in the country. Housing societies, schools and colleges would, for the first time, have police personnel visit them and educate women on their rights, explaining the law against sexual harassment. The second squad is called Save My Number. It provides online assistance to women in distress. VIN’s services support the tackling of serious issues such as child abuse. Working closely with police personnel to develop qualities such as integrity, sensitivity and compassion as well as social skills has led to positive results in the handling of cases of child abduction.

Further positive contributions have been brought to the entertainment industry in India, one of the fastest growing in the world, and especially Bollywood, in Mumbai. By addressing work practices and culture as well as compliance with labour-laws, VIN enables companies in this sector to improve their professional set-up, resulting in reduced stress, higher productivity and an enhanced sense of employee rights and having an impact on the community at large.

In 2012, Vinaya participated in the Empretec programme in Geneva. The key benefits she derived were the motivation to develop her company with renewed vigour and a deeper understanding of her company persona. The methodology facilitated reflection on possible directions for the business. This resulted in the pursuit of projects contributing to community development, by supporting Government programmes. One of the biggest challenges is retaining talent, as many women in India take a break after marriage or childbirth, often due to pressure from in-laws. The solution to this challenge has been to offer flexible scheduling, to create a larger network of professionals available for assignments, and to incentivize workplace contributions.

 UNCTAD Empretec Women in Business Award

UNCTAD’s Empretec Women in Business Awards (E-WBA) have been granted biannually since 2008 to women trained by national Empretec centres. The awards celebrate exceptional businesswomen who have benefitted from UNCTAD’s global entrepreneurship training network, Empretec, and have become role models due to their outstanding achievements in running micro and small businesses.

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