Kolkata: American Center hosts two-day investor conclave to celebrate ‘Women History Month’

US Consul General Kolkata Melinda Pavek. Photo Courtesy: PR Team

A two-day investor conclave entitled ‘Rising Women: A Women First Founder’ was hosted with women leaders and stakeholders at the American Center in Kolkata on March 14-15, 2024, to celebrate ‘Women History Month’.  

The conclave attracted a diverse array of participants, including women leaders, stakeholders, entrepreneurs, investors, and experts from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and the United States.

The aim was to share experiences of the participants from the aforementioned countries on ways to strengthen women participation and leadership at workplace.
The theme of the meet was aligned with the International Women’s Day 2024: ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress’.

The meet highlighted commitment to addressing the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women’s economic empowerment and promoting collaborative action to accelerate progress towards gender equality. About 100 women entrepreneurs participated in the networking event and displayed their posters.

At the inauguration, US Consul General Melinda Pavek said, “Today’s conclave on ‘Women Wielding the Workplace’ (WWW) aligns with this year’s National Women’s History Month theme of ‘Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion’. The theme recognises women throughout the world who understand that a better future requires that we eliminate bias and discrimination entirely from our lives and institutions.”  

Director of the implementing partner Contact Base Ananya Bhattacharya thanked US Consulate for supporting and developing regional solution support networks, and reaching out to over 300 women entrepreneurs from Nagaland, Mizoram, West Bengal, Bangladesh and Nepal, more than 100 experts and mentors, above 20 stakeholders from the US, and 160 stakeholders of in-person capacity building workshops across east and northeast and 200+ entrepreneurs in online capacity building sessions.

The theme on the first day was ‘#InvestInHerBusiness’ where discussions centred around the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in accessing funding and financial services, exploring strategies to overcome barriers such as unconscious bias, risk aversion, and lack of awareness. Leaders, investors, networks and experts discussed when and how to raise capital for business, how innovation can lead to progress and utilise networks to grow business. Nine women entrepreneurs pitched their business in front of investors and learnt how to create compelling narratives in business.

Kolkata’s American Center Director Elizabeth Lee interacting with participants of the conclave. Photo Courtesy: PR Team

Students from Media Studies at Heritage Academy Kolkata were felicitated for their on-going social media campaign on women’s leadership at work.

The second day’s theme was ‘#InvestInHerSkills’, where the importance of education and skill development in enhancing women’s leadership at work and expanding their participation in emerging sectors such as Industry 4.0 were delved into.

Stakeholders discussed ways to strengthen women’s leadership, promote awareness of opportunities in STEM fields, and facilitate capacity building in 21st-century skills.