GAME is committed to catalyzing an ecosystem of 5 million women entrepreneurs by 2030 and is making strong strides towards addressing this issue. Several studies have shown that 25% of social enterprises in India are led by women. However, women entrepreneurs are often subject to discrimination from their families, communities, and investors when compared to male peers. According to studies, the proportion of women-owned enterprises that hire three or more workers is a mere 2.7 % as compared to men which is 6.3%. This month Meghalaya Government has launched the strategy document on the Promotion and Incubation of Market- driven Enterprises (PRIME) program in the State of Meghalaya - GAME contributed in putting this strategy in place. The intent of the program is to guide entrepreneurship development in Meghalaya and provide significant direction towards building a strong entrepreneurship- focused ecosystem. One of the aspects covered involves the development of the SHG model which aims to create 50,000 first generation entrepreneurs, many of them being women, by the end of March 2021. 

Along with the launch of the first-ever Meghalaya Entrepreneurship Promotion Strategy report, some other highlights in this month's newsletter include a guest column by Lakshmi V. Venkatesan, the founder of BYST; a brief on Kinara Capital joining us as our newest Alliance member; the launch of the Peer Network Project that aims to develop a peer network of 200 entrepreneurs, across 20 locations in Bangalore, and information on the Indian Women Social Entrepreneurs Network by Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, in addition to spotlighting on a couple of our Alliance partners such as WeWork and Girl Effect.

~Archita Mal
Manager, GAME


Building India’s Grampreneur™ Movement
Towards enabling and supporting grassroots’ youth potential

by Lakshmi Venkatesan
Founding and Managing Trustee, Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust (BYST)

Over the last decade, given India’s current economic paradigm, it is of utmost importance to provide an empowering ecosystem for entrepreneurial activities – an ecosystem not just for the entrepreneurs in hi-tech and big cities but one that nurtures the micro-entrepreneurs in small towns and villages as well. Presently, transforming young business minds into empowering Grampreneurs™, especially those at the bottom of the pyramid, has emerged as the single most important tool for inclusive growth.

Mentoring – A window to a self-sustained world 

The key to igniting and promoting the entrepreneurial spirit among millions of young job seekers, is proven to be mentoring, globally. For over 27 years, with an aim to unleash India’s grassroots potential, BYST has uplifted thousands of underserved entrepreneurs in small towns and villages pan India and created millionaire Grampreneurs™, who have in turn created thousands of direct and indirect jobs. In a bid to work towards this, BYST’s Mentoring India™ program aims to create a pool of mentors at every touch point such as financial and Government/Private institutions, ... Read More

Launch of the First-Ever Meghalaya Entrepreneurship Promotion Strategy Report

The Government of Meghalaya on 21st January 2020, launched the first-ever Meghalaya Entrepreneurship Promotion Strategy, which is a big step in developing and promoting entrepreneurship for the citizens of Meghalaya. GAME played a strategic role in the development of this strategy. The intent of the strategy is to guide entrepreneurship development in Meghalaya and provide a significant direction in building a strong entrepreneurship-focused program called Promotion of Innovative and Market-driven Enterprises (PRIME) program. This caters to all segments of entrepreneurs namely startup entrepreneurs, nano entrepreneurs and livelihood entrepreneurs.

The strategy also discusses the importance of easily available credit, relevant technology, skilling and mentoring support, and access to high leverage markets to support the growth of entrepreneurship. It also provides a layout of what must be done for this through PRIME Hubs in each block of the state.

GAME will support the Government of Meghalaya with the strategy’s implementation which will follow a collaborative approach between the government, its different departments and various private sector organizations. For more queries, Please reach out to:

Webinar on the 'Ease of Doing Business For Entrepreneurs'

As part of our learning webinars, GAME co-hosted a session with the Centre for Civil Society (CCS) on the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) for small businesses. CCS showcased their report on EoDB in New Delhi, highlighting ‘hard to verify’ government reform claims, and challenges faced by previously un-surveyed enterprises.

Some examples mentioned include:

  • Informality through law: MCD runs the only permitted slaughterhouse for goats, sheep, and buffalos, and hence, all other privately run slaughterhouses are ‘illegal’ but run unlicensed through a ‘keep calm & carry on’ policy.
  • Delays to formality: In the absence of delays, a typical restaurant in Delhi obtains all licenses in 120 to 150 days, with the formal cost varying from INR 18,300 to INR 18,52,087.
  • High discretionary power at implementation: Despite the requirement of a computerised risk management system to identify enterprises for pollution control inspection (thereby reducing human bias & error), Delhi continues to do so through an executive committee. Inspections, in general, are reported 12 times higher than claimed by inspectors, and despite this, < 3% of meat shops were compliant with at least 80% of all rules.

CCS has deeply investigated the challenge of EoDB and all their material can be found here. In addition, GAME is working with CCS to replicate these studies across other geographies and advocate for change through different government channels.

If you are interested to partner on this cause, please reach out to Ashwin Chandrasekhar, who is leading our EoDB work at

Peer Network Project for Women Entrepreneurs

The Peer network project which will be launched on 3rd February aims to develop a peer network of 200 entrepreneurs, across 20 locations in Bangalore to enable easy access for women. Furthermore, every 5 locations will be collectivized to enable events or more sharing to happen.

Conducted over at least 8 meetings over 6 months, existing women entrepreneurs will meet once in 3-4 weeks, so that the entrepreneurs are engaged frequently. 

For more information, please reach out to Santanu Chari at

Kinara Capital joins GAME as its Alliance Partner

GAME is happy to announce Kinara Capital as an Alliance partner. Kinara is a FinTech NBFC driving financial inclusion of small business entrepreneurs in India. Our focus this year is to reach even more small business entrepreneurs in different sectors, Tier 2 cities and particularly women entrepreneurs. For more information, 

please reach out to Ashwin Chandrasekhar at

LEAD at KREA University, with GAME, to launch panel survey of Micro Enterprises

GAME is working with LEAD at KREA University to launch a panel survey of micro-enterprises across India, leveraging the latest data collection tools & technologies and building a survey that truly adds value over & above current government data sets. If you are keen to learn more or collaborate, 

please reach out to Ashwin Chandrasekhar at

Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, Amani Institute and U.S. Consulate General Chennai will create an Indian Women Social Entrepreneurs Network (IWSEN)

Several studies show that at least 25 percent of social enterprises in India are led by women. However, women entrepreneurs are often subject to discrimination from their families, communities, and investors when compared to male peers. As a result, these leaders would benefit from a formalized, cohesive network that would provide access to information, capital, mentorship, and other opportunities that are currently lacking in social enterprises.

Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) , in collaboration with ANDE member Amani Institute, and with funding support from the U.S. Consulate General Chennai, will lead the creation of an Indian Women Social Entrepreneurs Network (IWSEN). IWSEN will provide an inaugural class of 40 women social entrepreneurs across India with the leadership and management skills that will result in scaling their businesses.

If you know of women entrepreneurs anywhere in India (who have organizations that have been around for 2 years or more and have generated Rs. 15 lakhs or more in revenue in either 2018 or 2019) and are looking to benefit from a structured learning process to build their organizations, you can read more about the eligibility criteria, program details, etc. on the website

The last date for submitting applications is February 15, 2020.  

For more queries, you can reach out to , 

Cell: +91-98500-51540.

GAME @ WeWork

We’re a part of the WeWork Family!

We’re thrilled to share that GAME is now a part of WeWork, a global network of workspaces designed to connect people, inspire creativity, and transform the work experience of over 600,000 members around the world. We’ve been a member at WeWork for four months and have seen their member community grow steadily. From their India launch in 2017, WeWork has grown across 6 cities(Bengaluru, Mumbai, Gurugram, Noida, Pune and Hyderabad) with 32 locations and 40,000+ members.

As the leading flexible workspace provider, WeWork has been disrupting the traditional real estate industry with modern and dynamic office spaces for businesses of all sizes. Here’s a range of office solutions that WeWork offers its members: 

Private Office - Move-in ready private offices that grow as your team grows. 

Office Suites - An upgraded private office with access to premium shared spaces and amenities. Includes your own meeting rooms, lounges, and executive offices dedicated to your team. 

Customised Build - From a unique suite, a specialised floor, or a one-of-a-kind HQ, WeWork creates customised layouts optimised for your people and business goals. 

Shared Workspace - Hot desks in lively common spaces, or a dedicated desk in a quiet zone, WeWork offers shared workspaces with access to all of its premium amenities. 

So whether you’re a growing startup or an established enterprise company, WeWork has a solution for you. Take a virtual tour of WeWork Prestige Central in Bengaluru here. Check out WeWork’s spaces here.

Member Story

As a fairly new organization with a small but extremely motivated team- WeWork has been the perfect "First home" for GAME- convenient, fabulous ambience, efficient systems in place and an extremely supportive and helpful community. Having all the basic infrastructure in place has allowed our team to focus on our work. As an organization which is built around our partners WeWork has also been a perfect venue for small events and important discussions and a great partner. We at GAME are extremely grateful to WeWork for the space as we work toward our mission of catalyzing Mass Entrepreneurship- the focus on entrepreneurship is a shared vision.

WeWork is highly recommended for entrepreneurs/organizations looking to focus on their goals with everything else taken care of! You can find all the details at their website.

Girl Effect

Girl Effect in India launched Chhaa Jaa  (छा जा), a digital first youth centric programme designed to empower older adolescent girls with the right skills and confidence to navigate adolescence. This is achieved through content (short-form, social media led) that encourages them to interact, engage and converse with Chhaa Jaa. The programme is currently working towards an objective of enabling girls to make positive choices around their sexual and reproductive health in turn normalising the need for and accessing of services. In the near future, the programme will also be designed to build up girls’ economic readiness, in turn enabling them to enter the workforce with far more ease.

Our programmes are rooted in local culture and co-created with the adolescent girls it will impact and hence research is central to all stages of our programme development from design to implementation. We have carried out extensive formative research with experts from the development sector, gender, media and business communities as well as with girls, boys, parents and communities across the country to ensure the reach and impact of Chhaa Jaa’s content. 

Gaining real-time feedback is an essential step in building an impactful brand.  However, it is often difficult to garner authentic insights from adolescent girls. Co-created with girls, TEGA (Technology Enabled Girl Ambassadors) is a mobile-based, peer-to-peer research methodology used by some of the world’s leading development organisations to provide safer, more scalable and authentic research around the world. TEGAs are trained to use a customised app to interview respondents in a friendly and non-judgemental way, allowing them to open up freely. Our TEGA networks are in Rajasthan and Bihar. For more information, you can log onto the website 

The Divide between Subsistence and Transformational Entrepreneurship by Antoinette Schoar

GAME recently discovered a compelling research from Professor Antoinette Schoar at MIT on necessity vs. opportunity entrepreneurs across the globe. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, India has a ratio of 1:2 of opportunity to necessity entrepreneurs (note: the paper uses the terms subsistence & transformational entrepreneurs). This compares poorly to the global average of 2.72:1.

Given our goal to create 10 million mass entrepreneurs 2030, and our focus on nanopreneurs (0 to 4 employees), we are likely to meet numerous necessity entrepreneurs through our journey and Professor Schoar’s paper provides some meaningful insights along those lines:

  •  Two types of enterprises differ in their reaction to policy: Labour market regulations & barriers to entry disproportionately affect opportunity entrepreneurs and tighter regulations increase the importance of social networks & risk attitudes into entrepreneurship.
  • Simplification & reduction in licensing leads to scale & new entrants: Mullainathan & Schabl (2008) showed that the number of newly licensed firms increased four-fold in the year after the reform. Out of these newly registered firms, three-quarters were operating informally prior to the reform while one-quarter were new start-ups.
  • To enable necessity to opportunity journeys, we will need more than microfinance: Banerjee et al in an RCT on the impact of MFI credit with 102 slums in Hyderabad discovered that of those people who took a loan, 30% use the loan to start a new business, 22% use it to buy stock for their existing business and the remaining 48% used it to pay off debt, buy household durables and to smooth household consumption. While microcredit had a significant impact on the profit of existing business owners in treatment versus control, it did not have a significant impact on the income, business inputs and number of employees.

For more information, you can reach out to Ashwin Chandrasekhar at

Launch of the Maval Women Farmers Services Producer Company

ALC India in 2005, was launched to find effective ways to solve the persistent problems faced in the livelihoods of economically marginalized communities. Their work across 21 states in India over the last decade has helped them create and test new livelihood models that have transformed producers' lives and usher greater self-reliance. They recently inaugurated the Maval Women Farmers Services Producer Company,  a 10,000 litres per dairy enterprise owned and managed by women entrepreneurs from rural areas belonging to the Pune District in India. More than 12,000 women shareholders of the PC are able to realise anywhere between Rs 2,000 to 5,000 per month as additional income and expand their investments into the household dairy enterprises.

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