Connect with us


Empowering Indian women will add millions of businesses, jobs: Facebook




New Delhi, March 1 

As four out of five women in India wish to become entrepreneurs, the country is missing out on a potential 15.5 million new businesses and 64 million additional jobs by not addressing the challenges facing such women, a new Facebook study said on Wednesday.

The study revealed that if just 52 percent of women were empowered to start a business today, it would not only boost economic growth, but also help to build 15.5 million new businesses, and create 64 million additional jobs — all by the end of 2021.

“If we were to harness the largely untapped potential of women’s entrepreneurship and provide them greater support, it could lead to more jobs being created, economic growth and more diverse and representative small business communities,” Ankhi Das, Director of Public Policy, Facebook India, South and Central Asia, told reporters here.

Women have had tremendous potential but often lacked platforms that can harness their potential, but Facebook is opening up great opportunities for them, added Aruna Sundarajan, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

“We are very optimistic about partnering with platforms like Facebook to empower women. We are trying to forge deep partnerships with platforms like Google, Cisco and Intel for the betterment of woman’s livelihood through technology,” Sundarajan told the gathering.

Ahead of the International Women’s Day that falls on March 8, Facebook also launched “SheLeadsTech”, a programme that will give women-founded/co-founded start-ups access to a year-long programme that provides tools, mentorship and resources to help overcome some of the barriers they face.

“Facebook, with its two powerful initiatives #SheMeansBusiness and the new #SheLeadsTech programme, has opened up lot of opportunities for young woman entrepreneurs whether in small towns (with access to internet) or suburban areas — with or without access to financial resources,” Sundarajan emphasised.

The year-long #SheLeadsTech programme will include access to “FBStart” which grants access to FBStart tools and resources and mentorship through a regular cadence of interactions with a pool of mentors.

According to the findings, the most commonly cited reason that prevents women from setting up their business in India is the constraint of family responsibilities or commitments (38 percent).

Other key barriers are lack of access to finance (29 percent), worry over personal financial security (30 percent), and having an idea but not knowing where to get started (30 percent).

Interestingly, small businesses on Facebook tell a different story.

There are more than two million active small businesses Pages on Facebook in India — and an increasing number of women are using this community to start and grow successful businesses.

In the last five years (between 2012 and 2016), the number of new women-owned SMB Pages on Facebook in India has increased seven-fold, growing 85 percent year on year from 2015 to 2016.

Nearly 87 percent of women surveyed also agree that having access to the right digital tools and support would help them get their business off the ground.

“We see amazing examples of how digital can be the equalizer on Facebook every day. How it gives women access to new opportunities, new markets, new ideas, all from their own home,” Das added.

Facebook’s SheMeansBusiness was launched on International Women’s Day in 2016.

Through this initiative, Facebook has visited 18 cities across six states in India, providing skills training to more than 14,000 small business and self-help groups including 4,500 women entrepreneurs across the country.

This year, Facebook is targeting eight new states including Jammu and Kashmir.

“With technology empowering Indians all over, women can benefit the most. It is because traditionally women do not have access to other forms of support. The easiest way to reach out is technology platforms which gives them ascess to best practices, mentors as well as help in crowdfunding,” Sundarajan said.



Israel opens probe into Facebook after data scandal



Cambridge Analytica data scandal

JERUSALEM: Israeli authorities said Thursday (Mar 22) they had launched an investigation into Facebook’s activities following a scandal over the hijacking of personal data from millions of the social network’s users.

Israel’s privacy protection agency “informed Facebook” of the probe after revelations over data transfers from the tech giant to consultant Cambridge Analytica, the agency said.

It said it was also looking into “the possibility of other infringements of the privacy law regarding Israelis”, it said in a statement released by the justice ministry.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper has reported that Israeli hackers offered material to Cambridge Analytica.

But an Israeli justice ministry spokeswoman said the probe did not involve hackers, focusing rather on whether Israeli users’ rights were violated.

Under Israel’s privacy law, personal data may only be used with consent and for the purpose for which it was handed over, the privacy protection agency said.


Continue Reading


Zebra Technologies launch 2 mobile computing devices for SMBs



Zebra Technologies

New Delhi, March 22: Expanding its portfolio of mobile computers, Zebra Technologies, a global leader in providing solutions and services to enterprises, on Thursday introduced “TC20” mobile computer and “TC25” rugged smartphone in India.

“TC20” will cost $500-$600 while and “TC25” will be available for $530-$600 depending on the specifications, the company said.

“Until now, Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) had options like struggling with the risk and frustration of using consumer devices or running their operations manually with pen and paper. ‘TC20’ and ‘TC25’ give SMBs a better choice,” Deep Agarwal, Regional Sales Director-India, Zebra Technologies, said in a statement.

Both the devices feature 4.3-inch screens and run Android Nougat Operating System (OS).

Zebra’s “TC20” is a lightweight and durable mobile device developed for indoor use by sectors such as retail and hospitality while “TC25” would allow real-time operational visibility on the field for SMBs in logistics or services industries, the company added.

The devices also support voice communications over wireless LAN while “TC25” supports 4G/LTE connectivity too.

“TC20” and “TC25” have been designed for 1D and 2D barcode scanning and Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tag reading.

The TC2-series devices can capture barcodes substantially quicker than the cameras on consumer smartphones, thus saving time, the company said.

Designed as an enterprise line of business smartphone, both the devices are powered by software such as Datawedge, StageNow and Mobility Extensions (Mx).


Continue Reading


Anxiety, depression can trigger smartphone addiction




London, March 22: People who are less emotionally stable and suffer from anxiety and depression are more likely to be addicted to their smartphones, according to a research.

Emotional stability is characterised by being emotionally resilient. The study found that being less emotionally stable was associated with problematic smartphone behaviour.

People who struggle with their mental health are more likely to intensively use their smartphone as a form of therapy and that the less conscientious individuals are, the more likely they are to be addicted to their phones.

As levels of anxiety increase, problematic smartphone use also increases, the findings showed.

“Problematic smartphone use is more complex than previously thought and our research has highlighted the interplay of various psychological factors in the study of smartphone use,” Zaheer Hussain, Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Derby in Britain, said in a statement.

“This is because people may be experiencing problems in their lives such as stress, anxiety, depression, family problems, so in that state they are emotionally unstable, meaning they may seek respite in very excessive smartphone use. This is worrying,” Hussain said.

For the study, a team of psychologists conducted an online study with 640 smartphone users, aged between 13-69 years, to find out the association between smartphone use and personality traits.

The results showed that people who are “closed off” or less open with their emotions are more likely to have problems with smartphone use.

“They may be engaging in passive social network use, where you spend a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, browsing other peoples’ comments, pictures, and posts, and not posting anything of your own and not engaging in discussion with others, so there is no real positive social interaction while social networking,” Hussain noted.


Continue Reading

Most Popular