The modern era is the era of empowerment and upsurges in the condition of women. Be it the political landscape or the corporate scenarios; women have stepped outside the boundaries of homes and kitchens. They have confidently taken up the roles of leaders and bosses and are rubbing shoulders with the best of corporate leaders in the industry.
In a male-dominated business environment, finding women entrepreneurs with successful enterprises is a real challenge. India has produced some great female entrepreneurs in the form of Indira Nooyi-Chairperson PepsiCo, Upasana Taku-Founder Mobikwik, Neeru Sharma-Infibeam, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw-Founder of Biocon, Vandana Luthra-Founder of VLCC and Shahnaz Hussain –CEO of Shehnaz Herbals. They are great role models for aspiring women entrepreneurs in India.
Women Entrepreneurship in India: an Overview
|Estimated total businesses in India||58.5 million|
|Estimated total women-led businesses in India||8.05 million|
|Percentage of Female Entrepreneurs in India||14%|
|Distribution of Women Enterprises in India||33% in Agriculture, 67% in Manufacturing& Retail|
|Average Employment in Women-owned Enterprise||1.67|
|% of firms with female partnerships||24%|
|Employment provided by Women Enterprises||13.5 million Indians|
|Schemes for Women empowerment provided by current Indian Government/banks||Annapurna Scheme
Stree Shakti Package
Mahila Udyam Nidhi
Problems Faced By Women Entrepreneurs in India
Women entrepreneurs in India have their own set of pitfalls and challenges. Only about 14% of businesses in India are run by women, with 57% of these being started by women alone. In a patriarchal society, women face severe restrictions to break the barriers of gender disparity, lack of resources, and inappropriate networking.
Let us explore some significant problems faced by women entrepreneurs in India:
- Business Loan for Women Entrepreneurs
- Lack of necessary business inputs like raw material, manpower
- No or limited family support
- Limited education and research opportunities
- Inadequate infrastructure
- Social limitations.
Reasons for restraint are numerous and call for the empowerment of women to break free first from their low achievement mind-set. An educated, skilled, and ambitious Indian woman will be powered to train her mind in the right direction to achieve her business targets. A little support and motivation in the right direction can work wonders for her and propel her on the right path.
Empowering Women Entrepreneurship in India
Providing Capital Access
The essential element of an enterprise is finance. Women in India generally face financial restrictions as there is no property in their names that can be signed off as collateral for financial loans. An excellent start to an enterprise with a solid financial base can pave the way for steady business. Capital access in the form of fixed and current assets as well as working capital loans or small business loans for women entrepreneurs can make a big difference. With cooperation from the government now, credit lines and business loans for women are made available.
Under the Start-up India Scheme initiative by the Government of India, several programs provide free co-working space for women-led entrepreneurs, with over 50 seats available.
Sustainable Women-only Collective Enterprises
Women across all levels of society are capable of being drawn into the economic wave. It should be noted that women entrepreneurs do not belong to the urban population alone. Proper guidance and business initiative to rural women can also make leaders emerge. Women entrepreneurs can come up with sustainable enterprises that deal with livelihood activities like dairy farming, basket making, tailoring, organic farming, etc.
Initiatives for educating such participants in the business know-how should be taken in the form of lectures and workshops.
Social Network Build-Up
Women, by default, have a knack of conversations and building up a relation. This skill should be harnessed, and women entrepreneurs should be taught the significance and skill of building up a network with various levels of authority like customers, clients, suppliers, buyers, local government agencies, etc.
Building up a support system cannot be done alone, and women should be encouraged to overcome the fear of rejection and doubt. They should stretch their horizons across multiple channels for visibility.
Availability of Role Models and Mentors
Women entrepreneurs who are just beginning their business venture are always in need of appropriate mentors. They can look up to them in times when the business flow is low, and the start-ups face teething problems. The availability of coaches and mentors who have carved a niche for themselves in the corporate world can provide encouraging relief to them. In the initial stages of a start-up, when uncertainties loom up and doubt clouds the mind of young female entrepreneurs, proper mentorship campaigns can work wonders. Peer networks, industry connect, and investor meets through proper mentorship can help build a robust support system.
Education is the forerunner for any skill. Educating the women entrepreneur class in business ethics, policies, procedures, and other corporate skills become essential to make the new women entrepreneurs aware of the corporate environment. Knowledge about current market strategies, funding alternatives, supplier chains, marketing, and advertising is necessary for the correct visibility of the product or the service that they are trying to sell.
Appropriate Prioritization of Tasks
Women have the double responsibility of taking care of both work and home. Prioritization of tasks becomes mandatory for them if they want to climb up the corporate ladder. Mentorship workshops and campaigns can be conducted to make new women entrepreneurs from all sections of society. There are hundreds of decisions to be taken daily in the business environment, and only correct prioritization of the tasks can help in proper scheduling and execution.
With the advancement in education and mind-set of the Indian population, women entrepreneurship in India looks up to a bright future. Opportunities are available more than before. Women will have to take initiatives, empower themselves, and make use of resources available to break the glass ceiling and set up their business ventures. Women empowerment in the right direction will not only positively impact the lives of these women, but their families and the society at large as well.