Are you aware that women-owned businesses are one of the fastest-growing segments of our economy? Still, according to the Government survey, women constitute only 13.76% of the total entrepreneurs, i.e., 8.05 million out of the 58.5 million entrepreneurs. We are in the era of globalization and digitization and we need to move our feet equally with these changes.
India is in developing stage right now and each sector is increasing day by day. Right now startups Boom In India. With the whole big picture let’s get onto the main topic woman entrepreneurship. A method where woman initiates a business including all the profit and loss, availability of resources, risks, face challenges and discrimination to manage the business independently. Women empowerment has taken many forms – improved female labor force participation, reduced intolerance and wage differentials that support the greater effort, and improved advancement practices that uphold talented women into headship and executive roles.
Day by day woman moving out from there comfort zone and trying there hands into the startups and small scale of Businesses. The rise and effective in women entrepreneur and their contribution to the national economy is quite visible in India. Often women were invisible as they worked side by side with their husband in businesses and may have only stepped into a leadership position when their husband died. Women entrepreneurs are creating new opportunities for themselves and other individuals to provide society with a different perspective and solution to management organization and business problems as well.
Women Entrepreneurship Components
- Women entrepreneurs are highly self- motivated & self-directed, they also exhibit a high internal locus of control & achievement. Researchers sources that women business owners comprises certain specific characteristics that enhance their creativity and create new ideas and ways of doing things.
- The literature on the subject often cites data from the Sixth Economic Census, which was conducted between January 2013 and April 2014. Out of 58.5 million businesses counted by that census, 8.05 million were owned by women, which corresponds to a rate of 13.76 per cent of women among the total number of entrepreneurs in India.
- The World Bank Enterprise Survey, meanwhile, found that in 2014, the percentage of firms with female participation in ownership was 10.7 per cent. While more recent data is not available, interview partners, as well as recent media reports, highlighted a steady rise in the number of startups founded by women. According to the Small Business Administration starting a business needs every kind of knowledge.
- However, an entrepreneur must have the knowledge about the budgeting, financing and marketing etc. Moreover, it is important to keep an open and positive frame of mind. One has to be confident enough in order to convert it into reality.
- One key characteristic of all successful entrepreneurs is that they have a vision. They give birth and livleness to their vision/business with their personal vision or through finding a way to make it happened. This vision maintain their focus and able to bring innovative product or service to the market.
Entrepreneurs are also very self-motivated.
- They don‘t wait for someone to tell them to get to work. They are self-propelled and do the work because they want to do. They are aware that it takes discipline and self-sacrifice to convert your dreams into reality.
- At this stage, it may be up to the entrepreneur to oversee and implement all aspects of the business. To make it work, one has to have an unfailing belief in oneself and ideas.
- Times will get hard and it‘s likely that your business won‘t be an instant success. Many businesses fail into the first few years, so it takes high courage to know that and still give it a go.
- The one who succeeded know that it takes definite efforts to make it happen. Surely, it will make you suffer setbacks and face hardship but you will also be gracefully rewarded if you stick with it. You will be able to be your own boss and see your ideas come to fruition.
- This is what most people never experience. It requires comfort and a challenge to know that much of your success depends on what effort you expend.
- One needs to think very hard before deciding to quit the present job and starting own business. It is not impossible to do but takes lots of sacrifices, other than the following talents:
- Women work participation is infirm in India in comparison to selected countries of the world. Women work participation in India is 31.6 % whereas in the USA it is 45 %, Canada 42 %, UK 43 %, France 32 %, Indonesia 40%, Sri Lanka and Brazil both 35%.
- In India, it is experienced that men usually take the lead in the entrepreneurial world. With the highly educated upcoming cultural norms, more and more women are acquiring entrepreneurship as their career.
- The development and education of women entrepreneurship should become an imperative aspect.
A number of policies and programs are being implemented for the development of women entrepreneurship in India, though women have played a vital role in the community, their entrepreneurial flair has not been properly penetrated due to the lower status of women in the society.
- Well, do you know that the women role has been explicitly recognized only from the Fifth Five Year Plan (1974-78). They highly exercised shifting the approach from women welfare to women development and empowerment. The Government of India declared the year 2001 as women empowerment year and is continued with the same.
- As an imperative need exist to strengthen and streamline the role of women in the development of diverse sectors. So that women dare to take risks, go out and become successful entrepreneurs. Women across India are showing a concern to be economically independent and self-sufficient.
- Women entrepreneurship and economic development run side by side. As you already know that the entrepreneurial process is the one and the same for men and women, however in practice, many challenges are faced by women, which are of entirely different dimensions and magnitudes, which prevent them from showcasing their full potential as entrepreneurs.
- With the time and the growth of MSME, many women have embarked into entrepreneurship and flourishing their enterprises successfully. With efficient education, work experience, improved economic condition and financial opportunities more women are venturing into business..
What Holding Them Back
- As many Indian women have ambitions and perspective towards entrepreneurship, it is often more difficult for them to succeed. In fact, India has been found to be in a group of countries where women business owners cope with less desirable conditions, proclaimed cultural biases, and a shortage of business resources such as investments, capital, training, advancement and development.
- A society in which women fail to realise their full potential and loses out on the significant potential for innovation, economic growth, and job creation.
- For instance, a recent study showed that in India, measures to close the gender gap could lead to a 6.8% gain in GDP. Another study estimated that advancing women’s equality in India could boost its GDP by $0.7 trillion in 2025 or 16% compared to the ‘business as usual’ scenario.
- Furthermore, entrepreneurship persists significant to harness the economic potential of women and thus, achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030.
Factors which are holding them back:
- In this male dominating society, many Indian women often do assume greater responsibility at home and spend, on an average, five times as much time than men on housework, household care, and other unpaid activities.
- While shuffling and managing between both home and company can be stimulating, family support is considered a core success factor for Indian female entrepreneurs.
- It is really important for families to understand and adapt the modern outlook and understand the passion and accept the individuality of women.
Unconscious gender bias
- We agree or not but deep inside we all know that society is bias in terms of gender. We every day get to hear about the phrase, quotes, slogans, taglines for equality but do we all implement that in our daily life?
- During a poll it was observed that more than 1,200 entrepreneurs in eight markets, researchers found that 35 per cent of women experienced gender bias and, on average, raised 5 per cent less capital than men.
- Every third or may more than that, female entrepreneurs suffer gender bias when they try to raise capital according to a multinational survey that highlights a yawning gap between the way potential investors treat women and men.
- Women not only starve for the family support but they struggled with various entrepreneurial challenges, and definitely, gender discrimination is in the count.
- Though being hardworking and have faith that the best ideas will prevail, and the brightest and most passionate entrepreneurs succeed.
- Conversely, senior women entrepreneurs with much more experience are rather disillusioned and reported being a woman founder as difficult.
- Do you really think that it is possible that the younger entrepreneurs had not yet experienced unequal treatment based on their gender? Gender discrimination still exists in our country, the discrepancy of perceptions could also indicate a lack of awareness of subtle bias, which is often worse than obtrusive discrimination.
Confidence in business skills
- You might have heard a lot and also been quoted that “business is not a woman’s world,” and the belief that men are more competent when it comes to financial matters.
- As such attitudes reflect in communication, women entrepreneurs are often treated with less respect and they sense doubt when interacting with business partners.
- Countering such conflicting feedback makes it more challenging for women to develop a business mindset. However, unsurprisingly, women often have lower confidence in their own business skills.
- In fact, highly successful women often struggle with self-doubt and underestimate their abilities and performance, while the opposite has been observed for men.
- Moreover, it has been found that practically everywhere in the world, men tend to think that they are much smarter than women, yet arrogance and overconfidence are inversely related to leadership talent.
Access to investment
- While entrepreneurship is an inherently risky undertaking, women are often easily assumed to be less willing to take risks. The women have been typecasted and due to which fewer women actively approach investors and are more reluctant to divest stakes.
- Moreover, if women entrepreneur do approach investors, they are perceived differently than men, and investors have been found to prefer pitches presented by men as compared to those by women, despite identical content.
- Further difficulties with procuring funding occur due to the fact that Indian women rarely own property, which can be used as a guarantee for loans.
- Moreover, about 79% of women-owned ventures are self-financed, but families are often hesitant to support their daughters’ entrepreneurial ventures financially.
Networks and relationships
- Solely being in the same networks as men are not enough for women to have equal access to the same opportunities.
- In industries historically dominated by men like financial services, tech, and IT that rely on referrals for business growth or career advancement, the tendency for people to favor men when making these connections or referrals leads to men reaping more benefits.
- Women tend to feel alienated in this culture and this explains why? women entrepreneurs do not feel comfortable in prominent industry networks. Lacking such networks further impedes progress of women entrepreneurs because as the broader study identified in the Indian context relationships strongly matter.
- Women entrepreneurs miss important opportunities to mingle and connect with people in the market and thus, struggle even more than male entrepreneurs with getting access into the market.
Biggest Challenges and Solutions
Lack of Education:
- Women are generally denied higher education, especially in rural areas and underdeveloped countries. Women are not allowed to enrich their knowledge of technical and research areas to introduce new products.
- I guess everyone has heard the slogan “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” it still exists and the society needs to be evolved.
Low risk-taking ability:
- Risk can be defined as a possibility of failure or loss of other consequences. Low-level education provides low-level self-confidence and self-reliance to the womenfolk to engage in the business gathering this is continuous risk-taking.
- In comparison the risk tolerance ability of women high compared to the male members, while in business it is found the opposite to that.
Lack of business information:
- An important aspect of running your own business is the ability to socialize within the business-related whole information.
- women need to know the background of business how will things going to work, management of the business, financial aspect for the business. The whole thing will work perfectly when the base of the business stands strong.
Responsibilities as a mother
- The duration when women entrepreneurs become mothers, they often encounter further difficulties holding them back. On the one hand, they are not entitled to maternity benefits.
- On the other, when women start working again, they need help and some women entrepreneurs live with or close to the grandparents, who can look after the kids.
- However, those who are less fortunate, struggling with a lack of options for child-care. Some women consider hiring nursemaids, but again, negative perceptions come into play, risk cannot be taken with the small babies. With the crime rising day by day in India.
Security and stability in work and public spaces
- Women’s security and its major faced issues are discussed and debated all around the globe. Still every year the number of reports on sexual harassment is increasing at an alarming rate.
- Safety is the major aspect women in India majorly deal into, safety at the workspace as well as during commutes between the office and home is an issue which needs to be resolved.
- No matter which city which corner of India it screams for the justice of women. Nobody has forgotten the Nirbhaya and Priyanka Reddy case, cities continue to be notoriously poor in ensuring women’s safety and has high rates of sexual crimes.
- Moreover, the perception of danger reinforces social norms, which restrict women’s mobility and thereby, their economic participation and freedom.
General Problem faced by each woman working and standing out there.
- Derogatory remarks on females workers.
- Gender discrimination.
- Unpleasant complements
- Body shaming, stroking or grabbing them without consent.
- Sharing pornographic materials through notes or emails.
- Spreading rumors about personal life.
- Rape or attempted rape and so on.
The Solutions to the Problems Faced by Women Entrepreneur
- Encouragement is a basic yet essential factor to make women entrepreneurship higly successful and valuable. Encouraging women for any sector such as sector education, career to make them more confident for business.
- There is no doubt in this that woman lead differently then men qualities such as holistic, social, inclusive are strengths that will help you to succeed global economy.
Training and Education:
- Government and private organization should become forward to providing training sessions on business. they should train them who has willing to do something big and meaningful to make herself independent and powerful.
- Women in India lack self-confidence in their potency and proficiency over the last few years the outlook of Indian women is changing and they are fast emerging as a potential entrepreneur.
Build a support system:
- Women entrepreneurs need support to start a business with ideas that resonate with their abilities, interest and skills.
- Provide the learning platform and associations serve as the best way for women to interact. over a period evolved as a strong support system.
Improvised Saftey and Security
Sexual Harassment Policy:
Any big/small Organisations must have a Sexual Harassment Policy which defines:
- Sexual harassment and its forms
- Explain the zero-tolerance approach
- Educate on inappropriate conduct
- Outline consequences
Create Awareness Among The Surroundings:
- It’s regressive to know that many organization and people, in general, are still not aware of women’s safety in the workplace. It’s very clear from the statistics and cases on sexual harassment in the workplace.
Encourage Women to Express:
- Generally, women facing sexual harassment doesn’t speak up. We as a society are responsible for this. We teach our girl child to behave and act in a particular way.
- Since childhood, we give them a set of do’s and don’t. This conditioning later stops women to express. They are ashamed.
- They fear consequences. Low self-esteem and lack of information are also the key reasons for them to suffer.
Various Opportunities For Women Entrepreneurs
Women Entrepreneurship is definitely an explication to manage the economic disparity and accelerating impact of technological and informational forces. To inclination are that the impediment women entrepreneurs have the power of diverting the forces towards development and progression by putting in their own potentials and skills to improve the economic conditions of any country.
Educated women entrepreneurs (Literates)
- Eco-Friendly Technology
- It Enabled Enterprises
- Event Management
- Herbal and Health Care
Un-Educated women entrepreneurs (Illiterates)
- Tourism Industry
- Plastic Materials
- Mineral Water
- Food, Fruits and Vegetable Processing
- Cold-storage factories
- Soap factories
- Poultry farming
- Textile industries
- Silk enterprise
- Leather factories
- Packaging and packing
- Pulses mills
- Rice mills
- Cattle rearing etc.
Well, India is evolving and there are plenty of women entrepreneurs who are the inspiration for not only other women but the whole society. India’s female entrepreneurship environment exposes statistics of improvement. Confinding women searching for opportunities to start ventures (60%), validation with respect to skills (52%) and do not feel the impending doom of failure for their startup (57%). Here is the list of 15 successful women entrepreneurs in India:
- ADITI GUPTA- Founder, Menstrupedia
- Suchi Mukherjee- Founder & CEO Lime Road
- Vandana Luthra – Founder, VLCC
- Shahnaz Hussian – CEO of Shahnaz Herbals
- Richa Kar – Co-founder of Zivame
- Upasana Taku- Cofounder- Mobikwik
- ADITI BALBIR- Founder, V Resorts
- ANKITA GABA- Co-Founder, SocialSamosa.com
- ASHWINI ASOKAN- Founder, Mad Street Den.
- CHITRA GURNANI DAGA- Co-founder, Thrillophilia
- DEBADUTTA UPADHYAYA- CEO & Co-founder, Timesaverz Dotcom Private Limited
- FALGUNI NAYAR- CEO, Nykaa
- GARIMA SATIJA- Founder, PoshVine
- HARPREET KAUR- Co-founder, Love 4 Apple
- PRANSHU BHANDARI- Co-Founder, CultureAlley