She Is The Game Changer Women Entrepreneurship In India

Women entrepreneurs are the need of the hour in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to ensure an innovative and advanced economy.

Women entrepreneurship denotes an important engine of socio-economic growth as it has a leading role in generating prolific work, achieving gender equality, and reducing poverty. India will soon have one of the largest working-age populations, and this demography will act as a  dividend only if the women become equal partners. Women-entrepreneurs remain a vibrant component that not only will boost the economy, but also will render transformational social and personal development.

Urgency

A crucial segment of development is the women, who despite comprising almost half of the population remain under-represented and disadvantaged. According to World Bank, Google and Bain & Company reports, 20 per cent of all enterprises of the country are owned by women. Though this marks a 7% growth in the last decade, in reality, quite a few of these women-owned businesses are governed by men. Despite enjoying a better position in education and healthcare, women remain to suffer economic, social, and familial barriers. In this scenario, Entrepreneurship can bring a change and unlock the growth potential as it will serve a cyclic purpose of bringing independence, autonomy, and well-being for women.

Optimistic Landscape

This review of the published reports of GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor), India, exhibits the growth trajectory, evaluating the women-entrepreneurial status in India across the past years. Table-1 shows steady progress of the Total-Entrepreneurial-Activity (TEA) of women, applauding the interventions of the Government and other sectors. However, the difference between male and female TEA appears almost status-quo, reminding the need for larger efforts. 

Table-1: TEA (%)

Year

Female-TEA

Difference between Male and Female TEA

2019-2020

12.7

4.4

2018-2019

8.7

5.3

2017-2018

8.2

2.1

2016-2017

7.6

5.9

2015-16

7.9

5.7

2014

4.58

3.9

2013

6.4

6.8

Table-2 exhibits incremental progress for ‘Perceived-opportunity’ and ‘Perceived-capability’, referring to perceiving good opportunities to start a firm and believing in individual skills. However, there is also an upsurge in ‘Fear-of-Failure’. But it often is similar to success-anxiety, and may not always be a deterrent, but act as a motivator.

Table-2: Perception and Attitude (% Female)

Year

Perceived-Opportunity

Perceived-Capability

Fear-of-Failure

2018-2019

44.4

43.9

43.5

2017-2018

43.4

41.09

42.9

2016-2017

40.8

39.5

38.8

2015-16

31

28

43

2014

43.2

40.8

48.8

2013

32

43

37

The 2019-2020 GEM-India report reveals the sign of a brighter future. It illustrates that 85 per cent of women perceive that they possess the capability to start a business, and 83 per cent (higher than male) of females perceive the availability of opportunities. Again, 55 per cent of females express fear of failure, and this increase justifies the need for guided motivation and structured training to encourage women in taking the required step.

Imperatives

The stereotypes that begin with domestic commitments often go up to the venture-capitalist who thinks that women are good for a few domicile sectors. Several stones are yet to be unturned and crossed before women-entrepreneurship in India creates milestones. 

The study of the phenomenon provides insight into a few imperative measures to create a support framework for empowering women, and in turn, jump-start the economy. 

1. Generating Employment 

The MSMEs are key to long-term employment generation. It can be expected that women-led enterprises will hire other women, generating income for them as these women-entrepreneurs will be free from any kind of gender bias.

2. Enabling Positive Social Consequence 

According to International Monetary Fund, economically independent women ensure better health, better education, and wise reproduction choice for self and family. It is pertinent for all to take responsibility towards creating psychological and social well-being for women to foster entrepreneurship. 

3. Embracing Technology

A conscious measure needs to be envisaged to remove the digital divide for women, especially, in the semi-urban and rural areas. Efforts to bring in digital literacy will bring forth empowerment. 

4. Training and Development

Beginning with awareness-creation, capacity-building, motivation, to facilitating from ideation to implementation, diverse skill-based Entrepreneurship Training programmes should be reimagined, and aligned with the new-normal environment.

5. Targeted Mentorship Model

Informal, and formal Mentorship Platforms need to be created to reach out to the women for hand-holding. Initiatives have begun, and the same need to widen their framework and reach, leveraging the digital benefit.

6. Entrepreneurship Education

Structured education in entrepreneurship will ensure that women entrepreneurs can be chiselled for a successful outcome. Formal education always renders the confidence for taking the calculated giant step into entrepreneurship.

7. Acceleration of Finances

Tailored loans, finances earmarked for women, availability of supportive schemes and bail-out packages, the easy application process, transparency, etc. will enhance the ease of doing business. 

8. Focused Institutionalization 

The establishment of women-centric Centres will ensure a focused approach to foster women-entrepreneurs. The podium will facilitate constructive networking and a healthy mindset

Pivoting Power

We celebrate the women entrepreneurs who are at the wheel of big business corporations, generating huge turnover. Let their determination be infectious for all the other women who would soon work against all barriers and conditioning.  The hurdles of a patriarchal society are multifold and unique. Women suffer a dearth of self-belief, conditioned by an ecosystem. Not just by being discriminated, or dominated but also in the name of love, and protection women are constantly and systematically trained to be risk-averse, and inept decision-makers. It is time when an Indian woman needs to embrace the path of self-discovery and identify her abilities to move ahead with confidence, the only asset she should hold onto.

A better gender mix in the entrepreneurial ecosystem will witness an innovative, technologically advanced, robust Indian economy. 

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