Women entrepreneurship in India is on the rise and it’s about time we take notice!
Despite facing numerous obstacles, women across the country are breaking barriers and making their mark in the business world. From founding successful startups to leading established companies, female entrepreneurs in India are paving the way for a brighter future.
So, let’s explore the world of woman entrepreneurship in India and discover the inspiring stories of these trailblazing women!
What is women’s entrepreneurship in India?
Women entrepreneurship in India refers to the process of women taking up entrepreneurial activities, either as a means of self-employment or as a way to establish and grow their own businesses. In recent years, there has been a growing interest and support for women entrepreneurship in India, with various government schemes and initiatives aimed at promoting and empowering women entrepreneurs.
In India, women entrepreneurs face various challenges such as social and cultural barriers, lack of access to finance and markets, limited education and training opportunities, and inadequate support infrastructure. However, despite these challenges, women entrepreneurs in India have been able to make a significant contribution to the economy, especially in the areas of fashion, handicrafts, and food processing.
The Government of India has launched several initiatives to promote and support women entrepreneurship, including the National Skill Development Corporation’s (NSDC) Women Entrepreneurship Program, the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP), and the Stand-Up India scheme. These programs provide various forms of support, including funding, training, and mentorship, to women entrepreneurs.
Overall, women entrepreneurship in India is an emerging trend that has the potential to contribute significantly to the economy and create more employment opportunities for women. However, it is essential to address the challenges and provide adequate support infrastructure to enable women entrepreneurs to succeed.
Importance of women Entrepreneurship
Women entrepreneurship in India plays a crucial role in contributing to the country’s economic growth and development. It not only helps in creating job opportunities but also promotes women’s empowerment and gender equality. Women entrepreneurs bring new ideas, innovation, and diversity to the business world, leading to increased competitiveness and productivity.
Moreover, women entrepreneurs in India have the potential to address social issues such as poverty, health, and education by introducing sustainable and socially responsible business models. They can also cater to the needs of women consumers by providing them with products and services that meet their specific requirements.
Women entrepreneurship in India is crucial for inclusive and sustainable economic growth. It is essential to recognize and support the potential of women entrepreneurs and create an enabling environment for them to thrive
Current Scenario of women entrepreneurship in India
The current state of women entrepreneurship in India is progressing slowly but steadily. There has been a significant increase in the number of women-led businesses in recent years, driven by a combination of government initiatives, increased awareness and education, and access to funding and resources.
Despite this progress, women entrepreneurs still face a number of challenges, including cultural biases and societal expectations, lack of access to finance and credit, and limited access to networks and mentors. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women entrepreneurs, who have been more vulnerable to economic fallout.
Nonetheless, there is a reason for optimism, as more and more women are breaking down barriers and starting their own businesses, contributing to the growth and development of the Indian economy.
Challenges Faced by women entrepreneurs in India
Women entrepreneurs in India face a number of challenges that hinder their ability to succeed in the business world. Some of the main challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in India are discussed below.
Lack of Access to Capital
One of the biggest challenges that women entrepreneurs face in India is the lack of access to capital. Women entrepreneurs often find it difficult to secure funding for their businesses due to the lack of collateral and limited financial resources.
Another challenge that women entrepreneurs face in India is social stereotypes. Women entrepreneurs are often viewed as less capable and less committed to their businesses than men. This stereotype can make it difficult for women to gain the respect and trust of investors, customers, and employees.
Limited Education and Training
Women entrepreneurs in India often have limited access to education and training in business management, marketing, and other key skills required for success in entrepreneurship. This lack of knowledge and skills can make it difficult for women to grow their businesses and compete with their male counterparts.
Family and Cultural Constraints
Women entrepreneurs in India also face family and cultural constraints. Many women are expected to prioritize their families and domestic responsibilities over their businesses, which can make it difficult for them to devote the time and energy necessary to grow their businesses.
Lack of Networking Opportunities
Women entrepreneurs in India often have limited access to networking opportunities, which can make it difficult for them to connect with potential customers, investors, and mentors. This can limit their ability to grow their businesses and compete in the marketplace.
Legal and Regulatory Challenges
Women entrepreneurs in India also face a number of legal and regulatory challenges. These include difficulty obtaining licenses and permits, navigating complex tax laws, and dealing with corruption and bureaucracy.
Infrastructure and Technology Challenges
Finally, women entrepreneurs in India often face infrastructure and technology challenges. Poor infrastructure and limited access to technology can make it difficult for women to reach customers and suppliers, manage their businesses, and compete in the global marketplace.
Success Stories of women entrepreneurs in India
India has seen a great increase in the number of women entrepreneurs in these past years. These women have been breaking barriers and shattering stereotypes to make their mark in the business world. Here are a few success stories of women entrepreneurs in India:
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the chairman and founder of a biopharmaceutical company named Biocon based in Bangalore. She started her career as a brewmaster in Australia, but upon returning to India, she struggled to find a job in the male-dominated brewing industry. She then founded Biocon in 1978 with just Rs. 10,000. Today, the company has a market capitalization of over $8 billion and employs over 11,000 people.
Vandana Luthra is the founder of VLCC, a leading beauty and wellness company in India. She started her journey in 1989 with a small beauty salon in New Delhi, and today, her company has over 300 locations across 121 cities in 16 countries. Fortune India listed Vandana Luthra as the 33rd most powerful woman in business in 2019.
Falguni Nayar is the CEO and founder of an e-commerce platform for beauty and wellness products named Nykaa. She started her career as an investment banker and later worked as the managing director of Kotak Mahindra Capital Company. In 2012, she founded Nykaa with the aim of providing women in India with a one-stop shop for all their beauty and wellness needs. Today, Nykaa is valued at over $1.2 billion.
Richa Kar is the founder and CEO of Zivame, an online lingerie store. She started her journey in 2011 with just Rs. 30,000 and a small team of four people. Today, Zivame is one of the leading lingerie brands in India, with a customer base of over 5 million women. In 2018, Kar was listed as one of the top 40 under-40 entrepreneurs by Fortune India.
Suchi Mukherjee is the founder and CEO of LimeRoad, an e-commerce platform for fashion and lifestyle products. She started her career in investment banking and later worked as the UK head of eBay. In 2012, she founded LimeRoad with the aim of creating a platform that would enable women in India to discover and buy unique fashion products. Today, LimeRoad has over 6 million active users.
These women have not only achieved great success in their respective fields but have also paved the way for other women to follow in their footsteps. Their stories are an inspiration for the millions of women in India who dream of starting their own businesses
Support Systems for women entrepreneurs in India
India has been witnessing a growing number of women entrepreneurs in recent years. However, starting and scaling a business in a patriarchal society can be challenging for women entrepreneurs. Hence, various support systems have been established in India to assist women entrepreneurs in overcoming these challenges and achieving their entrepreneurial goals. Here are some of the support systems for women entrepreneurs in India:
Bharatiya Mahila Bank
It is a bank exclusively for women that provides customized financial products and services to women entrepreneurs. The bank offers various financial schemes such as SME loans, working capital loans, and term loans to women entrepreneurs.
Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP)
It is a government initiative launched by the NITI Aayog that aims to provide support to women entrepreneurs in India. The platform provides mentorship, networking opportunities, and access to funding for women entrepreneurs.
National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC)
It is a government organization that provides assistance to small-scale industries, including women entrepreneurs. NSIC offers training programs, marketing support, and financial assistance to women entrepreneurs.
SIDBI Stree Shakti Package
It is a scheme launched by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to provide financial assistance to women entrepreneurs. This scheme was introduced to offer collateral-free loans up to Rs. 50 lakhs to women entrepreneurs in India.
It is a scheme launched by the West Bengal government to promote women’s entrepreneurship in the state. The scheme provides financial assistance, training programs, and marketing support to women entrepreneurs.
Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WICCI)
It is a national chamber of commerce that aims to promote women’s entrepreneurship in India. WICCI provides a platform for networking, mentorship, and business development for women entrepreneurs.
It is a global initiative launched by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) to support women entrepreneurs. TiE Women provides mentorship, networking opportunities, and access to funding for women entrepreneurs.
In addition to these support systems, various private organizations, accelerators, and incubators are also providing support to women entrepreneurs in India. For instance, Zone Startups India, WE-Hub, and SHEROES are some of the organizations that provide support to women entrepreneurs in India.
Women entrepreneurship in India has been growing steadily over the past few years, with more and more women breaking barriers and starting their own businesses.
While there are still challenges that women face, such as access to capital and societal norms that discourage women from entering the workforce, there has been a shift in mindset towards accepting women as capable entrepreneurs.
The Indian government has also taken steps to support women entrepreneurs through various initiatives and programs. With continued support and encouragement, women entrepreneurs in India have the potential to make significant contributions to the economy and society.
*image source from Google
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