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[Yojana Archive] Women Entrepreneurship

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A woman entrepreneur is the one who assumes dominant financial control (minimum financial interest of 51 percent of the capital) in an enterprise.

Status of women entrepreneurs in India

  • According to the National Sample Survey, women entrepreneurs account for only 14% of all enterprises in India.
  • Women are founders of only 6% of the Indian Start-ups.
  • In terms of ownership of equity, business stakes held by women are highest in India’s manufacturing sector (mainly related to paper and tobacco products) even exceeding 50% .

Various hurdles for women

  • Male dominant economy: Women have to work in the male-dominant world facing discrimination and social stigma.
  • Familial Constraints: Even though a lot of women have the potential as well as ambition to make it to the top in arenas that are usually dictated by a stark male presence.
  • Small scale: The majority of the businesses are self-funded and operate on a small scale.
  • Uncertain times: At the same time, uncertainty is an important concern for women. They fear failing, especially if the people are sceptical about their business capability.
  • Under-representation: Despite India’s rapid economic growth in recent decades, India still has very few women entrepreneurs.
  • Lack of Funds: It is not unheard of for women entrepreneurs to be denied basic enablers such as easy access to funds and sponsorships.
  • Lack of enterprise: With fewer female business founders, the pool of women who can mentor and advise fellow entrepreneurs is consequently smaller.

These factors restrict women’s participation in the business sphere.

Various Initiatives

The Government of India has taken various steps towards women’s economic empowerment by way of initiatives like:

  1. Stree Shakti Package
  2. Udyogini Scheme
  3. Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme
  4. Stand Up India Scheme
  5. Mahila e-Haat
  6. Mahila Bank
  7. Mahila Coir Yojana
  8. Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP)

Why need women entrepreneurs?

There are various reasons why women Entrepreneurs are always required in the world of business.

  • Better management of finance: It is a fact that women can easily utilize the funds whether it is raised for home expenses or the business expenditure.
  • Access and Vigilance: The basic characteristic of an Entrepreneur is that they must stay high on the updated information related to science and technology which would be helpful in the business field.
  • Self-employment: As all women are doing study and capable to grab the job opportunities but due to less availability of positions in their field of interest they are facing unemployment.
  • Empowerment: Women have always a misconception in their minds that they cannot manage or run a business like other men.  
  • Breakthrough orthodox views: In this world of non-conventional business fields, women need to get up and stay strong to change the conventional thinking of segregating different sectors for women and men as well.
  • Narrow down the Gender Gap:  Women Entrepreneurship motivates women to inspire and run a business.
  • Better company culture: It has been observed that women-owned enterprises provide a well-developed and safe atmosphere within the company.  

Way Forward

  • The key drivers of women entrepreneurship are investment in infrastructure and education, which predict a higher proportion of businesses started by women in India.
  • Better education and health that increase female labour-force participation, reduced discrimination and wage differentials that encourage more effort, and improved career-advancement.
  • The government can also provide interest-free loans to encourage women entrepreneurs, increase the subsidy for loans and make provisions of microcredit system to the women entrepreneurs.
  • Existing women entrepreneurs have an important role to play as they can reach out to other aspiring female entrepreneurs in their region.
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