The land of the ancient philosophy of ‘Ardhanareshwar’ the union of two opposite yet complementary forces to create balance in the system. The same philosophy holds even today be it economics, politics or any other walk of like. To have a continuous balance, it must be that women participate equally at all levels from labour to decision-makers and entrepreneurs. In 2019, India ranked 52 on the Mastercard Index for Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) – a list of 58 nations released by Mastercard. Indian women have been entrepreneurs for generations and they prove this by startup success like Zivame.
Women entrepreneur and current scenario
The Google and Bain & Company report of 2020 suggests that there are 13.5 to 15.7 million women-owned enterprises making up to 20 per cent of all the enterprises in the country. There is 6% from 14% in the previous decade to 20% in the current decade. The same report also highlights that “Despite improvements in social parameters, India’s growth does not translate into the economic inclusion and development of women,”.
Although the revelation is not motivating, the report points out that the financial inclusion of the women in the country could further be facilitated by women entrepreneurship. This is only possible by providing the necessary support and encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit in women entrepreneurs.
India is the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world, with 11% of the adult population being directly engaged in the early stage of entrepreneurship. The women entrepreneur’s share is also rising, at present, there are 8.05 million in numbers out of 58.5 million entrepreneurs in India
Women constitute around 14% of the total entrepreneurship i.e. 8.05 million out of the total 58.5 million entrepreneurs in India as per the budget of 2020.
Factors which have been game-changers for women entrepreneurs in India
Increasing attention to workplace diversity has ensured that more women have access to enterprise opportunities. Even as the business world of the 21st century is expanding to a global marketplace, females with a decent background can not only work in a domestic or national context but also have access to international working cultures, enabling them to acquire and improve their expertise in the selected field. This has enabled him in turn, when he decides to begin his entrepreneurial journey, with an appropriate international exposition and field expertise.
More women are exploring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related areas of education previously considered male domain with the expansion of corporate opportunities. In addition to STEM, there has also been a steady rise in the number of women who undertake management training in the different fields of logistics and supply chains, finance, international business, textiles, etc.
More women, especially the millennium generation, experience financial independence as never before with access to corporate opportunities and education. While women have always been active earners of household incomes in India, the new generation of ‘workers’ women not only earn equal pay or more than household workers and contribute or even run their households but also take their own decisions on acquisitions and investments and plan for long-term savings as well as fully controlled earnings. This is a crucial factor when you start as a businessman.
Women have better access to professional mentors with an international exposition and a better working environment that can guide and nurture their professional know-how. More women entrepreneurs can seek and connect with peer members and fellow entrepreneurs in commercial and network platforms through enhanced social, financial and knowledge support. These women are thus offered the opportunity to learn and tackle challenges with greater information and guidance. Women entrepreneurs not only gain access to expert and solution providers but build a strong collaborative network that goes beyond gender and sectors, from women’s networking and business groups to dynamic global business and networking platforms.
More women are empowered to pursue their professional goals and ambitions by shared responsibilities at home and supporting maternity policies at work. Besides a more relaxed social fabric, the gender-defined roles and expectations have also changed and become more dynamic and individualistic. Besides, this empowerment has given women entrepreneurs an opportunity to work in the fields of other women’s welfare. Though women entrepreneurs in the new age are now addressing the number of start-ups that address issues ranging from female health and maternity to women’s hygiene and mental health.
Women entrepreneurship can lead to the creation of more than 30 million women-owned companies if they are accelerated to achieve their full quality and volume. According to the study, employment in the country can potentially be transformed with 150–170 million jobs. Increased entrepreneurship among females can have several advantages, including increased workforce longevity and gender-based innovation.“Investing in women builds economic and social prosperity by enabling a gradual social shift from high fertility, low education, and poor health to making more conscious reproductive choices, higher education, and better health for self and family,” noted the report.
According to the International Labor Organization, almost 77% of working-age women are locked out of India ‘s labour market, which means that human resources and talent are tragically lost. According to the IMF, if all of these women were to work, “the greatest democracy in the world would be 27% richer.”
“It’s a work of art to see successful women today flawlessly juggling between their roles at home and work. Women are smart to reprioritise and shift focus where and when it needs. Apart from being good time managers, women have always been better multitaskers in all fields. Similar to ‘Educate a woman and you educate a generation, allow one woman to be an entrepreneur and you allow an entire nation to flourish’,” says Annu Talreja, Co-Founder of Oxfordcaps, Asia’s first branded and tech-enabled student housing company.
The way ahead
Funding is the final necessity for any venture. While most investors claim to invest in ideas, statistics show that women-led startups and businesses are being financed with skewed financing patterns. Few companies, however, go forward without allowing sex to determine their judgment on good ideas.
SoGal Ventures is a women’s capital company founded in 2016 by Pocket Sun and Elizabeth Galbut. It focuses on seed financing and round Pre-Series A for companies in the USA and Asia to invest in a variety of entrepreneurs.
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