Since the dawn of time, women have been the victims of numerous crimes. Even if the campaign for gender equality has gained traction in most parts of the world, it is not new.
Without a doubt, women have gone a long way since the beginning of the movements and have shown themselves in a variety of professions, even ones dominated by males.
Even today, women face significant difficulties from gender-based and other associated social prejudices in order to achieve triumph.
In this setting, society, government, and women themselves all play important roles in allowing women to take on leadership and entrepreneurial responsibilities in society.
Entrepreneurship and Women in India :-
- Women Entrepreneurs Are Underrepresented: Despite India’s significant economic progress in recent decades, the country still has a small number of female entrepreneurs, lagging below numerous Sub-Saharan African nations on several measures.
- Women own barely 20% of businesses in India (giving direct employment to 22 to 27 million people), and the covid epidemic has added fuel to the flames by disproportionately affecting women.
- Women’s Representation in Startups: Women make up just 6% of Indian startup founders.
- Between 2018 and 2020, firms with at least one female co-founder raised just 5% of overall investment, and when only women founders were evaluated, this figure dropped to 1.43 percent of total investor funding in the startup ecosystem.
- Sector-Wise Representation: In terms of equity ownership, women own the most in India’s manufacturing sector (mostly connected to paper and tobacco goods), with female holdings reaching 50%.
- However, industries such as computers, automobiles, fabricated metal goods, and machinery and equipment have women-owned shares of less than 2%.
- India’s Initiatives: Through initiatives such as the Stree Shakti package, Udyogini scheme, Mahila Udyam Nidhi scheme, Stand Up India Scheme, Mahila e-haat, Mahila Bank, Mahila Coir Yojana, and Women Entrepreneurship Platform, the Indian government has taken various steps towards women’s economic empowerment (WEP).
Challenges Faced By Women Entrepreneurs :-
- Stereotypes on Capabilities: Women have always been perceived as the “weaker sex” – persons in need of protection, in contrast to males, who have typically been described as guardians and defenders.
- While it is undeniable that men and women are biologically distinct, the fact that an average man is physically stronger than an average woman does not warrant the assumption that all women are physically vulnerable.
- Assessing Cerebral Capabilities Using Biological Aspects: One long-held belief is that males are built to be more rational, while women are more inclined to be empathic, 3 which has been used to justify women being considered as ‘suited’ for a specific range of occupations restricted by that knowledge.
- While this argument may appear to be sound on the surface, it loses its credibility when it is used to exclude women from specific industries based on average estimations derived from psychological observations.
- Patriarchal Construct and Familial Constraints: Even though many women have the ability and desire to succeed in fields that are often dominated by males, the patriarchal construct of society frequently prevents them from achieving their goals.
- Families’ judgement has been known to be clouded by underlying biases and anxieties about how their daughters will fare in a male-dominated sector.
- This phenomena, in turn, causes a feminine drought in many of these fields, exacerbating gender disparities.
- Funding Restrictions: It is very uncommon for women entrepreneurs to be refused access to essential enablers such as financing and sponsorships.
- Given its ‘logical’ foundation, many people are sceptical of women’s talents in finance, which has traditionally been a male-dominated industry.
- Lack of Female Mentors: Because there are fewer female entrepreneurs, the pool of women who can mentor and advise other entrepreneurs is limited.
- One of the most significant impediments to women-owned businesses is a paucity of female role models, which makes it more difficult for ambitious women to learn from their peers and enlist the assistance of those who have “been there, done that.”
- Because networking has generally been done in male-dominated clubs and organisations, it is also more difficult for women to maximise the benefits of a corporate network.
Way Forward :-
- Creating Environments that Encourage Women to Lead: Empowering half of the country’s potential workforce has enormous economic benefits in addition to promoting gender equality.
- · Infrastructure and education investment are significant drivers of women’s entrepreneurship, predicting a larger number of women-owned enterprises in India.
- Improved career development methods that promote competent women into leadership and managerial roles, as well as improved education and health that boost female labor-force participation, less discrimination and compensation differentials that stimulate greater effort.
- Creating Environments That Encourage Women to Lead: Empowering half of the country’s potential workforce has enormous economic benefits in addition to promoting gender equality.
- Infrastructure and education investment are two significant drivers of women’s entrepreneurship in India, with a rising share of women-owned firms expected.
- Improved career development methods that promote competent women into leadership and managerial roles, as well as improved education and health that boost female labor-force participation, less discrimination and salary disparities that motivate greater effort.
- Women Promoting Women: Gender networks are unquestionably important for entrepreneurship. Greater relative female entrance rates are predicted by higher female ownership of local firms in relevant industries.
- Existing female entrepreneurs may play a significant part in this by reaching out to other prospective female entrepreneurs in their own districts, industries, or lines of employment and offering advice.
- They could also provide seminars or workshops for women who want to start their own companies in their community.
- Encouraging Women Investors: Men make up and lead the majority of investor organisations, and investing 5 committees are mainly male-dominated. Women account for just 2% of angel investors.
- At least one or more women investors can be included in the investing group to overcome unconscious prejudices.
- If the decision-making group is diverse in terms of gender, women seeking money are more likely to obtain a fair hearing and maybe more favourable choices.
- Government’s Role: The majority of female entrepreneurs believe that they are unable to succeed in the market due to a lack of training.
- The government should hold regular training sessions for new manufacturing processes, sales strategies, and other topics, and make them mandatory for women entrepreneurs.
- To support women entrepreneurs, the government might offer interest-free loans, enhance loan subsidies, and give microcredit and enterprise credit systems to women entrepreneurs at the local level.