(The Gist of Kurukshetra) Women Entrepreneurs in India: Opportunities and Challenges [FEBRUARY-2020]

(The Gist of Kurukshetra) Women Entrepreneurs in India: Opportunities and Challenges


Women Entrepreneurs in India: Opportunities and Challenges


  • Globally, the business world has realized and is working on war footing to create entrepreneurship as the final remedy to overcome all types of business and market challenges. Women are willing to take up business and contribute to the nation’s growth.
  • Their role is being recognised and steps are taken to promote women entrepreneurship. Resurgence of entrepreneurship is the need of the hour.
  • Women entrepreneurs must be moulded properly with entrepreneurial traits and skills to meet changing trends and challenging global markets, and also be competent enough to sustain and strive in the local economic arena.

Present context about women entrepreneurs:

  • The 6th economic census, we will find that 13.76 percent of MSME's are women owned i.e. approximately 8.05 million out of 58.5 million businesses. The World Bank Enterprise Survey Data, an internationally comparative data set, suggests that 10.7 percent of MSMEs have female participation in ownership. In India, there are also urban/rural differences in rates of women’s entrepreneurship, with more women’s enterprises based in rural areas (22.24 per cent of all rural enterprises), compared to urban areas (18.42 per cent of all urban enterprises) according to Ministry of MSME Annual Report. Women's enterprises are also mainly micro sized or proprietary and the majority are informal.
  • Looking into the state level distribution of women-owned enterprises, we will find that there is a variation in the distribution of women-owned enterprises across India at state level, suggesting diversity in the enabling environments for women entrepreneurship. The largest share in the number of establishments under women entrepreneurs are clustered in the southern states of India. In terms of female owned proprietary establishments, out of the top ten states, six states are from North East India.
  • In the last five decades, there have been phenomenal changes in status and workplace diversity in India. During the fifties, there were two categories of women who started their own business— one who took to creating and managing entrepreneurial activity where there was no male earning and the second comprised of a very small percentage of women who had the courage to break the glass ceiling.

Reasons behind more women entrepreneurs needed:

  • Economic growth: Women can start a new business that caters to a different market or niche than their male counterparts. Enabling women benefits future generations because women tend to spend more time on their children’s education and health, which in turn boosts productivity.
  • Narrowing gender gap: Women entrepreneurs inspire other women to start business leading to job creation for women, which ultimately helps in bridging the gender gap in workforce. Narrowing the gender gap in employment will increase global income.
  • Company culture and safety at workplace: Creating and preserving a strong positive company culture is a prerequisite for the growth and tong term success of any company. Studies show that a women-led company tends to have better company culture, high values and transparency. Women have struggled with how to maintain a work-life balance. It is seen that women-led organisations are more sensitive to safety issues.

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Courtesy: Kurukshetra