Introduction to Women Entrepreneurship
Women entrepreneurship is the process in which women initiate a business, gather all resources, undertake risks, face challenges, provides employment to others and manages the business independently. Approximately 1/3rd of the entrepreneurs in the world are women entrepreneurs.
According to definition given by Government of India – “A women entrepreneur is defined as an enterprise owned and controlled by woman having a minimum financial interest of 51% of the capital and giving at least 51% employment generated to women”
Women Entrepreneurship refers to business or organization started by a woman or group of women. There has been a change in role of women due to growth in education, urbanization, industrialization and awareness of democratic values.
Industries promoted by Women Entrepreneurs →
- Agarbatti making
- Papad making
- Catering services
- Running restaurant, snack bars etc.
- Small retail shops
- Beauty parlors
- Pickle manufacturing etc.
Women entrepreneurs can be broadly categorized into five categories:-
♦ Affluent entrepreneurs – These are daughters and wives of wealthy businessmen. These women have the financial aid and the necessary resources to start a new enterprise and take business risks.
♦ Pull factors – These are educated women living in urban areas with or without work experience who take the risk of a new enterprise with the help of financial institutions and commercial banks. These women take up a new business as a challenge in order to be financially independent.
♦ Push factors – These women take up some business activity in order to overcome financial difficulties. Generally widows and single women manage an existing family business or develop a new business due to difficult family situations.
♦ Rural entrepreneurs – These women belong to rural areas and choose a business suiting their resources and knowledge. Business carried out involves low investment, minimum risk and does not require any special skills.
♦ Self-employed entrepreneurs – They are uneducated women who fall below the poverty line. They choose tiny and small enterprise which are convenient to manage and adequate for the sustenance of her family.
Reasons for growth of Women Entrepreneurship→
- Growth in Literacy level
- Industrial and economic growth
- Awareness of democratic values
- Organizations promoting women entrepreneurship
- Financial assistance and consultancy services provided by financial institutions
Problems faced by Women Entrepreneurs→
♦ Women’s problem in India – Women entrepreneurs face a difficulty due to specific women problems in India arising due to old traditions, socio-cultural norms, male dominant society, family responsibilities, Indian values and ethics.
♦ Entrepreneurial problems –
- Corruption in government agencies
- Price and availability of raw materials
- High competition in low technology products
- Financial problems
- Face technological obsolesce due to lack of support
♦ Specific problems to women –
- Mobility problems
- Family responsibilities and lack of support from family members.
- Exploitation by middle man
- Women have to be dependent on men for doing work which requires muscular strength.
- Women are perceived to be weak in the Indian society; hence men are preferred over women to face troubles and hardships related to an enterprise.
Future of Women Entrepreneurship in India →
♦ The decade 1975 – 85 was declared as `Decade for women` by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The Topic “Role of women in industrialization in developing countries” was raised in 1878 at conference held by UNIDO at Vienna which aimed at removing social, attitudinal and institutional barriers and increasing participation of women in industrial activities.
♦ United Nations arranged a conference `Decade for women` at Copenhagen on 30th June 1980 aimed at promoting equal opportunities and equal treatment to women in employment.
♦ On November, 1981, a National Conference for Women Entrepreneurs was held at New Delhi, India.
♦ The Seventh five year plan focused on Integration of Women in Development.
♦The National Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs organized a conference on Women Entrepreneurs at New Delhi in 1989 which made the following declarations –
— Nation and state government should promote woman’s participation in social and economic development programmes.
— Financial assistance and consultancy services must be given to women for doing exports.
— Fairs and exhibitions with products manufactured by women entrepreneurs must be widely advertised.
— Education ministries must provide for education and training of women entrepreneurs.
Organizations Promoting Women Entrepreneurship in India
- National Resource Centre for Women (NRCW)
- Women’s India Trust (WIT)
- Women Development Corporation (WDC)
- Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Karnataka (AWAKE)
- Working Women’s Forum (WWF)
- Self- Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)