NEW DELHI: An entrepreneur is anyone who is setting up business or reviving the existing business, these businesses may vary in sizes. In today's world, entrepreneurs work in shaping the economy by creating new jobs and by inventing new products and services, in turn increasing the wealth of the nation.
Concept of women entrepreneurship
The concept of woman entrepreneurship is relatively new. Women have had to fight battles to step out to work place in the past. Having said that, women who have made their mark outside of their homes are no longer unheard of. According to Zenith, an International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, the entry of women into business in India is traced out of an extension of their kitchen activities, mainly 3 P's namely, Pickle, Powder and Papad. But with the spread of education and passage of time, women have shifted to 3E's, Energy, Electronics and Engineering. Businesses owned by women are increasing in economies all over the world today.
Overcoming constraints and restrictions
1. The gender issue: One of the greatest problems faced by Women Entrepreneurs is the fact that they are Women. Patriarchal societies have a set stereotype and many even at the top level still conform to this medieval social order. So proper awareness programmes need to be designed for both men and women so as to eradicate any kind of prejudices as participation of women will lead to a more successful economy.
2. Sense of freedom: Entrepreneurship provides a sense of freedom like nothing else does, as this is one’s own business. One can learn and grow and this idea works well for women's independence. Hence, continuous motivation and inspiration is the key.
3. Educational background: Education is an integral part of life in today's world. Proper training at very basic level should be encouraged in order to develop proper professional competency.
4. Finance: Access to finance has been termed as one of the biggest obstacles among the entrepreneurs and so, women businesses should be provided with easy access to loans and subsidies and various seminars at national and international levels to encourage entrepreneurship.
5. Subsidies: Banks and other financial institutions should make provisions for both large and small business start-ups.
6. Strong belief system: Starting a new project is a mind boggling task and it is imperative that women observe strong perseverance and command self confidence in their work.
7. Provisions: Special provisions should be designed by both government and non-government organisation about various strategies and policies for the overall development of women entrepreneurs.
8. Groups: Self-help groups play a vital role in helping women entrepreneurs make important business decisions, mobilize resources and pump in money for various small as well big scale projects.
9. Proper exposure: Exposure to various training programmes, awareness about financial assistance, skill-training programmes in the necessary field of work should also be a part.
10. Lack of information: Special awareness programmes and seminars should be held in order to let women entrepreneurs be able explore the options available regarding various technological advances, new government policies, concessions, alternative markets and etc.
Women have come a long way in overcoming the shackles that past put them through. And there has been a significant rise in the women entrepreneurs across the country. According to the Women and Entrepreneurship in India survey, the majority of women-owned businesses are micro-enterprises or small/mid-sized businesses. Hence, women play a major part in the SME and MSME sector.
Government as well as other non-government organisations are taking measures to ensure that women entrepreneurs too are equally and adequately represented in the economy. At present, the Government of India has over 27 schemes for women operated by different departments and ministries. Some of them are as follows:
- Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP)
- Khadi And Village Industries Commission (KVIC)
- Training of Rural Youth for Self-Employment (TRYSEM)
- Women‘s Development Corporations (WDCs)
- Trade Related Entrepreneurship Assistance and Development (TREAD)
- Micro & Small Enterprises Cluster Development Programmes (MSE-CDP).
- Mahila Vikas Nidhi
- SBI‘s Stree Shakti Scheme
- NGO‘s Credit Schemes
- Working Women‘s Forum
- Indira Mahila Yojana
- Mahila Samiti Yojana
- Micro Credit Schemes
Women occupy nearly 45 per cent of the Indian population and the role of women entrepreneurs has finally been recognized. Highly educated and professionally qualified women are taking over the world today in almost every social stratum. Whether it is about starting a small backyard enterprise like Mrs. Bector’s Cremica, which started as an SME but today it is one of the most celebrated food brands which does sales of over Rs.400 crore or it is about Pepsico CEO Indira Nooyi, women are making their mark felt everywhere. It is high time that women come forward and explore various opportunities available today.