The last five years saw an unprecedented entrepreneurial boom in India with small to mid-scale start-ups proliferating at a dime a dozen rate. However, a new study reveals that not all men and women have benefited equally from this growth spurt which has remained largely male dominated.
In a study called ‘Britannia Marie Gold Indian Women Entrepreneurship Survey Report’, a survey conducted by Nielsen, it was revealed that many women, especially urban, married women wished to work on their own business but could not do so due to lack of finances.
The study was conducted among 1,267 non-working housewives in Delhi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Asansol, Chennai, and Coimbatore in the age group of 25-45.
The study also found that 1 in 4 of the women interviewed said they had tried starting their own enterprise but that 25 percent of these women were unable to maintain it.
The lack of women in entrepreneurial roles is evident from the data released in the Sixth Economic Census which states that only 14 percent of businesses or entrepreneurial enterprises in India are owned by women.
As opposed to the almost 39 percent women-owned/run private business establishments in the US, the numbers back home are abysmal. Over 11.6 million firms are owned by women in the US, who provide 4.2 percent of the country’s revenue and also contribute 8 percent of employment. According to the 2012 Census data, 35.6% of Canadian women were self-employed.
The fact that women are lagging behind men in the Indian entrepreneurial space is also evident from data from the Global Women Entrepreneurs Leader report 2015. The study puts India at the 29th position among 31 countries in terms of women’s participation in the workplace and business, followed only by Pakistan and Bangladesh.
However, the story is slightly different in rural India where a larger number of married women work and are part of the labour work force. In fact, rural women make up 81.29% of the female workforce in India, News18 had earlier reported.
Both central and state government authorities deploy a number of schemes aimed at helping women entrepreneurs to secure easy loans and assistance. These include the Stree Shakti Package For Women Entrepreneurs, Mudra Yojana Scheme For Women and several others.
However, implementation, spreading awareness for such schemes and earning enough to sustain the business and subsequent repaying of loans could be acting as barriers for the impending growth in women entrepreneurs in India.