Women are considered to be better entrepreneurs than men because of their nurturing skills such as developing others, building relationships, since they are emotionally intelligent about the human side of business, are fairer negotiators and are considered more open-minded. In fact, female leaders were better rated on many levels of business such as innovativeness, problem solving, taking initiatives, etc.
The country has 13.5-15.7 million women-owned enterprises, which is 20 percent of all the enterprises. They lead to a direct employment of 22 to 27 million people. India has seen a spurt in the number of entrepreneurs coming up, but it has left behind an important demographic, its women. Women’s participation in the labour force has reduced further.
In the coming decade, India will have the largest working age population of more than one billion people. The private sector and the government alone cannot provide jobs for everyone. It is exactly why we need entrepreneurs springing up everywhere. Entrepreneurship among women is even more important because it not only helps with creation of jobs, but also transforms the lives of children and the entire family.
India should compare its numbers with other countries and treat it as a benchmark to increase female entrepreneurship in the country. Adhering to such benchmarks will create 30 million women-owned enterprises, which can employ more than 150-170 million people. It is also more than 25 percent of the new jobs required for the entire working age population from this year until 2030.
Why do we need more women entrepreneurs?
We should observe that a majority of India’s women have not participated in the labour force. When the government gives them sops or provides benefits to start their own venture, there will be a spurt in jobs all of a sudden. It will turn the economy around because there will be more people (especially women) who will be able to afford more things. The entire demographic has been largely non-existent in the female entrepreneurship space. The opportunities are wide open, although one has to admit that India isn’t the easiest country to start a business in. According to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report, India ranks 63rd out of 190 countries.
More women in the ecosystem
When there are women in power, you will find them adding more women to the workforce. Women will be more open to working in establishments that are run by women. Encouraging women entrepreneurship also results in better social outcomes for education, childcare, and health.
Narrows gender gap
India is one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to the gender gap as it is ranked 123rd. The gender gap will reduce when there are more women entrepreneurs in the fray. The next generation of women will have role models to look up to, which will increase participation of women in the labour force and the number of women entrepreneurs.
Women tend to be a lot more empathetic and are driven towards creating workplaces that are safe and inclusive. Since women struggle with work-life balance, they are more inclined to create a work culture that encourages people to have the best of both worlds. Because of the flexibility and safety that women-led businesses offer, more women will feel comfortable to join these enterprises.
A society where women cannot prove their full potential loses out on tremendous potential for job creation, economic growth, and so on.
A recent study revealed that if India were to close the gender gap, it could increase its GDP by 6.8 percent. India needs to do more to encourage its women to take up entrepreneurship. The Indian government has created many schemes to encourage female entrepreneurship like Mudra Yojana Scheme, Annapurna Scheme, Dena Shakti Scheme, etc. All of these are government-enabled schemes that offer financial assistance and mentorship for women to start their enterprises.
(Edited by Teja Lele)