Over the years, there has been a wave of students going on to become doctors, engineers, and lawyers; in the contemporary period of life, entrepreneurship has replaced this trend. But why are entrepreneurs confined to the masculine segment of society? Not women? In this patriarchal society, women are still expected to take care of household duties and remain at home. The prevailing mindset in society is that it accepts or permits women to work. According to the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, just 7 out of 100 business owners in India are women. Only 20% of firms in the nation are owned by women, according to the Google-Bain analysis, while the World Economic Forum’s 2021 report also reveals a significant gap between men and women of 72% in India’s labour market. There is no denying the fact that women entrepreneurs in India face several problems. From lack of access to funding and resources to gender-based discrimination, women entrepreneurs have to contend with a lot of hurdles.
Problems Faced by Women Entrepreneurs in India
There are several problems faced by women entrepreneurs in India. These include:
A big problem faced by women entrepreneurs in India is gender-based discrimination. Women face discrimination in all spheres of life in India, including in the business world. In a male-dominated society like India, it is often difficult for women to get their businesses off the ground due to the challenges posed by patriarchal norms and attitudes. For example, it is not uncommon for employers to ask female job applicants whether they are married or have children. This form of discrimination manifests itself in various ways, from denial of access to essential resources and opportunities to outright sexual harassment, etc.
Lack of mentorship and networking opportunities:
Given the patriarchal nature of Indian society, women often lack mentors and networking opportunities. This makes it difficult for them to connect with potential investors and customers.
Women also have to contend with safety concerns in India. This is especially true if they are working in rural areas or travelling alone.
Access to funding
One of the biggest problems faced by women entrepreneurs in India is the lack of access to funding. While there are several government schemes and programs aimed at promoting women entrepreneurs, they often don’t have the necessary funds to get started. This is because most financial institutions are reluctant to lend money to women entrepreneurs due to the high risk involved.
Lack of industry knowledge
Even while prejudices are gradually dispelling, there remains a general absence of experience in these fields. The educational gap that women entrepreneurs currently experience can be closed by obtaining a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) degree. The transformation in women’s empowerment caused by digital skills has also enabled them to access the necessary resources and knowledge.
Lack of a supportive environment for entrepreneurs
The road to becoming an entrepreneur is lengthy and filled with learning, unlearning, and skill-ups. A person needs to grow up in an entrepreneurially-spirited atmosphere if they want to own a successful firm. However, the absence of such a fruitful setting frequently affects a lot of ladies. First off, many women are forced to conduct their businesses from home due to duties to their families. As a result, they miss out on chances to network, engage with the corporate world, and increase their market access. Additionally, it limits their access to resources, mentors, and other possibilities for learning.
The balance between family and work
Families are frequently viewed as extensions of women. Married women are expected to become mothers at a particular age and to take a significant part in raising their offspring. As a result, young mothers are forced to put their families over their jobs. Managing a business is a tough undertaking that frequently causes women to fall short of their obligations to their families and even helps them feel bad about giving their business priority.
In conclusion, women entrepreneurs in India face several unique challenges. They often have to deal with gender discrimination, lack of access to funding and resources, and limited social and networking opportunities. However, despite these challenges, many women entrepreneurs are successfully running businesses in India. With more support from the government and society, it is hoped that even more women will be able to start and grow their businesses in the future. Given the numerous problems faced by them, it is not surprising that the rate of growth of women entrepreneurship in India has been relatively slow. However, things are gradually changing for the better, and with more and more women choosing to become their boss, it is only a matter of time before we see a surge in the number of successful women entrepreneurs in India.