An Insight Into the Emergence of Women-Owned Businesses As an Economic Force in India
During the last two decades, Indian women have entered the field of entrepreneurship in greatly increasing numbers. With the emergence and growth of their businesses, they have contributed to the global economy and to their surrounding communities. The routes women have followed to take leadership roles in business are varied. however, most women business owners have conquer or worked to avoid obstacles and challenges in creating their businesses. The presence of women in the workplace driving small and entrepreneurial organizations creates a tremendous impact on employment and business environments.
Indian women business owners are changing the confront of businesses of today, both literally and figuratively. The dynamic growth and expansion of women-owned businesses is one of the defining trends of the past decade, and all indications are that it will continue unabated. For more than a decade, the number of women-owned businesses have grown at one-and-a-half to two times the rate of all businesses. already more important, the expansion in revenues and employment has far surpassed the growth in numbers.
The consequence of these trends is that women-owned businesses span the complete range of business life cycle and business success, whether the measuring stick is revenue, employment or longevity. This strengthens the view that all governmental programs and policies should target at strengthening women’s entrepreneurship in their native lands.
Although, many of the earlier obstacles to women’s business success have been removed, however some nevertheless keep. This has initiated the scholars of entrepreneurship and small businesses to study the influences of and the impact on business ownership by women. The number of these research studies are growing steadily.
2. What Are The Characteristics Of Women Entrepreneurs In India?
Indian women of today have taken many strides towards business ownership. The general classification of women business owners include women who establish, inherit, or acquire a business; women who start businesses with spouses or business partners but are either at the spotlight or behind the scenes; and finally, women who start fast-growing or part-time or slow-growing firms. Although earlier researches on women entrepreneurs have suggested that meaningful differences existed between female and male entrepreneurs. However, more recent studies have shown that there are far more similarities than differences between women and men entrepreneurs in terms of psychological and demographic characteristics. The principal predictors of success in case of women entrepreneurs are work experience and years of self-employment.
Generally, women view their businesses as a cooperative network of relationships instead of as a definite profit-generating entity. This network extends beyond the business into the entrepreneur’s relationships with her family and the community. Certain cross-cultural studies on women entrepreneurs have reported that their management styles emphasizes open communication and participative decision-making, and their business goals mirror a concern for the community in which the business operates.
The majority of women business owners function enterprises in the service sectors, while the majority of male business owners function enterprises in non service sectors, particularly manufacturing. Women are not only achieving economic independence and wealth creation for themselves, but by job creation, they are also providing opportunities for others, particularly for other women.
A series of researches have shown that the workforce of women-owned businesses tend to be more gender balanced than the workforce of men-owned businesses, although women business owners are more likely to hire women. Put simply, an investment in women’s entrepreneurship is an investment in the economic independence and well-being of all women.
In comparison to their women counterparts who established their businesses two decades earlier, women who have started their businesses sometime during the past decade are more likely to have the following:
o a higher level of education, past specialized and managerial experience, in addition as executive level experience
o a greater appetite for capital, both credit and equity
o a strong motivation for autonomy and achievement
o a dynamic personality
o a passion for what they do
o creativity to original and implement
o independence and self reliance
o high self confidence
o willingness & ability to take risks
o alertness to opportunities
o ability to marshal resources
o ability to respond to market & ecosystem signals
consequently, from the above discussion, we can conclude the following traits of personality of women entrepreneurs:
Risk taker Proactive Opportunist Visionary Inventor Tolerance of ambiguity Commercialiser Desire for independence Trader High energy Innovator Ability to bounce back Flexible Results oriented Need for achievement All rounder Internal control Decisive Self confident Self Motivated Pragmatic Flair
3. Why Do Indian Women attempt Entrepreneurship?
in spite of of the growing number of female entrepreneurs, the proportion of female entrepreneurs is nevertheless considerably low when compared to their participation rate. However, there are several factors responsible for increasing the level of female entrepreneurship in India:
1. character of Entrepreneurship: Women go into into entrepreneurial activity because regular employment does not provide them with the flexibility, control or challenge offered by business ownership.
2. Motivation : Several evidences suggest that women do not without the motivation to go into into business ownership. They are often highly motivated than their male counterparts to conquer the barriers to business start-up.
3. Empowerment : Indian women are becoming more empowered now-a-days. Legislation is being progressively drafted to offer them more opportunities at various levels.
4. Social Conditions : Population growth results in a strong positive relationship on entrepreneurial activity. Across genders, the increase in need and competition for jobs pushes more people into necessary entrepreneurship. For women, in particular, the comparatively high involvement in necessary entrepreneurship indicates that self-employment is used as a way to circumvent institutional and cultural constraints with respect to female employment, in addition as a way to provide supplemental family income.
5. Economic Conditions : Auspicious economic conditions favour the participation of women in entrepreneurial activity. The smaller amount of financial capital requirement and higher proportion of obtainable bank loans positively correlates the level of female entrepreneurship to economic conditions. In fact, in a country like India, the relationship between the size of unofficial economy and entrepreneurial activity is positive.
6. Literacy & Education: Increased levels of education has played a crucial role in initiating the time of action of entrepreneurship. It is not only the illiterate that are starting the businesses but those with education & skills are also exploiting profit opportunities.
4. What Are The Needs Of Women Entrepreneurs In India?
1) More and better access to finance/credit is mentioned very frequently. Give a woman 1000 rupees and she can start a business. Give her another 1000 rupees and she will be able to satisfy not only for her family, but for her employees in addition.
2) Access to business sustain and information, including better integration of business sets.
3) Training on business issues and related issues
4) Better access to local and foreign markets.
5) Day care centres & nurseries for children, and also for the elderly;
6) Positive image-building and change in mentality amongst women, whereby women see themselves as capable achievers and build up confidence.
7) Breaking by traditional patrons and structures that hinder women’s advancement.
8) Role modelling of women in non-traditional business sectors to improving traditional views on men’s and women’s sectors.
9) More involvement and participation in legislation and decision-making processes.
10) Removing of any legislation which impedes women’s free engagement.
11) Awareness-raising at the governmental in addition as private level to truly and really create entrepreneurial opportunities and not just programs that stay on paper.
5. Which Important Problems Are Faced By Women Entrepreneurs In India?
1. Women hardly interact with other women who are successful entrepreneurs. This results in a negative impact on their networking skills.
2. The areas, where one can see women acting as entrepreneurs, is in the very typical women’s sectors of 3Ps. This is also the area, where women are accepted in society to be experts in and consequently have the capacity for entrepreneurial activities.
3. It is clear, that women have the responsibility of getting children and taking care of them. Very few societies accept fathers taking over the role of staying home and taking care of the children. Once these children are old enough to take care for themselves, they have to bear an additional responsibility of taking care of elder parents. If they want to become entrepreneurs, the society expects them to be able to do both: take care of family and home and do business.
4. Women are very basic when it comes to themselves – can I really do this, am I good enough, maybe I have to learn more, others can do it better. It is quite interesting that many successful women have been educated in only girls colleges and schools, which often deliver a safe ecosystem to try out ones personal strengths, learn to conquer weaknesses and be proud of oneself.
5. Discrimination – it is hard to believe but women are nevertheless treated differently in our society. Women do get lower salaries compared to men doing the same job, women do not have access to men dominated networks who take their decisions about successors in the company during golf plays or sauna meetings….
6. Missing networks – by centuries business men have build up their networks but women nevertheless have to learn to catch up.
7. A lot of women tell stories about not being taken serious by bankers, when they wanted to get a loan for their business. Often enough, they have to bring their husbands or fathers to be able to be heard and receive financing. So, the domination of men in the banking world is a problem.
6. What Are The Challenges Faced By Women Entrepreneurs In India?
One of the major obstacles faced by women entrepreneurs has been that they are not taken seriously. already though women have achieved credibility as competent entrepreneurs in areas such as retail, personal sets and business sets, perceptions that women-owned businesses are less successful, credit worthy & inventive continues to be a obstacle.
Besides this, there are several other challenges being faced by Women Entrepreneurs:
1. without of Visibility as Strategic Leaders: Changing the perceptions about the likely success of women-owned businesses depends on increasing women’s visibility in leadership locaiongs within the greater business community. In an assessment of women’s presence as CEOs or Directors of large business enterprises, it has been expected that the exodus of women to entrepreneurial growth firms might be because women believe that have greater representation in strategic leadership locaiongs in privately-held or family-owned firms as they provide better opportunities for leadership than obtainable to women in publicly-traded companies.
2. Differential Information and Assistance Needs: Another meaningful need of many women business owners is obtaining the appropriate assistance and information needed to take the business to the next level of growth. In a study conducted to gather information needs of women entrepreneurs, those who were just starting their ventures, requested assistance and training in implementing the business idea, identifying initial supplies of financing, and advertising/promotion. The entrepreneurs who were already established, had a slightly different set of needs including financing for expansion and increasing sales. Another conducted study had identified ten most desired needs of fast growth entrepreneurs:
(a) using cash flow to make operational decisions
(b) financing growth
(c) increasing the value of the business
(d) compensation for self and associates
(e) hiring, training and motivating for growth
(f) succeeding in a rapidly changing world
(g) successful selling
(h) sales force management
(i) management success
(j) problems and pitfalls of growth.
Unfortunately, this differences in information and assistance needs can be found across cultures in addition.
3. Family Influences on Women Entrepreneurs : The sharing characteristics of the family and the firm is not meaningful for women business owners. Unfortunately, little research has been conducted on the dynamics of family-owned firms headed by women. As the boundaries between the firm and the family tend to be indistinct, women operating family businesses confront a rare set of issues related to personal identity, role conflict, loyalties, family relationships, and attitudes towards authority. Additionally, family businesses owned by women are at a disadvantage financially and are forced to rely on internal resources of funding instead of outside supplies. The basic role of family in business, also emerges in cross-cultural studies which show a women relying heavily on the family for start-up capital.
7. What Steps Need To Be Initiated For Women Entrepreneurial Development In India?
A possible set of three inter-connected and inter-dependent clusters of recommendations can be aimed at “pushing” a larger number of women entrepreneurs towards growth opportunities, unlocking their possible as creators of wealth and jobs, and providing a more conducive legal and regulatory framework. These recommendations can also ensure the proper positioning of “pull mechanisms” to permit the growth-oriented women entrepreneurs to expand and grow in terms of investments, markets and profits.
1. Prioritizing and Pushing at the micro-level : There is a large and seemingly ever-increasing number of women entrepreneurs operating in micro-enterprises and in the informal economy. They can be facilitated to grow into sustainable, formally registered & large enterprises with the help of following actions:-
o Conducting gender examination for all entrepreneurial sustain programmes
o Gathering data on women and men entrepreneurs
o Applying “target group segmentation” to women entrepreneurs
o Using targeted approaches for priority categories in order to provide additional “push” to women entrepreneurs to the next level of growth
o Promoting mobilization and organization of representative associations
o Examining differential impacts of governmental policies, programmes and actions
o Promoting development of need-led supports for women entrepreneurs
o Promoting more flexible and inventive financial products by edges
2. Unlocking and Unfettering Institutional Framework: Policies, laws and overall regulatory ecosystem are frequently seen as barriers and disincentives to expansion and growth. However, they need to be promoted in such a way that women entrepreneurs see the advantages of and benefits that come with compliance.
o Reviewing impact of existing and new instruments on women entrepreneurs
o Identifying those instruments that act as barriers to expansion and growth
o Modifying or dismantling these instruments
o Taking account of the social and cultural settings affecting policy implementation and redress inequalities and abnormalities
o Making use of IT and associations so as to minimize the administrative burdens on women entrepreneurs
o Holding regular consultations with meaningful factors like women entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs’ associations, financial institutions, etc, to review progress and clarify new bottlenecks.
3. Projecting and Pulling to Grow and sustain the Winners : The first two sets of recommendations are aimed at trying to “push” more women entrepreneurs into growth situations in addition as ensuring that laws & regulations do not stand in their way. The third possible recommendation relates to easing and “pulling” the women entrepreneurs into situations where they can actively pursue growth strategies.
o Providing incentives for expansion and growth after removing barriers and disincentives
o Encouraging and rewarding dynamic representative associations of women entrepreneurs
o Promoting strong links and synergies with existing major economic players
o Profiling the economic and social contributors among women entrepreneurs to the national economy
o Promoting and rewarding programmes that serve women entrepreneurs
o Making complete use of data gathered to inform new policies, programmes and supportive actions
o Ensuring synergies between (a) women related ministry (b) economic ministry (c) welfare & social development ministry in the government.
With applicable education, work experience, improving economic conditions and financial opportunities, more women around the world are creating and sustaining successful business ventures. This will not only have an impact on the economies of the countries in which women own their businesses but also will change the position of women in those societies. It is likely that, as we begin this millennium, this will be the century of the entrepreneur in general and of the women entrepreneur in particular.