Women Entrepreneurs in India: Emerging Issues and Challenges
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Indian women are no longer restricted to being homemakers, that condescending and rather patronizing ‘vocation’ thrust upon them. They have become newsmakers too in pretty much every aspect of society be it art, education, politics or business.
The impact of globalization and its subsequent riches are being indulged in as competitively as the menfolk in the country. And woman entrepreneurs in India are being recognized and appreciated not just nationally but globally in the international sphere.
Women these days end up being the backbone of not just their own homes but the economy of the country. It's often more of a great responsibility than a privilege, considering there is relatively more of an onus on them to find the right balance between their family and their career.
A woman entrepreneur still ends up playing multiple roles home and away and is constantly faced with some customary pitfalls that she has no choice but to contend with. Here are a few of those, and how we feel they could tackle with them.
Wearing Too Many Hats:
Indian society has seeped the social stigma, and it starts at home where a woman doesn't have the choice of delegating work to anyone. They often carry this into the workplace, and take on too much of work rather than find the best person there to get the job done. This makes them invest more energy working in their business, as opposed to on their business. So, it's better to bring out the best out of those working for you rather than showing them how it's done. Team building and tapping resources are key to running a successful business rather than being a one-woman show.
Not Being Taken Seriously:
Comparisons based on gender are unavoidable in the business space, and often when a female starts a business, even family and friends may tend to view it as a hobby or a side project to “just keep herself busy”. There's no option but to buckle down and prove them wrong with your work than trying to do so in a verbal exchange. Clichéd as it may sound; actions speak louder than words - so ensure your work speaks for you and proves your point.
India still remains largely patriarchal. And there's no escaping it. Women entrepreneurs will constantly have to battle male egos and mental barriers. Entrepreneurship in business has long been a male bastion, and the idea of women going toe to toe with them won't sit well always. Don't get sucked into fighting the bias though. Find your niches, set up a support system that works for you and let your work, rather than gender be the focal point.
Shortage of Finance:
Studies demonstrate that larger part of women entrepreneurs have needed to depend on noteworthy degree on self – created back amid start – up period. Bank loans and grants have just been utilized as a part of a couple of cases.
Women often do not own property or on occasions, do not even have a bank account to their name. Male members of the family, meanwhile, do not always want to invest their capital in businesses run by women due to a lack of confidence in their ability to run the venture successfully.
Most of the women entrepreneurs end up failing due to lack of proper financing. Marketing and financial problems are such obstacles where even training doesn't significantly help the women. It is the government's prerogative that they encourage more banks to seek out women entrepreneurs and fund their projects even if it means waiving off the necessity to have collateral assets.
There are many other government schemes for women such as STEP scheme which aims to impart skills that give employability to women and to provide competencies that encourage women to become an entrepreneur. Other steps that could be taken by the authorities include making raw materials available to women entrepreneurs at a concessional rate, the setting of training centres as well as part-time training facilities for women entrepreneurs etc.
It's raining Men
Women will be seen as minor and weak, always looking up to men for help. Men everywhere will try to make them feel that way too, especially if they sense competition. And men will try to use that one aspect that they feel commands power in this world, power itself, to have their way. This is where women need to tap into their core strengths, patience, and perseverance and develop a no-nonsense attitude towards all biases.