Words of Wisdom for Every Shepreneur Out There It's easy to give in to feelings of self-doubt and back down from challenges. But that's certainly not what being a strong woman is all about

By Vanita D'souza

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The number of women entrepreneurs in the country is not very impressive. In fact, according to the Women Business Ownership survey, India ranked 49 among 54 economies globally.

There are numerous efforts taken by both the central government and state governments to increase the contribution of women to the country's start-up ecosystem. One such initiative is the Maharashtra government's exclusive policy for women entrepreneurs, which includes various subsidies and grants for setting a she-owned business in the state. But there have been no concrete results thus far!

If one says there is a lack of opportunities in the Indian market, many wouldn't agree as women are known for creating opportunities and not seeking. Therefore to motive you this Women's Day, Entrepreneur India spoke to some of our leading shepreneurs who shared their word of advice for aspiring women entrepreneurs.

Don't Give Up

Never give up on your dreams. It's easy to give in to feelings of self-doubt and back down from challenges. But that's certainly not the attribute of a strong woman. Whatever you do, it should be different believes Brahmani Nara, Executive Director, Heritage Foods Limited.

"Do not be afraid to take up challenging tasks and venture into uncharted territories. There will be times you will have to obey all the rules and miss out on all the fun. All that matters is the success and the realization that you have achieved it through your sheer determination and persuasion," she added.

Hustle Up a Bit

Upasana Taku, Co-founder, Mobikwik believes women must realize that they can have a role other than being natural caregivers and nurturers.

"You cannot pour from an empty glass; thus they need to be happy first to be able to maintain a happy environment for others around them. I urge women to realize and chase their dreams. Just go for it because good things come to those who hustle," she points out.

Keep Pushing Yourselves

Ameera Shah, Promoter & Managing Director, Metropolis Healthcare says this International Women's Day, not only should we celebrate the many achievements of women from all over the world, but also take inspiration from them and renew our confidence in ourselves, step out of our comfort zones and take charge of our lives.

Only when one can conquer all insecurities and fears, and starts believing that 'I can', instead of 'I can't', will she be able to leap over every obstacle thrown her way and leave behind a legacy.

"At every stage, I've chosen the path that I believe will deliver a new experience and will also help me learn more about myself. I give this advice to women business leaders all the time - 'Tell yourself, this is how it is. How can I find a way to still get what I want'? You have to keep pushing your boundaries. It's human nature to get comfortable and stay in the status quo. The more you push your boundaries, the more you discover who you are and what you are capable of," she added.

No Looking Back

Nipa Modi, Director, SecUR Credentials, thinks women should strive to become the best version of themselves and therefore, she advises all to commit to their goals and never look back.

She added, "Pick a skill you've always wanted to cultivate, put all your effort towards developing it and learn from every mistake you make. And on this journey, let us take out the time to appreciate how lucky we are. Be the heroine you were born to be."

Women in businesses face many issues and we have to be strong enough to navigate them without losing the drive or becoming bitter. Sometimes people may think we are weak in times of crisis, others might think, we are not the strongest negotiators, but our work can prove their biases wrong.

Just Dream Big

Sometimes we might need to work harder, on other times, we will need to stand up for ourselves and clearly demand respect. There will be times when we might need to point out and correct sexist behaviors, believes Sayali Karanjkar, Cofounder, and COO of PaySense. "But through it all, we should hold our head high and continue to work towards our dreams. We should help and mentor other women through these situations. And we should be thankful to the women before us for they are the ones who have paved the way for us to be in the careers we are in today, for us to be able to follow our dreams," she said.

Before bidding adieu, Karanjkar quotes the former CEO of Axis Bank, Shikha Sharma from her speech she gave at Kellogg - "just work hard, let your work speak, and don't believe in any barriers or ceilings, just march".

Vanita D'souza

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

I am a Mumbai-based journalist and have worked with media companies like The Dollar Business Magazine, Business Standard, etc.While on the other side, I am an avid reader who is a travel freak and has accepted foodism as my religion.

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