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Mumbai is Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Mumbai has all the right ingredients for women leaders to thrive

By Aastha Singal

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The city of dreams, Mumbai has helped millions realize their potential and lead a successful life. How could it now provide opportunities for the enterprising women of India to thrive? In Maharashtra, women entrepreneurs get from INR 15 lakh up to INR 1 crore worth of financial assistance in a proportion of 15-35 per cent of the capital investment of project at the subsidized rate of interest up to 5 per cent.

Such government initiatives sure play a crucial role in creating a likely environment for women to build businesses. The earlier 10 per cent of women entrepreneurs' standing amongst total entrepreneurs are looking to double up in the upcoming years. This can be contributed to an ongoing discussion to empower women in the field of entrepreneurship.

The Government Support

India is a parochial society and arrangement of funds mainly has been a man's domain. More so, most of the immovable assets are in name of menfolk, states Harjinder Kaur Talwar, the 36th President of FICCI Ladies Organization, adding, "In such circumstances, women cannot offer the collaterals required for obtaining the funds from financial institutes."

"The subsidized rate of interest will not only encourage women to approach financial institutes instead of only asking from their families but also families will look at making women owners of assets as to be given as collaterals," she added. Such schemes act as an emboldening influence, creating a levelled field for both men and women to participate on equal footing.

"A significant percentage of women-led businesses end up shutting shop because of the lack of institutional support and financial capital. Countless others never even leave the drawing board," shares Neha Kulwal, CEO, Admitted on why such initiatives cannot be overstated.

These initiatives also free women entrepreneurs from the financial constraints that would inhibit the growth of their ventures, stated Monica Oswal, Executive Director, Monte Carlo. Being a veteran entrepreneur, Oswal feels that a lot has been happening recently to encourage women to come up with crackling ideas, which are primed for success. That was not the case a few years back.

Investment Ops

Many of the leading women investors, from Nandini Mansinghka, Paula Mariwala, Renuka Ramnath, Varsha Tagare and even Padmaja Ruparel are based out of Mumbai. An outgoing lifestyle and encouraging environment have been the driving force behind the flourishing start-up scene in India's economic capital.

"The startups by women are high on innovation and creativity. They are fast becoming a role model for other women in society. Therefore, women investors are the champions of investing and are leading a revolution to build tomorrow's great companies. These ladies bring with them a new template for inclusive growth and have set out to make a difference," Talwar added.

Mumbai is well-connected with international markets and as India's financial capital has an extensive business ecosystem already in place, from VCs and angel investors to start-up accelerators and incubators, feels Kulwal. "Its close proximity to emerging markets such as Pune, Surat, and Nashik gives it access to talent and technology," she stated.

From time innumerable, we have seen the entrepreneurial journeys amongst the tutelage of women - from keeping an astute eye on production to having sound financial expertise for uplifting the venture. "This has instilled confidence in financial institutions to come up with incentives that promote female entrepreneurship to rise," Oswal concluded.

Aastha Singal

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Features Writer

A business journalist looking to find happiness in the world of startups, investments, MSMEs and more. Officially started her career as a news reporter for News World India, Aastha had short stints with NDTV and NewsX. A true optimist seeking to make a difference, she is a comic junkie who'd rather watch a typical Bollywood masala than a Hollywood blockbuster. 

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