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Women’s Entrepreneurship in India

April, 2021

Women’s entrepreneurship has been considered an important instrument in achieving equity in the form of better quality of life for women in the developing world. Empowerment associated with female entrepreneurship changes a woman’s position in the family unit, her community and society, not only through financial independence, but through her acquisition of a position in the national workforce traditionally left to men in developing and underdeveloped regions. Successful women entrepreneurs have been significantly contributing to employment generation, socio-economic development, and further empowerment of the female cohort. But their contribution in India has to a great extent been subject to underlying facilitators and barriers. In India, women are still limited to the micro enterprise sector, both in rural and urban areas. It has become quite clear over the years that the role and contribution of female entrepreneurs in India has been pulled back by a myriad of socio-cultural systems still in place, and perceptions of the community against women leaders and female-headed firms.

Of the 13.76 per cent female entrepreneurs reported in India now, most are small business owners rather than real entrepreneurs by definition. Entrepreneurial intention, interests and activities truly suffer in underdeveloped regions which lack physical and human capital and a conducive industrial environment. Therefore, individuals shift from being innovators to imitators, bringing in existing goods or techniques to virgin regions (Burger-Helmchen 2012). However, even such ventures on the part of entrepreneurs can bring about rapid economic development in backward areas. Rural entrepreneurship, which at this time mostly comprised female business owners, when encouraged through government interventions can radically transform the standard of living in such underdeveloped regions.

Resource Type Working paper

Topics ISST

Authors Shiney Chakraborty and Rhitabrita Mukherjee