There’s no denying the fact that Indian women have come a long way, but according to facts revealed by the Sixth Economic Census by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), they still have a long way to go when it comes to matching the numbers with their male counterparts.
According to the data collected during the survey, only 14 percent of business establishments in the country are being run by female entrepreneurs. This means, out of the 58.5 million functional businesses, only 8.05 million of them have a female as a boss. The data collected by the survey also revealed that most of these women run companies are small-scale and about 79 percent of them are self-financed.
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The survey also talks about the reason behind this massive gender gap in the Indian Entrepreneurship sector. According to it, India’s poor numbers could be a result of the unequal inheritance rights for women prevalent in the country and the work restrictions that might be acting as a hurdle and limiting their access to startup capital and collateral.
Another interesting fact that the survey revealed was, that the Southern part of India was more habitable and warm towards women entrepreneurs as compared to the northern part. About 1.08 million of the female-headed companies have their base in Tamil Nadu, followed by Kerala with 0.91 million and Andhra Pradesh with 0.56 million. A major reason for this could be the favorable sex ratio pattern visible across almost most of the Southern India states.
From my own experience that I have had interacting with a number of women entrepreneurs while interviewing them for IndianWeb2, most of them talked about three common hurdles that they need to pass in order to become a significant, successful entrepreneur in India.
Firstly, they have to work twice as compared to their male counterparts in order to be taken seriously in the Indian entrepreneurship world.
Secondly, there’s a huge shortage of successful Indian entrepreneur female role models and mentors.
Thirdly, there are still a number of gender specific jobs and roles, with Entrepreneurship being considered a man’s domain.
In what could be seen as a sign of change and hope, the survey shows that out of the total 14 percent of female Indian Entrepreneurs, around sixty percent of are from the disadvantaged communities. In fact, our very own Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has a special interest in the Indian startup sector, had recently launched the Stand Up India scheme, under which banks will be giving loans of up to Rs.1 crore to SCs, STs and female entrepreneurs.
While the Indian startup scene is currently tilted towards the men, IndianWeb2 strongly believes that Indian women have the potential and passion to catch up to them and transform entrepreneurship into a level playing field in India.
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