Earlier in the year, we reported how the second report of “Startup India- Momentous rise of the Indian Startup ecosystem” presented by Nasscom along with Zinnov revealed that only 9 per cent of Indian founders or co-founders are women. So, why is that the third largest startup ecosystem in the world churns out such unimpressive numbers when it comes to women entrepreneurs.

According to a statement given by a US-based woman entrepreneur and investment banker in Kolkata recently, "Lack of access to capital, gender bias at work place and a weak infrastructure in capacity building for women to derive necessary skill sets are the "key challenges" that get in the way of women entrepreneurship in India.

Speaking at the media round table organised by the US Consulate General Kolkata at the American Center this week, Accelerator Group LLC Managing Director Seema Chaturvedi said, "In India despite all the pro women government schemes, the awareness of how to get access to capital is very limited. The women may manage to get the debt but the access to private equity in the form of venture funding or mid to late stage funding is minimal."

It is important to note that, in India, not only is getting into the startup ecosystem a tough task for women entrepreneurs, but surviving through the system laden with gender inequality and discrimination is an even harder task that they have to work through every day. In India, being an entrepreneur and being a female entrepreneur are two different ball games all together.

Chaturvedi was in the city in the foresight of the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2017 and aimed to engage with Global Links students, government officials, entrepreneurs, businessmen, start-ups, and NGOs for promoting entrepreneurship, innovation and business incubation through specialised programmes.

Speaking at the event, Chaturvedi also highlighted the plight of missing capacity building for women skills in the country. She said, a lot women entrepreneurs in India do not have an ability to access certain opportunities as they lack certain soft skills like pitching their ideas to the investors.

Just imagine if women entrepreneurs find the same representation in the Indian ecosystem as menenpreneurs, the Indian startup ecosystem would be way ahead than it currently is.

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