Women entrepreneurship has come a long way since last decade. We have got many women-owned businesses and communities which are being recognised worldwide today.
Here’s what business experts from Biz2Credit India have to say about the prevalent gender gap at the business front in the country:
Q. Has the situation changed for women entrepreneurs in India?
A. Yes! Women in India have come a long way if we compare the situation from the last couple of decades, However; they still have a long way to go. As per sixth economic census, women constitute just 14% of the total Indian entrepreneurs, which roughly around 8.05 million and most of them run small-scale companies. While the rest entrepreneurs are men (out of the 58.5 million).
There has been a growth but not so impressive!
Q. What are the reasons behind this huge gender gap?
A. According to the same survey that I mentioned recently, Indian women have unequal inheritance rights. This fact is not just prevalent in rural areas but many urban cities too. This is one of the strongest reasons behind such a massive gender gap in the country.
And then there are some couple of other factors too such as lack of family support and motivation, poor literacy rate, and others. The female literacy rate witnessed a growth rate of just 10.9% (from 2001 to 2013), which is too less. Education is a crucial factor in shaping one’s future which a majority of women in India are still lacking.
I have interacted with many women who are willing to be entrepreneurs, and from my own experience, I could say that most of them discussed three common problems in the way of becoming a successful entrepreneur in the country.
The first problem is that they have to work double than their male counterparts for proving their worth and taken seriously in the entrepreneurship world of India.
Secondly, there are some successful women entrepreneurs in India, but still, there is a big shortage of successful female entrepreneurs who could be their role models or mentors. There are still some preconceived notions that certain jobs and roles are gender specific, and entrepreneurship is considered men’s domain by many people.
Thirdly, lack of access to capital or business funding. As I mentioned earlier, unequal inheritance rights limit women’s access to collateral and start-up capital. That’s why many lenders (mainly traditional ones) don’t see women-owned businesses as creditworthy and hesitate in lending money to them. That is the main reason why about 79% of women-owned businesses in India are self-financed.
Q. How Can Women Overcome This Huge Gender Gap?
A. Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi has been taking many initiatives to bring more and more women in the business world, such as Stand Up India scheme, through which banks will extend loans of up to INR 1 crore to female entrepreneurs, SCs, and Sts. The government is keen to improve the situation for fempreneurs in India. However, there is still a lot to be done to change shift the Indian start-up scene from men to women. Indian women have passion as well as potential to transform entrepreneurship in India, and they could do so with the proper support and better access to financing at the right time.
Although traditional lending platforms ;are not so keen to lend money to women-owned businesses, online lending platforms or fintech companies are coming to the rescue of such entrepreneurs.
These platforms are helping more and more fempreneurs, small business owners, and start-ups with much-needed business funding in the form of business loans, equipment financing, and other types of finance.
We at Biz2Credit love businesses like you. We are here for small businesses. Get those much-needed funds through Biz2Credit.