Issues and Challenges for Women Entrepreneurs in India

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More than ever before, Change is the only constant in life, especially so in industry, and as a consequence, tremendous opportunities are opening up for women entrepreneurs. It is true that the presence of women entrepreneurs is very low in India, but you can look at it as another great opportunity riding on this all-pervasive change – and not as an obstacle toughening the entry barrier further for women in industry. Barely a decade ago, had few people anticipated that the proportion of women in call centres and IT industry would rise to be what it is today? Similarly, women as entrepreneurs can be a game changer and change the rules of the game in industry. Right now, women from upper class families are able to make the transition from homemaker to entrepreneur more easily compared to their counterparts from the middle and lower classes of society. The urban markets are buzzing with many women entrepreneurs who have won market space and mind space, recognition and awards. Any understanding of Indian women, their identity, their role-playing, and breaking the glass ceiling by blazing new paths, will be incomplete without a walk down the corridors of Indian history where women have donned multiple roles and responsibilities. The paper analyzes the status of women entrepreneurs and the problems faced by them when they ventured out to carve their own place in the competitive world of business environment.   This paper also focuses on issues and challenges facing women entrepreneurs and offers remedies and strategies to leverage their role as change agents.


Two decades ago, Globalization and information revolution, which ushered in a new era, has brought out a radical change that had comprehensive impact on the economic scenario of the developed and developing economies of the World. India, hitherto under umbrella of protectionism, had no choice except to fall in line with these changes. With new policies of economic liberalization, globalization and privatization initiated by the Government of India, the Indian economy has been witnessing a comprehensive change. Entrepreneurial potential in India is huge. At present, women involvement in economic activities is marked by a low participation rate, excessive concentration in the organized sector and employment in less skilled jobs. Any move aimed at economic development without involving women, who constitute half the World population will be unbalanced. Gone are the days when a man could boast of being capable of feeding the whole family. Now the woman must supplement it through whatever skill she has acquired. Now the women are playing multidisciplinary roles. There is ample proof that entrepreneurial spirit is no longer a domain of male. Women entrepreneurship has gained impetus in the last three decades with the increase in the number of women entrepreneurs and their noteworthy contribution to economic growth. The industrial performance of Asia-Pacific region propelled by Foreign Direct Investment, technological innovations and manufactured exports has brought a wide range of economic and social opportunities to women entrepreneurs


In this progressive world, women entrepreneurs are integral part of the global pursuit for sustained economic development and social progress. In India, though women have played a key role in the society, their entrepreneurial skill has not been properly tapped due to the lower status of women in the society. It is only from the Fifth Five Year Plan (1974-78) onwards that their role has been explicitly recognized with a noticeable shift in the approach from women welfare to women development and empowerment. The development of women entrepreneurship has become an...
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