Priyanka Chaturvedi

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Posts Tagged ‘Women Entrepreneurs

My Yuva Desh column: Indian Businesswomen are making the world sit up and take notice

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In a recent study conducted on women entrepreneurs across USA, UK and India, to the surprise of many people, India came out tops as the most suited destination for women to start business in 2012.

The study (conducted by PC makers Dell) surveyed around 450 women entrepreneurs and came out with interesting perspectives on entrepreneurship for women across the globe but more importantly in India.

The study found women entrepreneurs in India expect 90 per cent growth in their business over period of five years compared to 24 per cent and 50 per cent growth in business expected by entrepreneurs in the UK and the US respectively. Not just that but also the women entrepreneurs surveyed in India  71% of them said their business is very successful and 8 out of 10 said that they were hiring for their company.

Women entrepreneurship is an important source of economic growth. Women have in many scenarios helped bring in a different perspective to managing and running an organization. However, women still represent a minority of all entrepreneurs in the country.

Khushboo Mehta, Principal Designer of Cuscino Lifestyle, an interior décor company,  the company five years ago because it  gave her a chance to “keep my personal & business growth constant, which means constantly rising.”

She also goes on to add “India has finally warmed up to women empowerment, the way society looks at women also has changed drastically, so the environment in the country is extremely supportive.” Her company over the years has seen growth in double digits.

Madhumita Goswami, who started her own unique retail store, Loose Ends, selling funky knick-knacks for homes and offices, feels it is a huge challenge managing a retail store considering the high rentals and various licenses involved to keep the store running.

Another woman entrepreneur I spoke to, Kranti Kothari, is the proprietor of Sweet Moments, a chocolate manufacturing company she started from home. Kranti Kothari is doing so well that she is soon going to start her own retail store. All this has been achieved in less than three years. The company now not only offers chocolates but cakes and other products, what started out as a small venture catering to only corporate clients will now also cater to retail clients through her store. She says that though there have been a few impediments in running her business till now, it has been an interesting growth journey.

The successes of these women entrepreneurs, notwithstanding, fact is a lot of them have to deal with gender-based barriers when they start out in what is a predominantly male bastion.

Lot of them suffer from lack of access to formal finance mechanisms, it is harder for a woman who is starting out on her own, often without any family support, to raise funds for her business venture. becomes difficult -dominated set up. The fact that inheritance laws are discriminatory against women doesn’t help matters either, often there is limited access to information.

Despite these not inconsiderable hurdles, the amazing success rate of business ventures started by Indian women entrepreneurs has encouraged many institutions specializing in business studies to offer specific Women Entrepreneurship courses to help women manage their businesses professionally. Such courses are also designed to ensure that women are armed with a business plan and ideas to diversify in order to keep their businesses growing. They also equip the women to take charge of their business in entirety by giving an overview of how a business is run, how funds can be obtained.

Women across geographies found funding their businesses the most difficult task as per the survey. The central government on its part has introduced many policies that work as a catalyst to have more women participating in the economy through entrepreneurship.

In addition to the special schemes for women entrepreneurs, various government schemes for MSMEs also provide certain special incentives and concessions for women entrepreneurs. For instance, under Prime Minister’s Rozgar Yojana (PMRY), preference is given to women beneficiaries. The government has also made several relaxations for women to facilitate the participation of women beneficiaries in this scheme.

So if you are an Indian woman reading this and believe that you have an idea worth exploring, why not sit down and prepare a business plan for the same?  You never know you might be a business tycoon in the making. Remember one thing: nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Written by Priyanka Chaturvedi

July 16, 2012 at 9:42 am

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