Traditionally seen as the family bulwark, women are now emerging as a force in the enterprise. In fact, multiple examples like Jaswantiben Jamnadas Popat (Lijjat Papad), Rajni Bector (Cremica Foods) speaks of the entrepreneurial success of women in many fields. And now, the regular working woman is also fast metamorphosing into the entrepreneur woman.
Is it any different (or difficult) when women take up business aspirations?
What are the mindsets or prejudices that they encounter?
How rocky is their road to success as compared to their male counterparts?
These are the few of the many questions that remain unanswered.
Greyhound Sculpt, the Consumer Research & Innovation arm of Greyhound Knowledge Group undertook a study to better understand the issues faced by women entrepreneurs in India. The study interviewed over 1000 women (among SEC A2B1) running their own ventures spread across NCR, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Ahmedabad.
Below are some of the key outcomes of the study:
- Women are happy entrepreneurs. 50% respondents stated they are happy being an entrepreneur as it gives them a sense of freedom. However, 20% women claimed they started their own business to follow their passion and satiate their need for creative satisfaction. For example, makeup artists opening their own salon, housewives starting home cooked food delivery services for the office goers among others. On the other hand, 20% respondents have started their own business for a better standard of living.
- Challenge of balancing work and family: More than 40% women claimed that they either work from home or near their homes to look after their family and completing regular chores. 45% of women stress on the fact that being an entrepreneur gives them the flexibility of time.
- A constant struggle to be taken seriously: A major part of the women surveyed – 68% faced the challenge of not being taken seriously. In addition, 40% claimed that their family members did not approve or were not confident of them being entrepreneurs. This re-enforces that family approval (especially elders and husbands) play a decisive role for women in business matters.
- Some sectors are perceived as ‘No Entry’ for women entrepreneurs: Self imposed barriers do exist. Women claimed that there are some sectors where there are strong entry barriers. Sectors like transport; Real Estate, Automobiles, etc are identified as sectors with very strong entry barriers to women entrepreneurs.
Women entrepreneurs are a brave new breed and soon, with technology, finances and other business support on their side, may be a significant sector of enterprise. Despite business styles that may be different from their male counterparts, their business skills are just as sharp. This new breed of enterprises will need as much technology and marketing support, which could be an interesting market opportunity.
What’s your Standpoint?
Do the trends above also reflect your story? Are you also struggling, as a woman, to make a mark as entrepreneur? What support do you think will create that impetus for your new business? Leave a comment and share with us your experience or send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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