English Hindi


Prelims Capsule

Indian Society

Women Entrepreneurs in India and their impact on society

Women Entrepreneurs in India and their impact on society


  • GS 1 || Indian Society || Women || Role of Women

What is Entrepreneurship?

  • Entrepreneurship is the process that creates a difference in the life of other people by making a difference in your own life. Entrepreneurship has always been associated with wealth generation and we cannot deny the fact that indeed this is one integral part of the process. Simultaneously entrepreneurship as well drives change and innovation.

Status of Women Entrepreneurship in India

  • A study by Dell and Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute (GEDI)
    • In a survey conducted by Dell and Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute (GEDI), India was ranked 16th/17 countries only above Uganda. Countries like Turkey, Morocco, and Egypt has outperformed India. 
  • IMF’s data
    • Only about 16 percent of Indian women own or run businesses, according to the Economic Census conducted by IMF.
    • More than 90 percent of companies run by women are microenterprises, and about 79 percent are self-financed.
  • Limited role
    • At present, women’s entrepreneurial role is limited in large-scale industries and technology-based businesses. But even in small-scale industries, women’s participation is very low.
    • As per the third all India census of Small-Scale Industries, only 10.11% of the micro and small enterprises were owned by women, and only 9.46% of them were managed by women
    • The participation of women has increased in the past decade. Yet, women constitute only one-third of the economic enterprises.

Significance of getting women in the entrepreneurship

  • Economic Growth: Women can start a new business that caters to a different market than their male counterparts.
    • Enabling women tend to spend more time on their children’s education and health, which in turn boosts productivity.
  • For narrowing gender gap: Women entrepreneurs inspire other women to start business leading to job creation for women, which ultimately helps in bridging the gender gap in the workforce. Narrowing the gender gap in employment will increase global income.
  • Safety at the workplace: Creating and preserving a strong positive company culture is a prerequisite for the growth and long-term success of any company.
    • According to the various studies, a women-led company tend to have a better company culture, high values, and also transparency.
    • Women have struggled with how to maintain a work-life balance, it is seen that women-led organizations are more sensitive to safety issues.

A concept to overcome the economic challenges

  • At Present, Entrepreneurship is the most encouraging concept all over the world to overcome economic challenges. Being the vital gender of the overall population, Women have great capacity and potential to be contributors to the overall economic growth of any nation.
  • In the modern era, more and more women are taking up entrepreneurial activities especially in medium and small-scale enterprises. Women-owned businesses are highly increasing in the economies of almost all countries.
    • Around 14% of the total entrepreneurship in India is constituted by women entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship has influenced in great ways the empowerment of women in society & has bridged the gap to some extent in gender-biased ways of treatment on different platforms with women.
  • Women are the largest untapped reservoirof talent and women entrepreneurship is the most unexplored part of the economy, especially in developing countries like India.
  • Women entrepreneurship is gaining importance in India in the wake of economic liberalization and globalization.

Some Renownedwomen entrepreneurs from India

  • Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw- Indian businesswoman and Entrepreneur Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is the Chairman and Managing Director of Biocon, the Country’s leading biotech company.
  • KamaljitKaur- runsKimmu’s Kitchen, a startup that specializes in farm-fresh ghee.
  • Aditi Gupta-Gupta is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and made it to the achiever’s list of Forbes India 30 under 30 in 2014 for her work towards breaking the taboo around menstruation.
    • She is an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumni.
    • She aspires to create a future where menstruation is not a taboo but a welcoming change in a girl’s life.

Challenges faced by women

  • Conflicts between Work and Domestic Commitments
    • Women’s family responsibilities also prevent them from becoming successful entrepreneurs, particularly in developing countries such as India.
  • Heavy household responsibilities place a strain on women, particularly those in rural areas with more children.
    • They are expected to perform their traditional role as housewives, so they have fewer hours of free time than men, both on weekends and during the week.
  • Lack of family support
    • The family may sometimes make the woman feel guilty for neglecting household duties in her pursuit of business obligations. Cultural norms may prevent a woman from starting her own business. Male members believe it is a big risk to fund women’s ventures.
  • Marketing and promotion a hurdle
  • Marketing and promotion a hurdleof a business is difficult for women entrepreneurs, especially given the patriarchal and stereotyped mindset of the society.
    • For example, because it was run by a woman, a school in Bihar declined a proposal to supply books.
  • Gender disparities in education
  • According to HDI reports, the gender gap in education can reach 100 percent in some states (E.g. Mean years of schooling for women is around 5 years compared to 7.2 years for men).
  • They frequently lack the education, vocational and technical skills, and work experience required to support the development of highly productive businesses.
  • Lack of financial resources hampered by a lack of personal identification, a lack of property in their name, and the requirement for their husband’s countersignature on many documents.

Women at Work

UNDP Findings

  • The UNDP in its latest report for Gender Inequality has noted that
    • On average, women spend 2.4 more hours per day than men on unpaid care and domestic work. Among people who participate in the paid economy, women spend an average of four hours more per day than men on paid and unpaid work combined.
    • Women have been hit harder than men by the pandemic, losing income and leaving the labour market at a greater rate.
    • Women are 25% more likely than men to live in extreme poverty.
    • Global female employment is 19% more at risk than male employment (ILO estimates).

WEF Findings for India

  • The Global Gender Gap Report 2021 by World Economic Forum (WEF)report noted that in terms of economic participation, the gender gap widened in India by 3% this year.
    • The share of women in professional and technical roles declined further to 29.2%.
    • The share of women in senior and managerial positions also is as low as 14.6% and only 8.9% of firms in the country have top female managers.
    • The estimated earned income of women in India is only one-fifth of men’s, which puts the country among the bottom 10 globally on this indicator.
  • In Pakistan and Afghanistan, the income of an average woman is below 16% of that of an average man, while in India it is 20.7%.

Government Initiatives for women Empowerment in Entrepreneurship

  • The government has introduced schemes like Skill India Mission, Stand Up India, Mudra scheme, etc., which have helped Indian women to start their businesses.
  • The Self-Help Group promotion through schemes like Bank linkage or Kudumbashree / Jharcraft etc. have generated women-run business all over the country.
  • Many women start a business due to some traumatic event, such as divorce, discrimination due to pregnancy or the corporate glass ceiling, the health of a family member, or economic reasons such as a layoff.

Other initiatives

  • Mahila – e – haat
  • Mahila Bank
  • Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP)
  • Bharathiya Mahila Bank Business Loan
  • Mudra Yojana Scheme
  • Dena Shakti Scheme
  • Udyogini Scheme
  • Cent Kalyani Scheme
  • Mahila Coir Yojana
  • Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women (STEP) Scheme
  • MahilaUdyamNidhi Scheme

Way forward

  • Encouraging Women Entrepreneurship:Women shall not only be the seekers but also the creators of job opportunities.
    • Entrepreneurship among women could transform India’s economy and society by creating jobs, fuelling innovation, and furthering investment in health and education.
  • Changing the Mindset:Girls, just like male children, should be asked about their dreams, aims, aspirations in the family as well as schools.
    • The idea that ‘their dreams and career are as important as that of a male’ must be instilled in the minds of girls right from the beginning.
  • More awareness
    • Women’s entry into the business in India can be traced back to their kitchen activities. More awareness programs, training programs, skill development, loans and subsidies, grievance forums, and other initiatives to promote women’s entrepreneurship are required.
  • Educating and Empowering women
    • It is the key to women’s empowerment and the overall growth of a nation.
    • The ripple effects of empowering women are undeniable as an educated and empowered woman will ensure education and empowerment for future generations.
  • Providing Basic Needs is also a form of empowerment
    • Not only does education, employment, and entrepreneurship lead to women’s empowerment, but also providing basic and other small necessities is an act of empowerment in and of itself.
    • A bank account in their name, a home of their own, or even proper hygiene and sanitation facilities at workplaces, educational institutions, and so on.


  • Women today are on a spree of extending their god-gifted trait of being a problem solver and converting it to a wider range of opportunities to become self-dependent and self-sustainable financially as well as emotionally.
  • When women advance and move forward, the family, the village, and, eventually, the nation, advance as well. Glass ceilings have been shattered, and women are now found in every field of business.

Mains model question

  • Explain the role of women in the Indian Economy. What are the issues faced by women entrepreneurs?