Why does India need more women entrepreneurs?
The influx of more women into the workforce has led to significant economic growth and productivity. While more women have sought and got employment...
Over the past few decades, women's role in our society has changed drastically, and it's for their benefit. Women now hold the previously considered masculine corporate positions and in some. Ways outperform their male counterparts.
The gender stereotypes which were more prevalent in the society decades ago are breaking slowly. But there is still a long way to go.
Women constitute around half the total (48 per cent) Indian population but their participation in the economic activities is only 25 per cent.
This disparity directly affects country's economic growth. Women bring to problem-solving a different set of insights that can improve the quality of the solution.
Women bring a unique set of issues and experiences that can help in decision making enhancing the quality of the decision.
Here are some of the many reasons why India needs more Women Entrepreneurs and how it can strengthen us economically, socially and culturally.
The influx of more women into the workforce has led to significant economic growth and productivity. While more women have sought and got employment in greater numbers, their participation as entrepreneurs is very less.
Fewer women have become entrepreneurs, meaning their potential to contribute towards innovation, job creation, and economic growth has been untapped yet. Women entrepreneurs have the unique tendency to build and maintain long-term relationships.
They have more effective communicational, organizational and networking skills than their male counterparts. Moreover their fiscally conservative approach reduces the risk of failure of their organizations.
Women can start new businesses that cater to a totally different market or niche than their male counterparts.
Narrowing gender gap
Even after decades of efforts toward making women equal with men socially and economically, the gap between them remains large.
Women entrepreneurs inspire other women to start businesses. This leads to more job creation for women which ultimately helps in reducing the gender gap in the workforce. When women become successful in a field, the next generation of women is more likely to emulate their success.
The connection between women's economic participation and growth, in particular, is compelling. Government and corporate institutions must come together to address the gender gap issue in entrepreneurship which can begin a new era of women-led growth.
Company culture & safety at workplace
Creating and preserving a strong and positive company culture is the pre-requisite for the growth and long-term success of any company.
Studies show that women-owned firms tend to have better company culture, high values and transparency. They tend to have better employee relationships horizontally as well as vertically.
Women have long struggled with how to maintain a work-life balance, so it's no surprise that they would run companies keeping these types of issues in mind and resolve them for their employees.
They would allow time flexibility and place a focus on health and safety of women employees. Moreover, an entire new generation of young and confident women is going out to work in the numbers larger than ever before.
Their safety is the biggest concern and it must be the topmost priority for any organisation. They can develop a robust and transparent reporting mechanism so that there is no stigma attached to the reporting of sexual harassment.
Funding/investment to women-led start-ups
Start-ups are anyway a difficult game to enter in to, irrespective of your gender. However, VC/Angel funding rates for women entrepreneurs are very less than it is for men.
Access to capital is crucial for sustainability and long-term growth of any small business. Investors tend to have an unconscious and an unintentional bias against women entrepreneurs that they are less likely to succeed as entrepreneurs than their male counterparts and therefore less reliable an investment.
This perception makes it harder for women entrepreneurs to secure funding. Very few women-led businesses get series-B or series-C funding.
Things can change. When women are heading institutions which support start-ups, they can help and mentor more women entrepreneurs as well as use their VC and Angel networks to help them secure more investment and capital.
Woman entrepreneurship can lead to a tremendous social change, making women financially empowered and independent. That can increase levels of confidence and happiness in women, as the satisfaction of achievement and self-sufficiency can boost their self-esteem and overall well-being.
Moreover, women tend to invest high amount of their income into their children's health and education which helps in building a healthier and educated youth means better future.
Indian Corporate Houses need more female executives and Indian economy needs more women entrepreneurs because more diversity in the boardroom leads to a better and stronger business.
The writer is a CEO & Co-Founder, Venuelook