A study by Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) has ranked India 52nd out of 57 countries judged on the basis of parity for women entrepreneurs. The report highlighted that the main causes of the lack of women entrepreneurship are cultural bias, lack of access to financial services and poor social acceptance.
As India’s rank remains unchanged from last year, it falls far behind the US (4th) and China (29th), and is only ahead of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt, and Bangladesh.
The report also added that women are less inclined to business ownership due to cultural bias, and the underlying conditions for women entrepreneurship in the country are less than favourable.
It further added that women in India are more likely to discontinue their business or less likely to grow their business because of unprofitability or lack of finance.
Commenting on the report, Manasi Narasimhan, Mastercard Vice President, Marketing and Communications, said, “Learning from countries such the US and China, India needs to cultivate an environment where women have higher participation in the workforce and access to tertiary (post-secondary) education and financial services.”
The report also highlighted that the obstacles for women entrepreneurship are majorly caused due to gender biases, which lead to poor social and cultural acceptance, lack of belief in self and lack of access to funding.
Some Other Key Stats About Women Entrepreneurship
Attesting to the state of women entrepreneurship in India are key statistics on women advancement outcomes, knowledge assets and support for entrepreneurship.
The report ranked India 52nd in Women’s advancement outcomes, which indicates the degree of bias against women as workforce participants, political and business leaders, as well as the financial strength and entrepreneurial inclination of women. India ranks far behind the US (8) and China (27).
Also, India ranks 55th in knowledge assets and financial access for women entrepreneurs. By comparison, China ranks 10th and the US 16th, in terms of providing access to basic financial services, better knowledge sources to women, and better support for small and medium enterprises.
In terms of entrepreneurial conditions, India ranks 47th and China ranks 41st. On the other hand, the US ranks 11th in the ease of doing business locally, quality of local governance and cultural perception etc.
NITI Aayog Launches Women Entrepreneurship Platform On Women’s Day
Amid the growing spirit of entrepreneurship among women in the country, the government-run think tank has launched a dedicated women’s cell to provide them with a platform where various stakeholders can connect to give a boost to their initiatives.
In sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India and Startup India initiatives, the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) aims to promote women entrepreneurship by collaborating with various partner organisations, providing industry linkages and offering partner support to women entrepreneurs. The platform also aims to increase the visibility of existing schemes, programmes and services across the government and private sectors.
On the launch of WEP, Anna Roy, head of WEP told ET, “The platform aspires to substantially increase the number of women entrepreneurs who will create and empower a dynamic new India. WEP will provide opportunities to women to realize their entrepreneurial aspirations, scale-up innovative initiatives and chalk-out sustainable, long-term strategies for their businesses.”
The platform will count on partnerships with micro-finance companies for a basic verification of credentials and credit evaluation to enable credit access to women-led businesses. At present, WEP has already partnered with companies like Facebook, NASSCOM, SIDBI, FICCI etc.
Also, WEP has partnered with DICE, which will provide a fund of $1.53 Mn (INR 10 Cr) through its accelerator and Digital Leadership Institute which will train 1000 women for free. Also, Mann Deshi foundation will allow women entrepreneurs to call on a helpline number for advice in digital literacy.
As the government continues to boost women entrepreneurship in India, the ranking of the report should work as a driving force to provide better opportunities for women entrepreneurs in the country.