Before the start of the 21st century, women would operate businesses as a way to supplement income. They were considered as home makers with little to do with economy or commerce. The word ‘entrepreneur’ was only reserved for men. However, with the turn of the century, the status of women in India has drastically improved due to growing industrialisation, globalisation, and social legislation. With the spread of education and awareness, women have now shifted from their household chores to higher levels of professional activities.
Recent years have seen a substantial rise of women in various spheres of life. Women have made a mark in the corporate world, breaking through the barriers of social compliance, both at home and workplace to become successful entrepreneurs. Today, they are progressively putting their steps at par with men in the business arena.
According to a recent study, nearly half of India’s entrepreneurs are women. However, there are still perceptions about the role of women in business as most of the people believe that women can only set up businesses in designing, fashion, or something creative. I have never let this affect me and my advice to young women who dream of setting up their own business is to never give up and always believe in themselves.
Living in an emerging country like India where there is no dearth of women entrepreneurs, there are still a few challenges that young women face who aspire to become entrepreneurs.
Poor Support System
In India, women are often stuck between traditions and their dreams. Even today, the impact of family and society on women has not dwindled. This trend is more prominent among the married women in tier II and III cities, who have multiple responsibilities at home; and this restricts them from entering into the business field.
Vicious Money Circle
Many women are monetarily dependent and therefore look at financial institutions as a source to inject funds in their business. However, banks generally hesitate while lending loans because they do not consider women as serious applicants. Moreover, since women in our country usually do not own assets directly in their name, recovery of funds can be daunting for banks, in case the business doesn’t generate enough profits.
Lack Of An Ideal Role Model
There may be many successful female entrepreneurs throughout the world, but male entrepreneurs get better visibility across platforms. Due to this, aspiring women entrepreneurs are often unable to identify role models, caught behind limelight. This limits them to learn from somebody else’s experience, thoughts, and vision.
Building A Profound Network
One of the biggest challenges for women entrepreneurs today, is to pave their own path to facilitate introductions and connections into an elite business network. It is tough for a majority of women because they have none or limited links on the professional front. With the core being assembled around family, they tend to have fewer connections when compared to men.
Not Enough Practical Experience
Women may have the required expertise, skill, and knowledge to exercise their idea in the business showground but one important thing that they lack is practical proficiency. An entrepreneur who has prior real- world experience is likely to eliminate mistakes and undertake better decisions in trade.
Opportunities and challenges are a part of business. Today, the delight is in seeing the way women are increasingly taking the road less-travelled and positively making a successful impression. The challenges faced by women while commencing on their entrepreneurial journey makes them stronger and better decision makers than most men. The ultimate mission is to never give up and rise above the challenges endured.