Women Entrepreneurs in Business
“You can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women.” – Jawaharlal Nehru.
Women have taken by storm any field that they have stepped into. When it comes to business and entrepreneurship, it is not any different. Women, all over the world, have showcased their acumen and beat hardships and made their mark in this territory which was originally highly dominated by men. Women have always had to prove why they are worthy of something that comes so easily to a man. A few years ago, it was education, then it was the ability to manage the home and have a successful career, and today it is the propensity of starting and running a business efficaciously.
In India, the transition from being a mere home-maker to a working professional, for a woman, has been extremely onerous. It was no less than a war. A war against time and the mentality of those who did not see her capable of achieving this feat. Nevertheless, she took what was hers and today we hear the names of various prosperous women entrepreneurs or of those women who hold high ranking positions in multi-national companies.
To talk about a few, Chanda Kocchar was the MD and CEO of ICICI bank. Indra Nooyi was the CEO for the multi-national brand Pepsico. Zarin Daruwala. Archana Bhargava, Aisha De Sequeira, etc., have all proven all those wrong who raised doubts in the eyes of the world and reiterated that women don’t belong anywhere but at home.
Women have started entrepreneurial ventures from their homes and have made it big. Small-scale businesses run from a micro establishment like a house or a workshop are excellent examples of the same. This does not go to say that it was a cakewalk for anyone who tried their hand at business. Women entrepreneurs often have to face problems ranging from utter difficulty in finding investors to finding trust-worthy employees. This does not go to say that these things come easily for men. There is a certain level of struggle involved for everyone, but it is just a little more for women.
The primary reason for this is that society still does not see women as entrepreneurs. The initial funding of an entrepreneurial venture is the literally the life-line of it. Banks find women entrepreneurs as less credit-worthy and often discourage them from entering businesses. This is so because these financial institutions believe that a woman cannot dedicate enough time and energy to their businesses which will eventually result in the downfall of it.
Further, women still have limited mobility in India. A lone woman booking a hotel room for herself is still frowned upon in many parts of the country. Cumbersome exercise is involved in starting an enterprise and when it is coupled with a demeaning attitude of officials towards women, it obliges them to give up on the idea of starting an enterprise.
In cities, the rate of illiteracy in women is comparatively low and hence we do not see the bigger picture. Around 60 percent of the female population in India is still illiterate and this also stands as a huge hurdle in the participation of women in business and entrepreneurship.
Various hurdles exist in the path towards owning and running a successful business for women but they are breaking the shackles of society and venturing into new grounds and firmly making their place there. Thus, even when undue pressure exists on women to cater to the needs of their families, they have been striking the correct balance between their careers and personal life. Such a balance is indeed tough to achieve and most importantly utterly arduous to sustain.
Writer at Digipundit
Mrunmayi Gaikwad, soon to be a wielder of the scales of justice, harbors a twin passion for law and for poetry. Writing is more than just a hobby for her – it is a release. Mrunmayi is an avid reader and hopes to have her own personal library someday. Her family and the city of Mumbai are two pillars of her life.