30 Aug 2019
Women Entrepreneurship Development in India – What would it take to have more Women Entrepreneurs in a Growing Start-up Ecosystem?
As per a recent article in The Mint, startup funding in India in the first half of 2019 touched $4.7 bn, compared with $4.3 bn a year ago. From a recent commitment by OYO to invest $300 million in the US market to social commerce firm Meesho raising $120 Million in an investment round led by Naspers, Indian start-ups continue to thrive and grow with a growing interest from global investors.
However as per our 6th Economic Census, women constitute a mere 14% of the total entrepreneurs in India, which includes our agrarian sector. So, what would it take to encourage more women to take the entrepreneurial route?
- Providing more forums for women to access business mentors for start-ups.
A mentor can play a critical role in guiding a
new entrepreneur and having a forum that provides access to more mentors would encourage women to have the support needed in the early days of their venture, especially before they have raised the first round of institutional funding.
- Encouraging more women entrepreneurs through start-up acceleration programs especially at universities.
We already have several standalone and university linked accelerator program’s in the country and using them to incubate more women founded ventures would help encourage more college girls to start early on their entrepreneurial journey. It could also be a way for professional women to incubate ventures when looking to switch careers to be an entrepreneur.
- Sharing more stories of successful women entrepreneurs.
We all need role models in life to look up to and learn from and having opportunities for successful women entrepreneurs to share their stories with young girls allows them to learn what it would take to make it happen.
Investors only invest in a venture if they see it has the potential to become successful irrespective of whether it is founded by a man or a woman. So, while we may talk about the boy’s club and the need to have more investors for women entrepreneurs in India, the fact is that we need to support our women through networks and programs to develop companies and ideas at par with any other. So, as we continue to see the Indian start up ecosystem thrive and grow let’s hope to see more women led unicorns in its next decade of growth.