Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s SPJIMR, together with FICCI-FLO Mumbai, the women’s organization of the industry association FICCI, has published a white paper entitled “Women Entrepreneurship in India – Navigating the Social Paradoxes”.
The paper was released by Amitabh Kant, CEO of Niti Aayog, during an awards ceremony – “The Game Changers – Women Start-up Awards 2021” – organized to recognize and congratulate women entrepreneurs. “The next major disruption in the Indian startup ecosystem is caused by women-led entrepreneurs,” said Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, when he officially released the paper.
According to the latest Global Gender Gap Report presented at the 2020 World Economic Forum, India ranks 149th out of 153 countries. It has been estimated that if India continues its progress towards gender equality at the same pace as a fastest improving economy, it could add $ 700 billion to GDP by 2025.
The aim of the research was to understand the challenges facing women entrepreneurs in India and to develop recommendations for policy makers, industry associations and universities. The study included 20 in-depth interviews, a comprehensive survey of more than 100 women entrepreneurs across India, and was merged with academic research. The report contains recommendations on the three key dimensions of self, the role of the family and business ecosystem.
This partnership was initiated by the chairman of FICCI FLO Mumbai, Maloo Natarajan, who said “Entrepreneurship among women can bring about social and personal change”.
Dr. Sumita Datta, SPJIMR, said “Women entrepreneurs tend to be driven by a higher purpose, serving the needs of society”.
The report suggests that despite several government announced initiatives to include women in the larger business environment, women entrepreneurs continue to face a negative trend. In fact, the title “Navigating Social Paradoxes” was chosen because “our study indicated that women entrepreneurs face invisible challenges arising from the social hierarchy of our society,” explains Prof. Ratika Gore, SPJIMR.
Dr. Rajiv Agarwal, SPJIMR stated that “the relationship with stakeholders and family can be either the greatest enabler or the greatest challenge for the rise of women entrepreneurs in India”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has announced various initiatives and programs such as Start-Up India to promote entrepreneurship among women. However, the study suggested that awareness of and access to such systems require a strong focus. Women entrepreneurs need access to initiatives that promote uptake in relevant networks, easy access to the right finances and new knowledge, including the use of technology and digital platforms.