Women Entrepreneurs in India: Problems and Prospects

Table of Content


Entrepreneurship for ladies development is an important a part of human resource. In Comparison to other countries, the event of girl’s entrepreneurship is extremely low in India, especially in rural areas. However, bourgeoisie women don’t too want to alter their role thanks to fear of social backlash. The progress is more visible among upper crust families in urban areas. “When women moves forward, the family moves the village moves and the nation moves” -Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru

There is a requirement for changing the mindset towards women soon gives equal rights as enshrined within the constitution. The progress towards gender equality is slow and is partly thanks to the failure to connect money to policy commitments. In the words of president APJ Abdul Kalama “Empowering women may be a prerequisite for creating an honest nation, when women are empowered, society with stability is assured. Empowerment of girls is important as their thoughts and their value systems cause the event of an honest family, good society and ultimately an honest nation”. When a lady is empowered it doesn’t mean that another individual becomes powerless or has less power. On the contrary, if a women is empowered her competencies towards decision- making will surely influence her family’s behavior. In advanced countries, there’s a phenomenon of increase within the number of self-employed women after the planet war-II. In USA, women own 25% of all business, albeit their sales on a mean are but two-fifths of these of other small business. In Canada, women own one-third of small business and in France it’s one fifth.

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Types of Women Entrepreneurs

  1. Affluent entrepreneurs-These are daughters and wives of made businessmen. These women have the aid and therefore the necessary resources to start out a replacement enterprise and take business risks.
  2. Pull factors- These are educated women living in urban areas with or without work experience who take the danger of a replacement enterprise with the assistance of monetary institutions and commercial banks. These women take up a replacement business as a challenge so as to be financially independent.
  3. Push factors- These women take up some commercial activity so as to beat financial difficulties. Generally widows and single women manage an existing closed corporation or develop a replacement business thanks to difficult family situations.
  4. Rural entrepreneurs- These women belong to rural areas and choose a business suiting their resources and knowledge. Business administered involves low investment, minimum risk and doesn’t require any special skills.
  5. Self-employed entrepreneurs- They are uneducated women who fall below the poverty line. They choose tiny and little enterprise which are convenient to manage and adequate for the sustenance of her family.

Problems faced by Women Entrepreneurs in India

There are some umpteen problems faced by women at various stages beginning from their initial commencement of enterprise, in running their enterprise. Their various problems are as follows:

  • Family ties

Women in India are very emotionally attached to their families. They are alleged to attend to all or any the domestic work, to seem after the youngsters and other members of the family. They are over burden with family responsibilities like extra attention to husband, children and in laws which deduct a many their time and energy. In such situation, it’ll be very difficult to concentrate and run the enterprise successfully.

  • Male dominated society

Even though our constitution speaks of equality between sexes, chauvinism remains the order of the day. Women are not treated equal to men. Their entry to business requires the approval of the head of the family. Entrepreneurship has traditionally been seen as a male preserve. All these put an opportunity within the growth of women entrepreneurs.

  • Lack of education

Women in India are lagging far behind within the field of education. Most of the ladies (around sixty per cent of total women) are illiterate. Those who are educated are provided either less or inadequate education than their male counterpart partly thanks to early marriage, partly thanks to son’s education and partly thanks to poverty. Due to lack of proper education, women entrepreneurs remain in dark about the event of latest technology, new methods of production, marketing and other governmental support which can encourage them to flourish.

  • Social barriers

The traditions and customs prevailed in Indian societies towards women sometimes stand as an obstacle before them to grow and prosper. Castes and religions dominate with each other and hinder women entrepreneurs too. In rural areas, they face more social barriers. They are always seen with suspicious eyes.

  • Shortage of raw materials

Neither the scarcity of raw materials, sometimes nor, availability of proper and adequate raw materials sounds the death-knell of the enterprises travel by women entrepreneurs. Women entrepreneurs really face a troublesome task in getting the specified staple and other necessary inputs for the enterprises when the costs are very high.

  • Problem of finance

Women entrepreneurs stiffer tons in raising and meeting the financial needs of the business, Bankers, creditors and financial institutes aren’t coming forward to supply financial assistance to women borrowers on the bottom of their less credit worthiness and more chances of business failure. They also face financial problem thanks to blockage of funds in raw materials, work-in-progress finished goods and non-receipt of payment from customers in time.

  • Tough competitions

Usually women entrepreneurs employ low technology within the process of production. During a market where the competition is just too high, they need to fight hard to survive within the market against the organized sector and their male counterpart who have vast experience and capacity to adopt advanced technology in managing enterprises

  • High cost of production

Several factors including inefficient management contribute to the high cost of production which stands as an obstacle before women entrepreneurs. Women entrepreneurs face technology obsolescence thanks to non-adoption or slow adoption to changing technology which may be a major factor of high cost of production.

  • Low risk-bearing capacity

Women in India are naturally weak, shy and mild. They can’t bear the quantity risk which is important for running an enterprise. Lack of education, training and support from outsides also reduce their ability in touch the danger involved in enterprises.

  • Limited mobility

Women mobility in India is very limited and has become a drag thanks to traditional values and inability to drive vehicles. Moving alone and posing for an area to remain call at the night for business purposes are still looked upon with suspicious eyes. Sometimes, younger ladies feel uncomfortable in handling men who show extra interest in them than work related aspects.

  • Marketing Skills

Since most girls cannot frolic for marketing, distribution and money collection, they need to depend upon middle men for the above activities. Middle men tend to take advantage of them within the appearance of helping. They add order to feature their own margin of profit which end in less sales and lesser profit for ladies entrepreneurs.

  • Entrepreneurial Skills

Lack of entrepreneurial aptitude may be a matter of concern for ladies entrepreneurs. They need limited entrepreneurial abilities. Even after attending various training programmes on entrepreneurship women entrepreneurs fail to beat the risks and troubles which will come up in an organizational working.

  • Lack of self-worth

Women entrepreneurs due to their inherent nature, lack self-confidence which is actually an interesting think about running an enterprise successfully. They need to figure hard to strike a balance between managing a family and managing an enterprise. Sometimes they need to sacrifice their entrepreneurial urge so as to strike a balance between the 2 which ends up in loss of a prospective entrepreneur.

Women Entrepreneurship Development Programs

In India, such programs have been made an integral part of industrial development because they serve a variety of important objectives for self employment, development of rural and under-developed areas, and benefiting less privileged groups, including women. This section identifies nine areas where women entrepreneurship development programs can be strengthened.

  • Enhancing institutional support

It is important that ladies entrepreneurship development programs to foster the creation of producing or service microenterprises be supported by quite just the government; support from key banking and financial institutions and other assistance agencies is required by women entrepreneurs. Both the trainers and ladies entrepreneurs would also become more confident in their effort due to the involvement of those support organizations in their Endeavour.

  •  Build up the support infrastructure

At an organizational level, it’s essential that ladies entrepreneurship development is haunted by more specialized organizations that have a stronger commitment to the present activity. A special culture is required to market, motivate and develop sustainable infrastructure for fostering women entrepreneurship. The organization and thus the trainers must be doing training and development work continuously instead of an existing officer ‘spared’ for a program here and there. The size of operations within any country will need to be fairly large, because the entrepreneurial potential among women living in poverty is high even within the most underdeveloped regions.

  • Enlarging the cadre of trainer-motivators

It is a strategic weakness in women entrepreneurship development efforts that an out sized number of programs focus only on technical training or only provide credit for women living in poverty. Sometimes, organizations provide marketing for the women entrepreneurs and make them only wage-earning beneficiaries. There’s a requirement to pick and groom new trainer-motivators to supply a broad spectrum of support to assist women entrepreneurs start and grow microenterprises throughout South Asia.

  • Identifying opportunities

One of the more urgent needs is to spot a spread of small, micro-, and small-scale project opportunities that the ladies entrepreneurs can take up. This is often necessitated by the very fact that new women entrepreneurs within the region – thanks to their limited educational background, vision, and capabilities – need the assistance of support organizations to spot opportunities. Many of those entrepreneurs have very limited resources, and support agencies intend to firm up the opportunity without wasting their precious resources accumulated for the venture. Adequate advance work must be undertaken in identifying prospective projects to suit local entrepreneurial needs in terms of investment, technology, skills, resources, and markets. Most of the prevailing organizations are ill equipped for this work and can need training in project identification strategies.

  • Training and counseling

Given the availability of competent trainers, inventory of project possibilities, and untapped potential of aspiring women entrepreneurs, the development tasks then require counseling and teaching material in local languages. This is often where a serious gap exists. Training manuals, training materials, audio-visual aids, etc. are developed by many organizations, especially by ICECD over last 27 years. It should be the task of country-level trainers to translate available training material to suit the need of the region. Adequate funding will need to be ensured for this work.

  • Identifying candidates for entrepreneurship

A major thrust of Women entrepreneurship in most Asian countries is for under-privileged groups of Women. However, it’s to be recognized that not everyone are often became an entrepreneur. Programs can identify aspiring entrepreneurs with good potential for success and provide them with training, counseling, and support to line up businesses. Therefore, our major thrust should be to accelerate the amount of small, micro, and little enterprises, and therefore, supply a primary generation of girl’s entrepreneurs from rural or urban areas, who successively, will generate jobs for others. This trend needs further encouragement through appropriate changes within the institutional financial assistance schemes, which at the present , are often not liberal enough to acknowledge a lady as a real self-dependent business owner.

  • Supporting women entrepreneurs through to operation

So far, the main target of Women entrepreneurship development programs has been on individual development. The spread of Women entrepreneurship development programs may be results of recognition and support provided by the governments, financial institutions, central banks, and the development corporations and banks, bilateral, and multilateral donors, and lots of others. This movement also has been professionally and qualitatively strengthened by the fixing of resource organizations like ICECD and lots of other organizations within the South Asia region.

  • Fostering an entrepreneurial culture and environment

To ensure a future supply of entrepreneurs, an entrepreneurial culture and spirit should be encouraged in families from infancy. Further, the general environment, especially the policies, schemes of assistance, and their implementation, must induce and encourage women entrepreneurship. In spite of the primary recommendation reflecting a long-term goal, the other offers scope for early actions for the advantage of all women entrepreneurs, whether trained or untrained, whether starting tiny, micro, or small enterprises. This strategy of developing women entrepreneurs focuses on uneducated rural and concrete women who live in poverty. The time has come for an attempt to inculcate a spirit of enterprise, self-dependence, creativity, and high goals among women in developing nations. Entrepreneurship should be made part and parcel of the education curriculum.

  • The entrepreneurial environment

Despite an outsized number of organizations to market and assist women entrepreneurs and a spread of schemes to attract and facilitate them, the environment remains not sufficiently conducive for women entrepreneurs to truly found out enterprises.


Women entrepreneurship in India faces many challenges and requires a radical change in attitudes and mindsets of society. Therefore, programs should be designed to deal with changes in attitude and mindset of the people. It’s important to market entrepreneurship among women to enhance the economic situation of the ladies. This will be made possible with the assistance of education as education may be a powerful tool in bringing out the entrepreneurship qualities during a person. Moreover, attempts to motivate inspire and assist women entrepreneurs should be made in the least possible levels. Proper training should tend to the ladies by establishing training institutes which will enhance their level of work-knowledge, risk-taking abilities, enhancing their capabilities. After fixing training institutes, there should be continuous monitoring, improvement of coaching programs in order that they will improve upon the standard of the entrepreneurs being produced within the country. Undoubtedly the ladies participation rate within the field of entrepreneurship is increasing rapidly. However, efforts got to be taken at larger scale to offer the position within the field of entrepreneurship that they deserve. The actions & steps that have been taken by the got sponsored development activities have benefited only a little strata of society and more must be wiped out this area. Effective steps got to be taken to possess entrepreneurial awareness and skill development to women.


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  2. Damwad, (2007), Women Entrepreneurship – A Nordic Perspective, August 2007, Nordic Innovation Centre.
  3. http://granthaalayah.com/Articles/Vol4Iss5/15_IJRG16_SE05_15.pdf
  4.  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/290309722_Issues_and_challenges_for_women_entrepreneurs_in_global_scene_with_special_reference_to_India
  5. Rao Padala Shanmukha (2007) ‘Entrepreneurship Development among Women : A case study of self help Groups in Srikakulam District, Andhra Pradesh’ The Icfai Journal of Entrepreneurship Development Vol.1V No. 1

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Women Entrepreneurs in India: Problems and Prospects. (2021, Dec 22). Retrieved from


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