Women entrepreneurs view the world through different lenses, hence, execute things differently, says Mohana Nair.
According to Sixth Economic Census released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, women constitute around 14% of the total entrepreneurship i.e. 8.05 million out of the total 58.5 million entrepreneurs, noted the vice president of India, M Venkaiah Naidu.
Out of this, 2.76 million women constituting 13.3% of women entrepreneurs work in agriculture sector whereas 5.29 million women constituting more than 65% work in non-agriculture sector.
While India is taking baby steps to ensure more women are able to compete up and become shepreneurs there is still a lot of work to do.
From my experience I have learnt that women entrepreneurs view the world through different lenses, hence, execute things differently.
Obstacles deterring Indian women in business are plenty, but balancing work and family continues to top the chart.
How are Indian shepreneurs battling the odds and taking up entrepreneurship as a preferred career choice?
Here are seven factors driving women to building successful businesses:
1. Some problems are better addressed by women leaders
Women-led enterprises often focus on improving the lives of women, solving specific issues that plague them while playing an active role in promoting health, sanitation, education, literacy and addressing gender disparities and other challenges.
Women, who reach out to or work with female entrepreneurs, are more likely to begin the journey themselves.
And they are changing the gender parity to make female voices heard and female opinions counted
Why is it that women are uniquely positioned to improve the condition of a country's economy?
I believe that empowerment of women is central to achieving the objective of inclusivity, equitable and sustainable development and it is not only a national goal but also a global agenda.
Thus our women who play a big role in empowering other women and increasing women’s workforce, also indirectly increase the GDP of our country.
3. Help reduce overall poverty
NGOs in India have pointed out that entrepreneurship may be a way to support women who live in extreme poverty.
By removing barriers to entrepreneurship, women will be able to start earning, advocate for their own independence, and take on a fuller role in society.
Because many women are also parents, breaking the hold of poverty on the lives of women can also help to support children and launch them into a better lifestyle.
4. Greater independence
Entrepreneurship drives women with its unique risk-reward technique.
You can become your own master and you won’t need to be guided by the dictum of a boss, who might not necessarily be sensitive enough to understand the challenges of pursuing a career and motherhood simultaneously.
You often find that women who are business owners actually work harder and put in more work hours than those in jobs.
The only real value is in terms of being free to work at their individual schedule and a greater independence in decision making.
Male bosses however do not understand this compulsion to succeed and measure the steps taken by the women against a different scale.
5. Improved innovation in all women-led products and services
There are some businesses that women understand better than men.
Businesses owned by women are often viewed in an interesting light.
They are considered to be vastly more innovative by larger organisations as they truly realise the innovative ability that women bring in designing and improving women specific products.
6. Hard work is mandatory
Every successful entrepreneur started somewhere.
Over the years, one thing I have learnt is that there's no "magic pill" that effortlessly launches you out of the comfort of your home and into the free world of entrepreneurship.
Socially too, a working woman is now accepted and respected in urban India.
In the workplace also many employers are appreciating women for their intrinsic worth without discrimination.
The truth is, great success grows from the desire to work hard and take ownership
7. A different perspective
Women are sometimes unaware of the potential they harbour within themselves.
With the right mentoring and encouragement, they have the capacity to shine as confident, smart and successful businesswomen, who have the strength and capability of making a mark for themselves in the business world.
Women are now to be found everywhere, even in professions like the police, armed forces and as pilots, all professions which were earlier considered male domains.
There are now equal or more women than men in the legal profession, many more lady judges than in the past.
Our vision must be to empower women and encourage them in every way possible to attain greater success in their endeavours.
A woman must be of strong will and be determined to achieve her purpose of establishing her business -- from the initial idea, to the execution layout, to the end goal.
It is important to carve out a definitive roadmap -- whether it is a purely passion-driven pet project or with a commercial perspective to it; whether to maintain it as a small-scale boutique business or future plans of growth and expansion.
Mohana Nair is president, IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ladies Wing. She is a corporate lawyer specialising in banking, insurance, company, Intellectual Property and Information Technology laws.