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Is Women Participation in Entrepreneur Ventures Enough?

Female entrepreneurs can be classified as women who initiate, develop, and work for or towards a business mostly for personal gain. Women entrepreneurship also helps achieve social agendas such as uplifting the women, empowering them and striving for a gender-neutral society. [1]However, with the Social changes happening all over the world I still believe that the male to female ratio is very thin and I would justify it through the paper. India is the first Asian country to reach Mars in its first attempt, but when it comes down to the ranking in the gender gap index prepared by the World Economic Forum which has four indicators including “Economic participation and opportunity” it is on a low of 112 out of a total of 153 countries. Itis the only country where the economic gender gap (0.354) is larger than the political gender gap (0.411). Even though India possesses the second-largest workforce indulged or employed in artificial intelligence only 22% of the workers are females involved in the field.[2]In India, out of top companies, 53 per cent of them have a male to female ratio of just 10:1 or worse.[3]About 53% of the top countries in India have a male to female ratio of a mere 10:1 or even worse

A major problem faced by women entrepreneurs is the lack of financial aid from financial institutions; this problem can find its roots in the lack of “Social Capital”.[4]Usually, women who start their businesses are not taken seriously, because of societal norms, men are believed to be more risk-taking and quicker in decision making as compared to women[5]. A women’s opinions and advice is not always viewed as technical or useful as compared to a man’s side of the story (Dr Vijaykumar A.and Jaychitra S.).A majority of the population still believes that certain jobs are confined to a man’s abilities and that women do not qualify for such positions leading to unacceptance of a woman taking on a job and leading the charge. This gender bias becomes a major hindrance for a woman entrepreneur [6](Marlow and Patton, 2005).

Another important factor which also plays a key factor is the lack of technical skills of women from entering and sustaining businesses in technical sectors.[7]This can be attributed to the gender ratio in educational institutions. The prestigious college Kirori Mal of Delhi University has about 30% of women students[8]. To tackle this problem 18 DU colleges provide relaxations to female students in certain courses however yet unable to tackle the problem[9].

“Women in developed economies are more likely to start businesses out of opportunity motivation, while those in less developed economies are motivated by necessity”. [10]The country’s economy plays an essential role as it dictates the amount of disposable income in a household, as a household is better off in a developed nation there are more chances of the women trying to be an entrepreneur as compared to a low disposable income household.

Steps Taken:

A very big opportunity for women knocked on India’s doors in 1991 when the new financial policy came in leading to the globalization of the Indian economy creating several jobs and opportunities for both the genders. In 1991, the number of jobs stood at 26.73 million of which only 3.78 million stood with the females which is a mere 14.14%[11]. Recently NITI Aayog launched “The Woman Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP)” in the GES Assembly in Hyderabad to promote Women Entrepreneurs by the active participation of the public as well as the private sectors through the WEP Website. Another government initiative has been taken by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) to empower women, entrepreneurs, through its different schemes and help them spark their talent and build their own identity[12]. Furthermore, the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) since its inception and up to 23.01.2019 has shown promising results of 1.38 lakh projects being set up by women entrepreneurs. The projects set up by women entrepreneurs are about 30% of total projects set up under PMEGP, under the scheme, women entrepreneurs are covered under Special Category and are entitled to 25% and 35% subsidies for the project set up in urban and rural areas respectively. For women beneficiaries, own contribution is only 5% of the project cost while for the general category it is 10% during 2016-17 and 2017-18, under the Khadi Programme of KVIC, women entrepreneurs have set up 30437 projects for which margin money of 85,305 lakh Rupees have been disbursed.[13]

The country has several plans to promote women inclusiveness however only some have been implemented efficiently. To promote further women participation in the economic framework the society must work against the social constraints as well as make the most use of the opportunities we have at the moment. Lack of women participation in entrepreneurship is a very complex problem and would require structural changes over a wide period.

[1]Role of Women Entrepreneurship in Indian Economy, Int. Journal of Science Technology and Management Vol.5, Issue 3,2016 [2]Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal Vol. 29 No. 2, 2010 pp. 186-198 [3]The Economic Times Oct03,2019 [4]Id. [5]Sex Differences and risk- taking propensity of Entrepreneurs, Journal of Small Business Management Vol.26,1988 [6]Role of Women Entrepreneurship in Indian Economy, Int. Journal of Science Technology and Management Vol.5, Issue 3,2016 [7]Id. [8]The Times of India, June 14,2019 [9]Id [10]Female Entrepreneurship and economic development: an International perspective by Candida G. Brush and Sarah Y. Cooper Vol.24, 2012 pp. 1-6 [11]Livemint: Manas Chakravarty [12]msme.gov.in/women-entrepreneur [13]Id

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