Empowering Women Entrepreneurs – on International Day of Persons with Disabilities

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#IDPD2023 #InclusiveEntrepreneurship #WomenInBusiness #EmpowerWithAbility #InnovationForAll

As the world commemorates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on December 3rd, it is imperative to shine a spotlight on the inspiring narratives of women entrepreneurs in India, who have triumphed over challenges and defied societal norms. This year’s theme, “United in action to rescue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for, with, and by persons with disabilities,” holds particular significance.

India, with its rich diversity, is home to a significant population of individuals with disabilities. Despite progressive initiatives, women with disabilities often encounter formidable barriers, especially in the entrepreneurial arena. The societal stigma associated with disabilities exacerbates the challenges, making empowerment initiatives crucial.

Empowering Through Entrepreneurship

In the entrepreneurial landscape of India, numerous women are scripting stories of resilience and success. These trailblazers are not merely navigating the business world, but they are redefining it. From innovative startups to groundbreaking initiatives, they are proving that disabilities are not limitations but reservoirs of untapped potential.

Government Initiatives

The Indian government has launched various schemes and initiatives to support entrepreneurs with disabilities. Like DIVYANGJAN SWAVALAMBAN YOJANA which is a scheme introduced by NHFDC for the welfare of people with disabilities; and the main objective of the Scheme is to assist the needy disabled persons by providing concessional loan for economic and overall empowerment. Then EDII has set up ‘Centre for Empowerment of Differently Abled (CEDA)’ supported by Department of Social Justice & Empowerment, Directorate of Social Defence, Gujarat State Handicapped (Divyang) Finance & Development Corporation, Govt. of Gujarat. The objective was to promote entrepreneurship, employability and livelihood activities among the differently abled.

On September 15, 2023 Divya Kala Mela was held in Varanasi, and it is the seventh fair in the series starting from 2022. Earlier this fair was organized in Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal, Indore, Guwahati and Jaipur. The Divya Kala Mela presents a great platform for marketing and showcasing the products and skills of persons with disabilities.

However, more extensive awareness and implementation at the grassroots level can be carried out – to help this cause.

The Call to Action

So, the call to action is clear — foster an environment where women entrepreneurs with disabilities can thrive. This involves not just removing physical barriers but challenging ingrained perceptions. The business ecosystem needs to be cognizant of the unique challenges faced by these entrepreneurs and create avenues for support, mentorship, and funding.

Here are 6 key tips to succeed in business despite handicap

> Turning Adversity into Strength: Successful entrepreneurs with disabilities use their unique perspectives and experiences to develop innovative ideas and strategies, and thus transform adversity into strength.

> Embracing Technology and Accessibility: Technology plays a crucial role in levelling the playing field for individuals with disabilities – enabling seamless communication, access to information, and business operations.

> Online Marketplaces and E-commerce: Online platforms provide opportunities for specially-abled entrepreneurs to reach a global audience and showcase their products or services without physical storefronts.

> Remote Work and Virtual Collaboration: Remote work and virtual collaboration eliminates barriers associated with physical accessibility – allowing entrepreneurs to work from anywhere and collaborate with ease.

> Social Media and Digital Marketing: Social media platforms offer specially-abled entrepreneurs a powerful tool to promote their businesses, connect with customers, and raise awareness about disability-related issues.

> Cultivating a Supportive Network: Building a strong support network provides guidance and encouragement, and connecting with like-minded individuals fosters empowerment and solutions to common obstacles.

So, as we celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, let us amplify the voices of women entrepreneurs in India who are transforming challenges into opportunities.

Let’s join hands to build a more inclusive world — spread the word and tread the path,
totally committed to create action.

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