A comprehensive study was recently published by Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME), on entrepreneurship opportunities for women in India, especially home-based entrepreneurs across urban India. GAME, a partner-led platform which works to supports mass entrepreneurship, conducted its research during May to August 2019, across Bengaluru and Mumbai.
Titled ‘Unlocking Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Women’, the study showed that only three per cent of businesses having more than four employees in India, are currently women-owned. It showed that food, education, and the beauty and wellness sector possess the highest potential for home-based women entrepreneurs. In addition, the study also evaluated the demands, megatrends, and challenges that budding women entrepreneurs in India face, today.
The education sector had significantly more women-owned businesses, than the food sector, with one out of five urban enterprises in the education sector being owned by a woman. These businesses were also found to be largely gender-balanced, with women making up roughly 48 per cent of the employee strength at these organisations. On the other hand, day care and pre-school, vocational skilling, and after-school education, were presented as the three sectors possessing the highest potential for entrepreneurship opportunities.
In retrospect, the food sector consists of close to 5,50,000 women-led businesses, which employ over two million women. The study stated that the sector appealed more to women since it does not require a high initial investment, while also offering flexible work schedules. As per the report, emerging opportunities in the sector included homemade snacks, home-cooked meals, and cloud kitchens.
The study also highlighted the roadblocks that women entrepreneurs in the country face, such as the lack of awareness regarding the existing entrepreneurial possibilities in their field or passion, lack of adequate skills or knowledge on how to become a successful entrepreneur, fear of taking unconventional paths, along with severely limited accessibility to resources and support systems.
In light of this, the study also presented a number of remedial steps that can be taken to boost women entrepreneurship in the country. These include encouraging and supporting the growth of peer-to-peer connections and learning among entrepreneurs, along with spreading awareness about the success stories of entrepreneurs, providing access to better entrepreneurship curriculum, and encouraging them to utilise government benefits, such as Mudra loans and more.