An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics. On this International Day for Eradication of Poverty, let’s unlock the ‘WE’ (Women Entrepreneurship) power to win over!
The observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty can be traced back to 17th October, 1987. From then onwards, in continuing to believe that poverty is a violation of human rights, we affirm the need to come together to ensure that these ‘human rights’ are respected. It is fortunate that today, we live in a world which not only acknowledges the presence of women, but also knows how to unlock the immense potential inherent in them. Today, in renewing our commitment and showing solidarity with the financially weaker section of society, we will discover how we can foster women entrepreneurship as a solution to eradicate poverty.
- MSME – Small and medium scale enterprises have been a large part of industrialization as well as job creation in India. These MSMEs are alleviating poverty in India and their largely untapped source of economic potential previously, is now being put to use effectively. Although, rural women are mainly responsible for agricultural production and domestic duties, their economic status is low in a male-dominated society. Now however, it is heartening to see Indian women have been able to uplift their finances and have fought poverty in the country by simply taking charge of micro, small and medium enterprises. This is an important stepping stone as it engages women in productive work and empowers them and helps in boosting the economy of the country as well.
- Tapping into the diverse skills to grow in diverse sectors – Women have always been the backbone of their families. They multitask relentlessly and juggle activities in a balanced way to maintain a harmonious and organised system of functioning at home. In managing relationships, they indirectly hone their ‘people- management’ skills. Therefore women can provide the society with different management, organizational and business solutions owing to their different perspectives and skills which they have practiced over the years in their homes.
- Building businesses from homes – Several studies have revealed that women have the under-lying potential and will to establish and manage enterprises of their own. Thus, women have been able to use household skills like knitting, stitching, weaving, embroidering and cooking to create successful businesses from their homes too. In their efforts to become self dependent, they have made their homes their enterprise. This route is creating entrepreneurs out of simple, local women, who need financial relief.
- Becoming agri-leaders -In developing their enterprises, especially ones relating to agriculture and food production, rural women entrepreneurs have also been successful in using their technical skills and raw farm materials to earn substantial incomes and in some cases, small agricultural units as well. Thus in the process of developing their entrepreneurial journey, they are helping in the development of the nation as well. In looking at the larger picture, in their efforts to become self-reliant and also contribute to the food chain, these women are helping reduce hunger as well as they plough out ‘money from mud’!
- Each one feed one- contributing to employment – It has been pointed out in ‘The Journal of Social Psychology’ by L.Toussaint, that women are more empathetic than men. This aspect of a woman’s nature results in their being more helpful and caring. They believe that when one has the means, help should be extended to those needing the same. Therefore, we see many enterprises run by women, prefer to employ women. When in power, a woman entrepreneur in the rural or urban area will always support other women, thereby, not only helping them attain economic independence, improving their standard of living. but also rescuing their families from the grasp of poverty.
Thus, in an era of globalization with various threats to fast developing economies, women entrepreneurship is encouraged as a pro-poor strategy. Women entrepreneurship, especially in the rural sector, assumes significance for its contribution to employment, poverty reduction and economic development of women.