Check how ladies are powering India’s economic growth! The rise in top management and entrepreneurship roles can be considered a major development today, and we have seen this get a boost in 2021. And, a post-COVID analysis of women entrepreneurship, points to the fact that women entrepreneurs are on a road to recovery.
While many Indian women have entrepreneurial aspirations, the current socio-economic atmosphere has been a significant enabler in guiding them down this path. With expanding literacy levels, affordable higher education options and growing awareness, today we see many unicorns having women as founders or co-founders. Here we need to mention path-breaking business stories like the recent Nykaa IPO, which was a roaring success. This does put the spotlight on inspiring women entrepreneurs like Falguni Nayar, who have proved quite prominently, how they are capable of building and scaling successful ventures.
Women across the world are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and on the other side of the coin, sometimes reversing any gains in gender equality. Women-led businesses have been more negatively impacted economically, especially in sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, so immediate and urgent action is required – to promote gender equality by economically empowering women-led businesses in the post-COVID world.
But, one thing is clear – the new normal has eased many barriers that existed for female entrepreneurs. The changes brought about by COVID-19 have indeed, transformed the business landscape. And, significantly, some have created positive, favourable conditions for women entrepreneurs.
It’s almost two years since organisations switched to WFH (work from home) post-pandemic, and the model’s efficiency for business is an open book, for us to see. This has also aided some shifts in attitude that prove to be significant for women entrepreneurs in 2021. So, these changing perceptions are shaping a friendlier environment for women in business!! And this ‘new normal’ is likely to become a part of daily life post-COVID; and attitude changes too, will welcome more women to take up entrepreneurship!!
Ushered in ‘remote’ startups acceptance
Unlike earlier conditions, while starting a business today, while launching one’s business, questions about ‘physical’ office space do not come upfront! In the pre-COVID-19 era, people thought ‘Working From Home’ negated one’s business credibility; besides, there existed an unconscious bias against women working from home
The pandemic has turned the situation upside down! The time is never more suitable than now, for businesses to operate on a fully remote model. With global companies (small and big) working remotely, it has ushered in an acceptance of the ‘Work From Home’ model – which actually brightens up the scene for entrepreneurs. For, you can now run an entirely virtual business and a remote team located across geographies, that can be productive too. Professional networking, too, has turned virtual that happens on social media networks.
Many leading companies have already announced their decision to follow a hybrid work culture and, some have insisted it will be their permanent work mode. A strong digital presence connects you with your professional network (and you need not worry about inviting clients to a physical office for meetings).
Integrated work-life balance
WFM evolved work-life balance with work-life ‘integration’. While the earlier scene was juggling personal and professional lives, now the pandemic had introduced a more holistic acceptance of professional domestic responsibilities of employees.
Plus it has put the spotlight on ‘empathy’. So, we find colleagues, bosses and clients, more empathetic towards the role women play in their lives (as mothers and caregivers). This has added a feather to the woman entrepreneur’s professional capabilities, creating an encouraging environment that allows women to thrive and shine as entrepreneurs.
Created a positive environment
With more appreciation for the efforts that go into balancing household responsibilities and work, we have witnessed the woman as a successful mompreneur. Equally distributed domestic responsibilities have reduced the burden of expectations for women. Work from home also makes entrepreneurship more inclusive for mothers. Creating a positive environment.
India’s efforts to bring in progress
India has witnessed huge reinforcement of the government’s commitment towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). NITI Aayog released an SDG Index 2020-21 to bring together the economic, social, and environmental pillars in the country, with a focus on their partnerships and collaborations. The commitment of the government, especially in SDG 5 i.e., Gender Equality, is a significant step towards achieving gender equality by ending all forms of discrimination and calls for valuing women’s unpaid care and domestic work amongst other things. Additionally, SDG 5 is interlinked to other SDGs such as End Poverty, Zero Hunger, Health for All, Quality Education, etc. With a score of 60 in the SDG Index 2021, India’s success in bringing about inclusive and sustainable growth is well on the move.
Thus, the country’s initiatives and the ‘new normal’ that we have been introduced to, has broken down many barriers that existed for women entrepreneurs. The changes brought in by COVID-19 have not only transformed the business landscape but have created favourable circumstances for women entrepreneurs. The prospects of starting and running a business from anywhere, along with changing perceptions of women’s responsibilities, have paved the way for women to step into the business world. But there is still a long way to go….
So, as we step into 2022, the scenario can only get better for women entrepreneurs to forge ahead!!