Women in business are not a recent phenomenon in India. The role of Women Entrepreneur in economic development is being recognized and steps are being taken to promote women entrepreneurship.
According to Sixth Economic Census women constitute around 14% of the total entrepreneurship i.e. 8.05 million out of the total 58.5 million entrepreneurs. These establishments provided employment to 13.45 million persons (10.24%), out of which 83.19% were without hired workers.
Out of this, 2.76 million women constituting 13.3% of women entrepreneurs work in agriculture sector whereas 5.29 million women constituting more than 65% work in non-agriculture sector. Among non-agricultural activities owned by women entrepreneurs, manufacturing and retail trade were the dominant ones with corresponding percentages being 29.8% and 17.8% respectively.
India has potential to increase footprint in global arena with women entrepreneurs provided there is holistic integration of policies and schemes. However, there are few factors restricting women entrepreneurs in India are access to credit, education and experience, domestic responsibilities, and access to vocational skills and training.
Government has initiated certain supportive measure to boost up the women entrepreneurship scene in India. Initiatives such as Stand Up India, Mudra Yojana Scheme, TREAD (Trade Related Entrepreneurship Assistance and Development) Scheme, Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme, Annapurna Scheme, Stree Shakti Package for Women Entrepreneurs, Bhartiya Mahila Business Bank Loan, Dena Shakti Scheme, Udyogini Scheme, Cent Kalyani Scheme have been taken up by the Government to kindle the entrepreneur spirit among women.
However, information needs to reach the intended target group for making these schemes successful. ICC as a part of its endeavour is trying to get across the information to the targeted group through its various programmes and events by working with the stakeholders, especially the industry, government and academia. ICC through policy advocacy and thought leadership has been actively engaged in promoting to the participation of Women in the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The ICC National Expert Committee on Women Entrepreneurship is being chaired by Dr Rupali Basu, Director & CEO, Woodlands Hospital.
The initiative is being headed by Ms Bidisha Roy.