Did you know that women-owned businesses in India are expected to grow by 90% in the coming five years? Besides, nowadays, various lenders offer business loans with easy eligibility to help women kick-start their ventures.
The past 20 years witnessed a momentous change in women’s entrepreneurship. Numerous successful businesswomen like Vandana Luthra, VLCCfounder, the acclaimed fashion designer Ritu Kumar, Vani Kola, the founder of Kalaari Capital, and many more took centre stage.
In this article, we will look at the evolution of businesswoman development in India.
Changes from the 1960s to the present day
The journey of a businesswoman in India has been full of thorns and roses. It wasn’t easy for female entrepreneurs in India to climb up the corporate ladder in a male-dominated society. However, as each decade went by, women entrepreneurs in India became more powerful and confident and paved the road for present and future businesswomen in India. So let’s start with the era that started it all.
During the 1960s, India faced major financial turmoil. However, the economic instability also resulted in women starting small-sized businesses as an additional source of income.
From being the family’s bread-makers, women began to perceive themselves as bread earners. The most popular businesses during this time included food, pottery, and bangle-making.
So, it’s safe to say that this economic turmoil ignited the fire of women entrepreneurs in India, which has been burning bright since then.
The 1970s continued the initial momentum, with increased women’s participation in public and professional arenas. A notable development was Biocon, founded by Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, a biopharmaceutical company that has customers in over 120 countries today.
Despite the many issues women faced, this decade created the groundwork for the1980s, when women were more self-assured, working with a vision to carve out a place in the economic world and eventually become female entrepreneurs in India.
Additional Read: Small Business Ideas for Women to Start their Business Post Pandemic
The 1980s introduced technological advancement to women’s entrepreneurship. As India prioritised education for girls, more and more women opted for professional studies and started their ventures.
The 1990s saw a surge of women entrepreneurs due to several government schemes. The 85th five-year plan gave rise to the Entrepreneurship Development Programmes and Prime Minister Rojgar Yojana, which paved the way for 1,96,000 businesswomen.
The Women in Agriculture scheme and Khadi and Village Industries Commission were also introduced to promote businesses run by women in rural areas.
The 21st century brought along even more female entrepreneurship development schemes. The initiatives included the Annapurna Scheme in 2000, Udogini Scheme in 2006, the Bharatiya Mahila Business loan scheme in 2013, and Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme in 2021.
It became increasingly easy for female entrepreneurs to develop their skills, secure a loan at relaxed business loan eligibility, and run their businesses.
Increasing numbers of Indian women are starting their own businesses today, proving that they are just as successful as their male colleagues in the workplace. Moreover, several businesswomen in India have created unicorn companies today. Some of them include the following:
#1 Falguni Nayar – founder of Nykaa
#2 Upasanna Taku – founder of Mobikwik
#3 Ghazal Alagh – founder of Mama Earth
#4 Byjus Diviya Gokulnath – co-founder of Byju’s
Businesswomen in India today are setting an example and creating opportunities for India’s future female entrepreneurs, just as women before them did for them.
The road ahead in encouraging female entrepreneurship
According to a study published in 2021, women contribute only about 20% of the MSME sector in India. And as compared to 50 million male entrepreneurs, only over 8 million women own businesses. So, while the country has seen a rise in women entrepreneurship in the past 60 years, there is a long way ahead of us to encourage women business owners and tip the scales.
However, several initiatives have been made to support women entrepreneurs in India. For instance, the Ministry of Micro Small Medium Enterprises mandates that public sector organizations and government departments strive to get 25% of their goods and services from MSME companies, of which women must own 3%.
Additionally, NITI Aayog has launched a Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) to provide an ecosystem for budding & existing women entrepreneurs in India. It offers incubation and accelerating programs for women micro-entrepreneurs to start new firms and scale up current businesses.
Banks, NBFCs, and central and state governments are addressing the disparity through several financial initiatives for boosting women’s entrepreneurship.
Additional Read: Check Out the Loan Schemes in India for Women to Start Business
Over to you
If you are looking for a business loan, turn to Tata Capital. We offer collateral-free multi-purpose business financing for women entrepreneurs. Score attractive business loan interest rates starting at 19% and structured EMI options for flexible repayment. You can access loan amounts ranging from Rs. 5 lakhs to Rs. 75 lakhs and fulfil your business’s short and long-term financial needs.
Get loan tenures of up to 3 years and enjoy a seamless borrowing experience with us. What’s more, we provide easy business loan eligibility and quick disbursals.
To know more, visit our website or approach your nearest branch!