Swapna More, Co-Founder, KAGAAY

A successful serial entrepreneur, a realtor, a restaurateur, a teacher, Swapna More is the State Chairperson, Maharashtra of Confederation of Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (CIMSME), and Director of Global Council for the Promotion of International Trade (GCPIT). She is bestowed with the National Leadership Award 2020 as the Best Community Leader. She has been instrumental in nurturing large teams to success with her adept understanding of human behavior and organizational requirements. Her inimitable style of leadership has won accolades from her colleagues in the realty and hospitality industry alike. As a woman in the realty business, she defied pressure with elan and steered the businesses to success. 10 Lac Sqft of land developed and marketed across the country, a revolutionary realtech product up her sleeve and a successfully running cafe just add up to her illustrious career as a women entrepreneur. In addition, she is a women empowerment evangelist, gender equality advocate, vivid book reader, and animal lover.

Indian women in the 21st century have become a force to reckon with. Women of India are now uplifted and granted equal status with men in all walks of life. They are free to join any service or follow any profession. Their voice is now as forceful and important as that of men. They are becoming equal partners in making or dismissing of a government. Not-withstanding the remarkable changes in the position of women in free India, there is still a great divide when it comes to entrepreneurship in India.

According to a census released by MoSPI last year, women constitute around 14% of the total entrepreneurship in India. Although this is not an encouraging number, the growing statistics favouring women strength in the business world is boosting the morale of Indian women.

India has global women leaders who are heading leading companies like Biocon, Nykaa, VLCC, Shopclues.com and Limeroad to name a few. The success stories of these companies are prompting and encouraging more women to follow suit and put on their entrepreneurial hat. Many women are entering the ring but at the same time are sceptical to break the glass ceiling of an otherwise male-dominated sector.

It is stated that the Indian economy can attain the 5 trillion economy mark if we have equal number of women entrepreneurs in India. So how and what measures can be taken to empower women entrepreneurship in India?

  • Awareness about Government schemes – The foremost thing is the need to raise awareness around Government schemes such as Annapurna, Stree Shakti, Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme, among others. Lack of the right information and details on these schemes hinder women from participating and availing their benefits. Therefore, a robust national level campaign is vital to generate awareness, disseminate the right information and the relevant departments to approach.
  • Investment in Learning – Acquiring knowledge is an endless process and it is vital that women are aware of the current trends and surveys to implement newer practices into their business. Ideas and solutions are spurred from attending events, seminars, workshops as awareness are create
  • Networking – To run a successful business, networking is very important. A robust environment should be created for women to participate and network. Also, networking should not be just restricted to business-oriented benefits but should also be about personal knowledge and growth.
  • Facilitating access to finance – Access to finance is a major and common barrier for women entrepreneurs. There is a need to support women in accessing financing but it is equally important to change the marketplace so that women are competing on an even playing field with men. Also, we need to ensure financial literacy among women and make them aware of various financing instruments.
  • Prioritising work and home – The biggest challenge for women is to prioritize between work and home. In India, the mindset of women being responsible for taking care of home still exists and is not going to change very soon. So, for an entrepreneur, it becomes very important to chalk out and prioritise responsibilities at both work and home.
  • Support system – One of the most essential arms in the arsenal of a woman entrepreneur is that of a support system. Build a great support system at home, work and beyond. Women need a sounding board and positive energy to keep pushing them forward. The above challenge of prioritising work and home can be muted if we can ensure to create a good support system for our women entrepreneurs.

In conclusion, the current entrepreneurship sector is not a level playing field for women. There are so many factors which discourage and hamper the growth of women entrepreneurs. Yet there are women leaders like mentioned above who have risen above these challenges and have made a mark for themselves. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure our women achieve success. Also, whenever opportunities have been made open for women, they have done much better than men. In light of this, it is immensely important that women entrepreneurs are given the right kind of environment to be equal participants to help India to scale its economy to the tune of $5 trillion.

 

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