Empowering Women Entrepreneurs To Drive Growth
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The term Entrepreneur covers individuals who have vision and skill and are capable of converting vision in to action for the good of the society. Due to changes in demand in the Market, there is a scope for a class of people on large-scale who can convert the available resources into good of society, called Entrepreneurs.
So, a person who possess skill, initiative and innovative ideas for high achievements in business, and important qualities of an Entrepreneurship is taking the risk and making the necessary investments under the conditions of uncertainty. Entrepreneurship is a process of understanding opportunities in the environment, with respect to one`s own abilities, with a view to create wealth for oneself through a legal entity. A close relationship exists between opportunity and individual needs. To be an Entrepreneurial opportunity, a prospect must meet two tests: it must represent a desirable future state, involving growth or at least change and the individual must believe it is possible to reach that state. So, Entrepreneurship is understood by, being innovative, risk taking, dynamic, flexible, growth-oriented, creative, starting and operating new ventures.
Now is the time for Women to venture into the Entrepreneurial world. Women owned businesses are highly increasing in the economies of almost all countries. The hidden entrepreneurial potentials of women have gradually been changing with the growing sensitivity to the role and economic status in the society. Skill, Knowledge and adaptability in business are the main reasons for women to emerge into business ventures. Women Entrepreneur is a person who accepts challenging role to meet her personal needs and become economically independent. A strong desire to do something positive is an inbuilt quality of entrepreneurial women, who is capable of contributing values in both family and social life. With the advent of media, women are aware of their own traits, indulged in every line of business from pappad to power cables. The challenges and opportunities provided to the women are women of digital era are growing rapidly that the job seekers are turning into job creators. They are flourishing as designers, interior decorators, exporters, publishers, garment manufacturers and still exploring new avenues of economic participation. In India although women constitute the majority of the total population, the entrepreneurial world is still a male dominated one. Women in advanced nations are recognised and are more prominent in the business world. 2010 was the first time ever there were more women in the work force than men. In terms of women-owned businesses, between 1997 and 2011 there was a 50% increase, while male owned business only grew 25% (According to American Express Report).
Why Women make excellent Entrepreneurs in the Digital Age? How Women are dominating the entrepreneurs landscape and are using their skills to succeed. As times are tough for everyone, more families are moving towards dual-income households. Also technology advancements are making a virtual workplace attainable for women, who are looking to balance family and their career.
In the digital landscape, women tend to possess certain skills that create a competitive advantage.
Strong Communication Skills & Social Intelligence.
Prefer Lower Risk.
A dynamic Entrepreneurship sector is one of the various factors for prosperity of economy which is necessary to leverage the wealth and innovation capacity of the developed countries.
This conceptual paper indicates and emphasizes the Women Entrepreneurs as the potentially emerging human resources in the 21st century to overcome the economic challenges in global perspective.
Entrepreneur: Individual holding vision for creating opportunity for economic growth.
Challenges: Impediments on the way towards achievement of final goal.
Opportunities: Chances for developing professionally or personally.
This is a concept paper and the researcher has adopted the method of reviewing different research articles, research journals and case studies to collect data about entrepreneurship and women entrepreneurship which is consequently incorporated as a concept paper drafted by the researcher.
INTRODUCTION TO ENTREPRENEUR/ENTREPRENEURSHIP:
Entrepreneurship is often associated with a person who starts his own, new and small business, like manufacturing, transport, trade and all other self-employed vocations in the service sector. But not every new small business is Entrepreneurial or represents Entrepreneurship.
In the early 1th century, the Frenchmen, who organised and led military expeditions were offered to ad "Entrepreneur". Around 1700 A.D. the term was used for architects and contractors of public work. The term "Entrepreneur" was applied to business initially in the 18th century by the French Economist, Cantillon, who was designated as a dealer who purchases the means of production for combining them into marketable products. Another Frenchman, J.B. Say expanded Cantillon`s idea and conceptualized the Entrepreneur as a organizer of business firm, central to its distributive and productive functions.
According to J.B Say, " An Entrepreneur is the economic agent who unites all means of production, the labour force of the one and the capital or land of the others and who finds in the value of the produces which results from their employment, the reconstitution of the entire capital that he utilizes and the value of wages the interest and the rent which he pays as well as profits belonging to himself." According to current thinking, Entrepreneurship is "the ability of a person who detects and evaluates a new situation in his environment and directs the making of such adjustment in the economic system as he deems necessary." The term "Entrepreneur" covers individuals who have vision and skill and are capable of converting vision in to action for the good of the society. Due to changes in demand in the market there is a scope for a class of people on large-scale who can convert the available resources into good of society, called Entrepreneurs. During the above process, the Entrepreneur needs to discharge several functions to succeed in his activities like, innovation, risk bearing, decision making, planning, controlling..etc. and should possess entrepreneurial skills like technical skills, managerial skills and personal skills.
In India, the Entrepreneurial development programmes are taking place to develop entrepreneurs, like, sharpening individual behaviour and traits, guidance on project planning and development of business opportunities that come in the way, and developing managerial and operational capabilities. These activities are very important in the economic growth of the country. Since, the small-scale Industries are forming a major part of the economic growth of the country, the importance of the Entrepreneur is gaining momentum and they are the need of the hour to have a rapid economic growth.
Entrepreneurship is not just confined to any one gender now rather due to multi-faceted economic pressures women have turned up and realized that the survival of their families & their own potential lies only in working side by side with men. Marlow, (2002). Education of woman have no doubt given them immense confidence & encouragement to serve & discover new business avenues. However the ground realities do differ to a great extent as far as geographical boundaries are concerned. Globally women are considered as weaker gender physically and emotionally, therefore prospects open for them to develop into business professionals is an area still quite unexplored and needs attention. Wennekers, (1999).
Overcoming the challenges of business world are no doubt more treacherous for women than their male counterparts, therefore they undergo various impediments to achieve their business success. Allen and truman, (1993). Fortunately due to technological advancement & means of communication the world has turned into a global community which has created new channels & opened up avenues for women to explore not only their potential aptitudes rather search for better business opportunities. Carter, (2001).
ENTREPRENUERSHIP FOR WOMEN:
A question arises here that what Entrepreneurship means for a woman?
How a women conceives the idea of Entrepreneurship?
Definition: An enterprise owned and controlled by women having a minimum financial interest of 51% of capital and giving at least 51% of employment generated in the enterprise to women. Women who think of a business enterprise, initiate it, organize and combine the factors of production, operate the enterprise and undertake risk and handle economic uncertainty involved in running a business enterprise.
Why do Women Take-up Employment?
Death of bread winner
Sudden fall in family income
Permanent inadequacy in income of the family
Women`s desire to evaluate their talent
To utilize their free time or education
Need and perception of Women`s Liberation, Equity etc.
To gain recognition, importance and social status.
To get economic independence
Involved in family business such as Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Dairy, Fisheries, Agro Forestry, Handloom, Power loom etc.
INDIAN SCENARIO: The Indian woman play very many roles, pure, supreme or virtues to vice or downtrodden. Constantly, the role is also undergoing several changes. While playing their role, Indian Women are confronted with contradictions. Because of these contradictions, they are unable to identify themselves with the society. The attitude, perceptions, roles..etc of Indian Women look like an assembly of diverse fragments. This perplexed situation of Indian women has made it very difficult to define their roles and they cannot identify their roles for themselves. Because of this plain truth assuming the role of entrepreneur and leadership for an Indian Women was a difficult task. But still times have changed. The present society is freeing the Indian Women from the chains and shackles of centuries.
This is slow but definitely shift over is happening for the following reasons:
The concept of Globalization is accepted in a big way.
The sudden emerging trend in information technology and its percolation to every segment of life.
Adoption of diversified culture in the Indian society due to globalization and other inherent ethos of Indian society.
Unexpected happenings around the world and their impact on Indian society.
Change in socio-cultural context due to increased education for women since independence.
Change in political ideology and governance of the country.
But, In India, the role of Women Entrepreneur is no less significant. Nearly 9% of total Entrepreneurs in small industries are women entrepreneurs. State-wise distribution shows a wide variation between different states. Punjab accounts for 3%, Gujarat occupies the top position with 15%. The areas chosen by women are retail trade, restaurants, hotels, education, cultural, cleaning, insurance and manufacturing.
Women owned businesses are highly increasing in the economies of almost all countries. The hidden entrepreneurial potentials of women have gradually been changing with the growing sensitivity to the role and economic status in the society. Skill, knowledge and adaptability in business are the main reasons for women to emerge into business ventures. 'Women Entrepreneur' is a person who accepts challenging role to meet her personal needs and become economically independent. A strong desire to do something positive is an inbuilt quality of entrepreneurial women, who is capable of contributing values in both family and social life. With the advent of media, women are aware of their own traits, rights and also the work situations. The glass ceilings are shattered and women are found indulged in every line of business from pappad to power cables. The challenges and opportunities provided to the women of digital era are growing rapidly that the job seekers are turning into job creators. They are flourishing as designers, interior decorators, exporters, publishers, garment manufacturers and still exploring new avenues of economic participation. In India, although women constitute the majority of the total population, the entrepreneurial world is still a male dominated one. Women in advanced nations are recognized and are more prominent in the business world.
In nineteen seventies, Women entrepreneurship began in is real sense. By this time, the first generation after Independence had completed their education. Educated women to fulfil their aspirations and ambitions began opting for self-employment. This was an active step not taken out of compulsions or helplessness, but with zeal to make a better life. In this decade, women were in transition period. They could not come out fully from traditional activities of looking after home, their in-laws, parents, husbands and children. A t the same time they has to get into autonomous economic activities. This was a challenge.
Eighties and Nineties saw a sea change in women entrepreneurship domain. These were the decades of the breakthrough for women to become entrepreneurs in many fields. They developed courage to make new beginnings. Parents also developed a new thinking. The traditional practice of making only progeny as a business partner in family owned businesses, (law of Inheritance supporting this), parents started their own consultancy houses, providing different types of technical services. Parents started taking their female children as partners in their businesses. Government also supported this new thinking by making amendments to Succession Act.
Legislations said that both male and female have equal rights in the inherited property. This coupled with professional education made young ladies to get into self employment. Many became partners in their family owned business. Good number of lady doctors opened their own clinics. Engineering graduated started their own consultancy houses, providing different types of technical services. They also got into service areas like CA, Advocates, Hospitality business and good number opened secretarial offices. Good percentage of women took to small business activities. Today we can see many women entrepreneurs in small business.
In earlier Five year plans, women entrepreneurship concept was not significantly considered. Only in recent plans, particularly after Eight Five Year Plan, "Women Empowerment" concept came to lime light. From this plan onwards, women started working on new frontiers. The new generation of women did not think on the lines of their mothers. They stated developing independent activities. They had aspirations and ambitions. Taking to self-employment was not out of compulsion or helplessness. It became a desired choice of many ladies to design and develop their own enterprise.
Women started thinking that self-employment as an integral aspect of their life. They started thinking on the lines selecting their own careers. Adopting own occupation for income generation without deviating much from the social system is becoming a key factor in a woman`s life. Besides having home and children, women have started thinking to have an independent occupation. While accepting the traditional people behaviour, from older generation, women today expect understanding and support from their husbands and children to have their occupational choice. As entrepreneurs, women want their voice to be heard as leaders, as they are capable of contributing to the growth and success of their enterprise.
But the Indian women entrepreneurs are facing some major constraints like -
a) Lack of confidence: In general, women lack confidence in their strength and competence. The family members and the society are reluctant to stand beside their entrepreneurial growth. To a certain extent, this situation is changing among Indian women and yet to face a tremendous change to increase the rate of growth in entrepreneurship.
b) Socio-cultural barriers: Women's family and personal obligations are sometimes a great barrier for succeeding in business career. Only few women are able to manage both home and business efficiently, devoting enough time to perform all their responsibilities in priority.
c) Market-oriented risks: Stiff competition in the market and lack of mobility of women make the dependence of women entrepreneurs on middleman indispensable. Many business women find it difficult to capture the market and make their products popular. They are not fully aware of the changing market conditions and hence can effectively utilize the services of media and internet.
d) Motivational factors: Self motivation can be realized through a mind set for a successful business, attitude to take up risk and behaviour towards the business society by shouldering the social responsibilities. Other factors are family support, Government policies, financial assistance from public and private institutions and also the environment suitable for women to establish business units.
e) Knowledge in Business Administration: Women must be educated and trained constantly to acquire the skills and knowledge in all the functional areas of business management. This can facilitate women to excel in decision making process and develop a good business network.
f) Awareness about the financial assistance: Various institutions in the financial sector extend their maximum support in the form of incentives, loans, schemes etc. Even then every woman entrepreneur may not be aware of all the assistance provided by the institutions. So the sincere efforts taken towards women entrepreneurs may not reach the entrepreneurs in rural and backward areas.
g) Exposed to the training programs: Training programs and workshops for every type of entrepreneur is available through the social and welfare associations, based on duration, skill and the purpose of the training program. Such programs are really useful to new, rural and young entrepreneurs who want to set up a small and medium scale unit on their own.
h) Identifying the available resources: Women are hesitant to find out the access to cater their needs in the financial and marketing areas. In spite of the mushrooming growth of associations, institutions, and the schemes from the government side, women are not enterprising and dynamic to optimize the resources in the form of reserves, assets mankind or business volunteers.
Highly educated, technically sound and professionally qualified women should be encouraged for managing their own business, rather than dependent on wage employment outlets. The unexplored talents of young women can be identified, trained and used for various types of industries to increase the productivity in the industrial sector. A desirable environment is necessary for every woman to inculcate entrepreneurial values and involve greatly in business dealings.
The additional business opportunities that are recently approaching for women entrepreneurs are:
â€¢ Eco-friendly technology
â€¢ IT enabled enterprises
â€¢ Event Management
â€¢ Tourism industry
â€¢ Plastic materials
â€¢ Mineral water
â€¢ Herbal & health care
â€¢ Food, fruits & vegetable processing
Empowering women entrepreneurs is essential for achieving the goals of sustainable development and the bottlenecks hindering their growth must be eradicated to entitle full participation in the business. Apart from training programs, Newsletters, mentoring, trade fairs and exhibitions also can be a source for entrepreneurial development. As a result, the desired outcomes of the business are quickly achieved and more of remunerative business opportunities are found. Henceforth, promoting entrepreneurship among women is certainly a short-cut to rapid economic growth and development. Let us try to eliminate all forms of gender discrimination and thus allow 'women' to be an entrepreneur at par with men.
Women Entrepreneurs in the Digital Age:
"Why Women Make Excellent Entrepreneurs in the Digital Age"
2010 was the first time ever there were more women in the work force than men. In terms of women-owned businesses, between 1997 and 2011 there was a 50% increase, while male-owned business only grew by 25% ( American Express report). Women are dominating the entrepreneur landscape and are using their skills to succeed.
As times are tough for everyone, more families are moving towards dual-income households.(as briefed above with push and pull factors)
Also, technology advancements are making a virtual workplace attainable for women, who are looking to balance family and their career. By creating a more mobile environment, flexibility is achievable .
Women's Competitive Edge:
In the digital landscape, there is a stronger growth in women entrepreneurs than men, they could use these skills, many naturally possess, to achieve success.
The studies conducted by many scholars with reference to Women competitive edge, believes women tend to possess certain skills that create a competitive advantage like,
Strong Communication Skills & Social Intelligence
Determination to Excel
Prefer Lower Risk
Do women's strong communication and social skills make them more equipped to thrive in our post-industrial digital age? In short, do women have specific skills - whether the result of biology or social conditioning - that can help them succeed as entrepreneurs?
The review of literature reveals, helping entrepreneurs and small business owners launch their brands, It is strongly believed there are several traditionally "feminine" leadership qualities that are more significant now than ever.
5 reasons why women make great entrepreneurs in the digital era:
'Is today's business environment more aspiring for female entrepreneurs?'
Take a look at the points below and let us know whether you think they're true or not.
1. Women possess strong communication skills and social intelligence. The digital economy requires these skills, and women enjoy a slight edge over their male counterparts (according to numerous studies).
2. Women make good listeners. Whether due to biology or cultural conditioning, women tend to be better listeners and are stronger at drawing people into conversation. This translates to several advantages for the entrepreneur, who can better attune herself to customer needs and build more effective teams of employees, contractors and partners. In fact, many women entrepreneurs often describe building their business as building a team.
3. Women collaborate. Women have worked well together since the earliest female enterprises, whether dividing grains in the village or working in quilting bees. Even some of today's cultural stereotypes have legs, for instance, women's joint trips to the restroom!
A 2009 Time magazine article by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay says, "[Women are] consensus builders, conciliators and collaborators, and they employ what is called a transformational leadership style - heavily engaged, motivational, extremely well suited for the emerging, less hierarchical workplace." The article, entitled "Women Will Rule Business," cited projections from the Chartered Management Institute in the UK. Looking ahead to 2018, CMI believes the work world will be more fluid and virtual, and the demand for female management skills will be stronger than ever.
4.Women prefer lower risk. Researchers have begun focusing on the relationship between testosterone and excessive risk, thus evaluating whether groups of men spur each other toward reckless decisions. Whether testosterone influences decision-making or not, research shows that, as a whole, women prefer lower risk opportunities and are willing to settle for lower returns.
Virtual workplaces and digitally mobile lifestyles give aspiring women entrepreneurs the flexibility to achieve the balance between work and family. Digital tools mean that women can now build a business from home and create unique work schedules.'
Risk aversion may go hand-in-hand with motivations for starting a business. A 2007 study from the Small Business Administration (Are Male and Female Entrepreneurs Really That Different?) observes the differences between male and female entrepreneurs in the U.S. The results found that male owners are more likely to start a business to make money, and have higher expectations for their business. Women are more likely to prioritize that business and personal lives work in harmony.
The digital age offers a wealth of low-risk opportunities. Ventures like blogging, web-based services, e-commerce and software development require smaller upstart costs than manufacturing-based, brick and mortar type businesses. Cloud-based tools and virtual workforces further lower the cost of entry, making the idea of starting a business more feasible and/or palatable for risk-averse entrepreneurs.
But a strength can also be a weakness. Yes, the tendency to minimize risk can lead to higher success rates for female entrepreneurs. However, risk-phobia can also mean women are more likely to limit the size of their businesses, and less likely pursue outside funding from investors to fuel growth. On an average, men-owned firms are larger than women-owned firms. It's up to each individual business owner to define the goals of his or her business. If a woman chooses to pursue a smaller business venture that lets her balance her business and personal life in more harmony, more power to her. For now, I think we should celebrate the growth in women entrepreneurs, but also wonder if woman-owned high growth startups are an under-utilized resource in our economy. It's time we made space for the underdog - if that term even applies anymore.
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The next generation of entrepreneurs bucking the economic trend by putting values back at the heart of business. And women are giving men a run for their money. The successful female social entrepreneurs as role models for women in business and aspiring female entrepreneurs. Unlike the private sector, women who set up and run a business with a social or community purpose are as widespread as their male counterparts.
"At the risk of generalizing, women have a real advantage in leadership that might be a great advantage in the business world. They can act and lead while staying tuned into their colleagues. Being confident enough to use that is crucial. Women leaders shouldn't try to be one of the guys. They can use their natural gifts to their advantage."
Sam Baumber, Business Development Manager at the Social Enterprise Academy says that female social entrepreneurs are the role models for business leaders in the current economic climate.
"Women who are leading successful social enterprises are role models for women thinking about setting up their own business. In the current climate social enterprise is thriving and these inspiring women prove that values of team work and emotional intelligence that women often bring as leaders can help build successful and resilient businesses.
"Many of our graduates who started with an idea and burning passion and have developed into leading female social entrepreneurs in India and we hope their success stories will help others with an idea to make it happen."« Fewer matches
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Women in Business Challenge 2013:
Empowering Women Entrepreneurs to Drive Growth-some success stories:
1st Successful Women Entrepreneur: Priyanka Malhotra.
Priyanka Malhotra is successful women entrepreneur in India. She is operating the business of book publishing and also devotes her time in cafe business. She did graduated in printing and publishing from London college of publishing. She also holda the degree of M.Sc in media and communication field. After this, she came to India and became successful business women in Delhi. Priyanka thinks differently about the idea of scaling her businesses.
2nd Successful Women Entrepreneur- Bhawana Kakkar: Bhawana Kakkar is young graduate women in painting and arts. She did also postgraduate in Art history from Baroda University. She has huge experience in fashion designing in India and she opened Art gallery. She is also publishing magazine named "Take-Simple Black".
3rd Successful Women Entrepreneur - Manju Bharatram: Mr. Manju Bharatram was a simple child for whom school wasn`t happy experience. Just like many other. And the day she saw her own children feeling the same as well, she became a social entrepreneur.
4th Successful Women Entrepreneur - Rajashree Birla: Rajashree Birla is a successful women entrepreneur and chairperson of Aditya Birla Centre for Community and rural development. Her focus is on the all-round development of the communities around our plants located mostly in distanct rural and tribal belts. All our group companies, Grasim, Hindalco, Aditya Birla NMuvo, Indo Gulf and Ultra Tech have Rural Development Cells which are the implementation bodies.
5th Successful Women Entreprenuer-Shruti: Shruti is a degree holder in Chemistry from University of Pennsylvania and she did worked with Merrill Lynch. She came back India after in USA and started her own hotel business and became a successful women entrepreneur in India.
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Entrepreneurship is presently the most discussed and encouraged concept all over the world to overcome economic challenges. Women being the vital gender of the overall population have great capacity and potential to be the contributor in the overall economic development of any nation. Therefore, programs and policies need to be customized to not just encourage entrepreneurship as well as implement strategies which can help support entrepreneurial culture among youth. Media has the potential to play the most vital role in entrepreneurial development by creating and highlighting all such platforms which can bring out the creativity and innovation among the women and men to grow entrepreneurship culture in society. Developing countries are definitely in dire need to encourage women entrepreneurship as women workforce is promptly available to exploit the unexplored dimensions of business ventures. Developed nations should primarily focus on entrepreneurial educational programs in order to develop women entrepreneurs. Generally speaking, globally business world has realized and is working on war footing to create entrepreneurship as the final remedy to overcome all types of business and market challenges.
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