Contribution of Women Entrepreneurs to the Indian Economy
The one thing that sets apart a woman is how effortlessly she plays multiplicity of roles – from a homemaker, mother, wife, to a working professional. Owing to these roles, women tend to possess a higher quotient of managerial abilities. However, in most cases especially in developing countries like India, the internal potential of a woman and the external socioeconomic conditions haven’t kept pace with one another. Breaking the shackles of poverty, social structures, conditioned mindsets, and the ideology that women are meant to stay home isn’t easily shattered by every next woman. They still feel subject to their circumstances and hence, the battle to creating a world that isn’t characterized by gender and provides equal opportunities of growth is still being fought.
Entrepreneurial development has ignited the process of progress largely worldwide, making it one of the most significant factors contributing to the economic growth of a country. Over the years, a great spurt in the participation of women in entrepreneurial activities has been witnessed. Entrepreneurship has fostered a space of development, empowerment, and emancipation for women all over the world. It has enabled women to have access to a better quality of life and attain a balance of power inside and outside their home. That is why “Women Entrepreneurship” is all the more essential to the growth of a country as well as its economy.
A recent study by Purva Khera, “Closing Gender Gaps in India: Does Increasing Women’s Access to Finance help?” showed that implementing policies and practises to close the gender inequality gap could lead to a 6.8% increase in India’s GDP. A report by the World Economic forum’s gender gap report states that India ranks 142nd out of 149 countries in the category “economic participation and opportunity.” These numbers reflect that the path of economic development, innovation, and entrepreneurship cannot be achieved if the potential of half of the population remains unrealized.
Women with Purpose
Even if social and economic constraints have pulled women back from pursuing their passion, a lot of women did manage to break the glass ceiling. These women have not only transformed their lives but continue to inspire the masses.
- Aditi Gupta: Co-founder Menstrupedia It is when Aditi Gupta realized that Menstruation surrounds itself with innate myths and misconceptions that she decided to begin the journey of Menstrupedia – Indian comic that focuses on spreading awareness about menstruation. In 2014, Aditi Gupta was listed on the Forbes under 30 for her contribution towards breaking the taboo. Menstrupedia is now a part of over 6000 schools. Her work has also been published in the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, CNBC and BBC.
- Divya Gokulnath: Co-founder Byju’s BYJU’s is a worldwide operating ed-tech startup. It offers learning to students from classes 1-12 and also helps students prepare for competitive exams like JEE, CAT, NEET, and IAS. Currently, the app has 42 million registered students and 3 million annual paid subscriptions.
- Ritu Rathee: Co-founder Flying Beast Born in a village in Haryana, Ritu was always taught that the ultimate destination for a woman is marriage and not education. Ritu’s perseverance didn’t let her give up her dreams. The more the world pulled her back, the higher she went – just like an arrow. Today she is a Captain in Indigo Airlines and the Co-founder of India’s biggest Youtube channel – Flying Beast. Currently flying beast has over 4.37 million subscribers all over the world and 680+ videos.
While women have contributed significantly to uplift economic and social conditions, there is still a long way ahead to ensure an environment that provides equal platform and opportunities. India by 2025 could add $770 billion to its GDP by 2025 if it provides equal opportunity to women, a report by McKinsey Global Institute suggests. It’s time for the world to acknowledge and work towards building a future with ever-rising participation of our domestic heroes – Women. The need of the hour is following a job-oriented approach to education, a shift in the outlook of people towards working women, and specialized institutions working for women empowerment. A safe and congenial environment is of utmost priority in workplaces and should be fostered through strict policy-making.
“To all the women who are watching, never doubt that you are simply important and strong, and worthy of every chance and opportunity in the world to follow and fulfil your own dreams,” Hilary Clinton once said. If you’re reading this, take this as a sign, envision the best version of yourself, and get your imagination going.
Ms. Taanika Arora
Assistant Professor, RDIAS