The Steady Rise of Women Entrepreneurs in India
The Steady Rise of Women Entrepreneurs in India

A steadily growing tribe of woman entrepreneurs in India have been marking their identity, across domains and industries. From conventional woman-friendly enterprises like cottage industries to new-age startups, women have started holding the reins everywhere.

From woman entrepreneurs who are in the limelight like Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Ekta Kapoor, Indra Nooyi, Suchi Mukherjee, Richa Kar, Aditi Gupta to several others who carry out their business ventures quietly — India is home to a diverse set of woman entrepreneurs.

Also Read:- Best Successful Business Ideas For Women To Start In India

According to a recent report*, there are around 8 million women entrepreneurs in India, and 10% of all formal enterprises are owned by women.

But, then achieving this wasn’t always easy. Let’s take a look at how woman entrepreneurship in India has changed over the years and the factors that helped in putting women in the driver’s seat of businesses.

According to a Report:- A recent report called the India Startup Ecosystem Report (WISER) shows that more women are starting their own companies in India. Over the last five years, there has been a big increase in the number of startups led by women. In 2017, only 10 percent of startups were run by women, but now it’s up to 18 percent. This growth shows that more women are getting better education, getting more money to start their businesses, and the government is making rules to help women succeed in business.

Emerging Women Business Owners in India

From the neighborhood aunty who runs a beauty parlor to a teacher who conducts a tuition center from home — we’ve all seen women spearheading businesses. But, then for years, women had to contend with these small, informal, work-from-home businesses. If you also have a spark to open your own business then refer 9 government scheme for female entrepreneurs catering finances of your business.

The challenges of breaking into the formal business sector are aplenty. Here are a few of the most common problems women face in India while setting up an entrepreneurial project:

● Family ties, homemaking, child-rearing responsibilities.

● Lack of support from family members, who want women to choose “secure and safe” jobs.

● Old school lending institutions that question the credibility of women, even though the loan repayment rate of women is higher than that of men.

● The red tape and tangles of bureaucracy.

● And, a patriarchal society that makes it difficult for women to compete with their male counterparts.

But, then in the last few years, with digitization, liberalization, growth of e-commerce and social networks, plenty has changed. Today, a vast majority of startups in India are either run by a team of women or has a female co-founder.

Also Read:- Udyogini Scheme For Women Entrepreneurs

In India, Women entrepreneurs are categorized as follows:

Educated and Professionally Qualified Women:

This group includes women with adequate education and professional qualifications who actively participate in entrepreneurial ventures.

Middle-Class Women with Education but Limited Training:

Encompassing middle-class women who possess education but lack specific training, this category highlights the potential for entrepreneurship among women seeking to bridge the gap between education and practical business skills.

Women Entrepreneurs Facing Financial Difficulties:

This category comprises women entrepreneurs who encounter financial challenges while establishing and managing their business enterprises.

The Government of India has implemented various initiatives through industrial policies to support and encourage women in entrepreneurship.

7th Five-Year Plan:

The 1991 industrial policy incorporated special provisions for the development of women entrepreneurs. This plan introduced a targeted training program aimed at nurturing the skills and capabilities of women in entrepreneurship. The overarching goal was to augment the representation of women in the small industry sector and foster self-employment opportunities.

8th Five-Year Plan:

This plan underscored the significance of developing the Small Scale Industry (SSI) sector. Prior to its implementation, the percentage of growth of women entrepreneurship stood at 9%, with a target set to increase this figure to 20%. The plan focused on creating an environment conducive to the growth of women-led businesses within the SSI sector.

Also Read: The Best Ways Woman Entrepreneurs In India Can Avail Business Loans

3 Reasons Behind The Growth Of Women Entrepreneurs in India

The Growth Of Digital Lenders

One of the biggest hurdles women had to face while setting up a business was the lack of capital. Old school lenders were stringent in lending business capital to women– they demanded collateral, a guarantor and put forth many other conditions.

With the increase of digital lending platforms today availing business loan to women has become far simpler. Today, a woman who has an entrepreneurial idea need not look for financial support from her family members or conventional banks.

She can easily get the capital from a digital lender and kick-start her venture, with minimal waiting time.

Also Read:- Top 5 Nationalized Bank Loan Options For Women Entrepreneurs

Online Selling

This is another major factor that has helped the meteoric growth of women entrepreneurship in the country. Today, one can sell products right from home. With online shopping, a woman entrepreneur can easily send products to anywhere across the country and even worldwide.

All they need to do is — set up an e-commerce website, or sign up for an online marketplace, and they get a portal to showcase and demonstrate products. This digital platform has made it easy for women to set up a business right from home and expand as the business grows. Also know how digital lending platforms changed the picture of lending for MSMEs.

The Popularity Of Social Networks

Just a few years back, marketing was one of the major hurdles faced by all entrepreneurs and not just women. Thanks to the popularity of social networks like Instagram, Facebook, and others, today one can easily spread the word about their products.

With a social media page and the right content, the business can go places. In fact, social media networks are one of the biggest tools in the arsenal of women entrepreneurs in India


If you’re a woman, starting out the entrepreneurial journey, don’t let any financial roadblocks stop you. Go ahead, get business loans for women from a digital lending platform like Indifi and transform your idea into a reality.


How is women’s entrepreneurship growing in India?

Based on research from the Edelgive Foundation, women-owned businesses in India are expected to expand by as much as 90% over the next five years. This growth rate surpasses the expected growth in the US (50%) and the UK (24%). Out of India’s 63 million MSMEs, around 20% are owned by women.

What is the percentage of women entrepreneurs in India?

In India, women constitute just 14% of entrepreneurs, overseeing 20% of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) among 58.5 million enterprises.

What is India’s number on the Female Entrepreneurship Index?

In the report of NITI Aayog Mastercard Index on growth of Women Entrepreneurship (MIWE), India is placed at the 57th spot out of 65 countries. Additionally, it holds the 70th position among 77 countries on the Female Entrepreneurship Index. According to national surveys, women’s participation in entrepreneurship within the MSME sector stands at 20%.

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