In recent times, the number of women stepping into the entrepreneurial domain has increased tremendously
By Saroja Yeramilli
CEO and founder, Melorra
Women are evolving in every part of the world—and this evolution is gradually lifting the so-called bias that society has held for centuries. Women have always been thrust into situations where they need to take on a variety of roles as a daughter, wife or mother. So it’s no surprise that today, many uphold the title of ‘entrepreneur’ with aplomb. It can easily be said that if a woman tries, she can surely succeed in building something of an empire for herself. In recent times, the number of women stepping into the entrepreneurial domain has increased tremendously. In the US, more than 24% of all businesses are either female-led or have more than 50% ownership by women. India is not far behind. With the country being home to the maximum number of start-ups, second only to China, it is not surprising to see that 11% of all these enterprises are headed by women. Even though this means there are only 550 women-led start-ups in the country out of a total of more than 5,000, the number is certainly encouraging.
Beyond policy changes
Times have changed for women who climb the corporate ladder. The government, known for its pro-entrepreneurial vision, has once again exhibited its confidence and support for the start-up community by offering them a bouquet of promises in the 2019 budget. This year’s Union budget has introduced many new provisions for the MSME sector and brought a fresh lease of life for the start-up ecosystem. Experts are happy with the new interest subvention scheme and the provisions of the Mudra loan aimed particularly at women entrepreneurs. However, contemporary women business owners and visionaries want not just policy changes but also a change in the mindset of people. While they have been limited by rigidity and stereotypes in the past, women are now rewriting the rules by not only breaking the glass ceiling but also traditional notions of what is expected of them.
Many leaders are of the belief that in order to unleash the true potential of women in business, common prejudices that still exist across homes and workplaces must leave. It is time to take a leap of faith and fight our apprehensions of having an equal number of women in the board room. An important point here is that we must stop judging women for everything from whether having children will affect the investment in her business to the level of competency she will bring to work. We must draw inspiration from the many successful women entrepreneurs who have proven their mettle. It is now up to families to drop their pungent attitude towards their career-oriented daughters and other women.
Why women-led businesses are more successful