The present era is witnessing a stir in the world of emerging startups. They are envisaged to be the hallmarks of a stable economy and a developed nation. Women have come up as the torchbearers of brewing prosperity in the nation. They have come a long way since their voices and efforts were suppressed because they were considered to be the ones who existed just for raising a family.
Women these days think of a business enterprise, initiate it, organise it and combine the factors of production, operate the enterprise, undertake risks and handle economic uncertainties involved in running it. They have proved that entrepreneurship is not a prerogative of only men and that nothing can deter them from achieving their dreams.
Many female-owned businesses continue to be home-based operations. The women entrepreneurs are said to encompass approximately one-third of all entrepreneurs worldwide. This is a phenomenal success to their credit.
In a patriarchal society, it is a hard task to build up an identity for women. But nevertheless, there are women who have set examples for others. Their firm determination, dedication, zeal, passion, work ethics and an unrelenting desire to succeed are some of the qualities which show that they have an insurmountable spirit for the unstoppable journey they have embarked upon. The way women have carved a niche for themselves is exemplary as well as worth praising.
The literate women have put their education to use in implementing several ideas in the form of startups and bringing their leadership qualities and applying them judiciously in the pre-existing firms. Some of the sectors where women entrepreneurs have left their mark are:
• Eco-friendly/ Bio-friendly sectors
• IT sector
• Event Management
• Lifestyle Sector
• Beauty and Cosmetics
• Travel and Tourism Sector
• Food and Beverages
• Plastic manufacturing
• Local and International Trading
• Property and Estate
Lata Manohar’s boutique called ‘Vishuddhi’, situated at Anna Nagar, Chennai, is truly unique. It does not flaunt arrays of salwars and readymade suits in its racks. What strikes one after entering ‘Vishuddhi’ is the simplicity, charm and warmth of Lata. She had always wanted to be an entrepreneur and her desire was fulfilled with the help of her father to whom she is grateful.
‘Coffee, Books and More’ is a venture of Revathi Krishna. It is a place where one can relax, unwind and let go. It’s a book lover’s paradise with hundreds of books lining the shelves. It also has an exclusive coffee shop with an abundance of books to choose from, and a place to listen to soft music, which is calming and soothing to the ears. Revathi aspires to promote women entrepreneurs and women writers who are inclined to make a career out of freelancing.
The story of Patricia Narayan, the winner of the Ficci Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2010, is amazing. She started her career 30 years ago as an entrepreneur, selling eateries from a mobile cart on the Marina beach amidst all odds — battling a failed marriage, coping with her husband, a drug addict and taking care of two kids. Today, she has overcome the hurdles and owns a chain of restaurants.
Umang Shridhar, the founder of KhaDigi, is revolutionising the fashion industry. This young women entrepreneur weaves the best of all for both men and women. Her collection has a touch of Indian craftsmanship and sheer simplicity. She aims at popularising the handspun khadi fabric by imbibing modern digital prints on it. Recently, KhaDigi launched its spring-summer collection in Bhopal.
• Indian industry’s think-tank gets bigger.
• New opportunities are created.
• More employment opportunities are generated.
• Per-capita income increases.
• Indians enjoy a better standard of living.
• Education and awareness become common.
• Future becomes brighter for the next generation.
• Women gain a better understanding of managing family and business concurrently.
• Indian women achieve a sense of self-realisation and self-fulfillment.
• Women gain better ability to take risks and business decisions.
• Women become more confident.
Despite being instrumental in raising and improving the socio-economic status of the society, the work of women entrepreneurs is always disregarded. They are considered to be ‘misfits’ in the world of entrepreneurs. They have to face gender bias at the workplace. A woman is always thought to be weak, fragile, timid and meek – someone who cannot handle the work pressure and will give in during times of crisis.
However, to the dismay and bewilderment of males, their opinions were proved to be misconceptions by the women entrepreneurs. They have worked hard with utmost patience and diligence to create a place of their own. And eventually, men have ceased to consider the women low. In fact, now they are taking a step forward to help women entrepreneurship flourish, as the realisation has dawned upon them that the complete development of a nation, as well as society, is possible only when both men and women work together.