Barriers to Women Entrepreneurs
These are the four major barriers to women entrepreneurs:
As mentioned, traditional Indian society does not encourage women’s empowerment. The concept of gender equity is not uniformly known nor accepted. Women entrepreneurship, above all, can be perceived as a questioning of male predominance.
This barrier, though informal, has a strong effect on women’s determination to undertake entrepreneurship activities. Besides, this discrepancy in the treatment of men and women is also reflected in other sectors where women have to face prejudices and employment reluctance.
There are many businesses, where we don’t find any woman entrepreneurs. Thus we need to create better education and understanding so that cultural barriers can break.
Although women are generally more present than men in the Higher Education system, their curriculum is not adapted to the new requirements of the labor market. The specific educational programs preferred by women, such as BA, and MA, are not well linked to the existing demand of the market, and thus disadvantage female professionals.
To maintain a well-developed human skills base, which is a major asset for the future development of the country; a stronger link between women’s higher education preferences and labor market demands needs to be established. Now women are getting better education.
But in rural areas, the situation is still very pathetic. There is an urgent need to promote higher education among women. The Gujarat Government introduced free higher education for women, and this had a positive effect. A similar initiative needs to be taken up in other states as well.
Women are mostly present in the less well-paid sectors of the economy. Their concentration in the public “non-productive” sectors of Health, Education, and Culture has seen their wages fall further below the national average over the past 10 years.
Despite efforts deployed towards the economic empowerment of women, the majority of the active female population continues to be confined in the micro and small-scale enterprises and the informal sector (like cross-border trade, subcontracting work at home, or street trading).
Clearly, women’s entrepreneurial potential remains untapped in transition countries, especially when compared to global trends. Like, for example in most countries of Western Europe, where the number of women entrepreneurs has rapidly increased during the last ten years, contributing to GDP growth and the creation of new jobs.
The integration of women into the formal sector is still constrained by limited access to credit and property. This barrier, effective for many entrepreneurs men and women, is even more sensitive for women.
Apart from the gender prejudice limiting their access to traditional sources of funding, women are more accurately disadvantaged by their lack of; technical knowledge in the redaction of business plans, and the absence of efficient high-level networking (for string-pulling and guarantees). Besides, even if women are seen as more rational in their choices, they are restrained by their lack of ambitions and self-confidence.