Problems Faced by Women Entrepreneurs in India

Growth of Women Entrepreneurship in India

If society is a vehicle, both men and women are its two wheels. Contributions of both women and men are required to the activities of building a nation. India has about seven lakh villages, in which more than 70 percent of its population lives.

The labor force in the rural sector is formed by 56 percent of males and 33 percent of females. Women struggle in India for entrepreneurial freedom though more than 60 years have passed since the independence. They still face various socio-economic problems. Women entrepreneurs in India comprise a small proportion of the total entrepreneurs.

The emergence of women entrepreneurs has been hampered by attitudinal constraints, social traditions, and kinship systems. Due to the lack of technical knowledge and little competition from men, Indian women have contributed for the most part to household industries.

The spread of education and growing awareness among women have motivated women to enter the fields of engineering, electronics, energy, and other industries. In spite of the small number of such units, women started units for manufacturing solar cookers, TVs, capacitors, electronic ancillaries, and small foundries.

The growth of women entrepreneurs in the country has been accelerated by several government agencies and voluntary organizations like Mahilamandals and so on. Indian women have become more career-minded, economically independent, and more achievement-oriented.

They would like to widen their scope of work and taste the fruit of achievement. But, now, the scenario is changing fast with modernization, urbanization, and the development of education and business. Thus, the opportunities for employment for women have increased drastically.

Numbers of Women Entrepreneurs Registered in India

Women Entrepreneurship States No Units Registered Rank No Women Entrepreneurs Rank %Age
Tamil Nadu 9,618 1 2930 2 30.36
Uttar Pradesh 7,980 2 3180 1 39.84
Kerala 5,487 3 2135 3 38.91
Punjab 4,791 4 1618 4 33.77
Maharashtra 4,339 5 1394 6 32.12
Gujarat 3,822 6 1538 5 39.72
Karnataka 3,822 7 1026 7 26.82
Madhya Pradesh 2,967 8 842 8 28.38
Other states and UTs 14,576 9 4185 9 28.71
Total 57452 18848 32.82
Numbers of Women Entrepreneurs Registered in India

Problems Faced by Women Entrepreneurs in India

These are the problems faced by women entrepreneurs in India explained below:

  1. Family Ties
  2. Male-Dominated Society
  3. Lack of Education
  4. Social Barriers
  5. Shortage of Raw Materials
  6. Problem of Finance
  7. Tough Competitions
  8. High Cost of Production
  9. Low Risk-Bearing Capacity
  10. Limited Mobility
  11. Lack of Entrepreneurial Aptitude
  12. Limited Managerial Ability
  13. Legal Formalities
  14. Exploitation by Middlemen
  15. Lack of Self-Confidence

Family Ties

Women in India are very emotionally attached to their families. They are supposed to attend to all the domestic work, to look after the children and other members of the family.

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They are overburdened with family responsibilities like extra attention to husband, children, and in-laws which take away a lot of their time and energy. In such a situation, it will be very difficult to concentrate and run the enterprise successfully.

Male-Dominated Society

Even though our constitution speaks of equality between sexes, male chauvinism is still the order of the day. Women are not treated equal to men. Their entry to business requires the approval of the head of the family. Entrepreneurship has traditionally been seen as a male preserve. All these put a break in the growth of women entrepreneurs.

Lack of Education

Women in India are lagging far behind in the field of education. Most of the women (around sixty percent of total women) are illiterate. Those who are educated are provided either less or inadequate education than their male counterpart partly due to early marriage, partly due to their son’s higher education, and partly due to poverty.

Due to a lack of proper education, women entrepreneurs remain in the dark about the development of new technology, new methods of production, marketing, and other governmental support that will encourage them to flourish.

Social Barriers

The traditions and customs that prevailed in Indian societies towards women sometimes stand as an obstacle before them to grow and prosper. Castes and religions dominate one another and hinder women entrepreneurs too. In rural areas, they face more social barriers. They are always seen with suspicious eyes.

Shortage of Raw Materials

The scarcity of raw materials, sometimes nor, the availability of proper and adequate raw materials sounds the death knell of the enterprises run by women entrepreneurs. Women entrepreneurs really face a tough task in getting the required raw materials and other necessary inputs for the enterprises when the prices are very high.

Problem of Finance

Women entrepreneurs stiffer a lot in raising and meeting the financial needs of the business, Bankers, creditors, and financial institutes are not coming forward to provide financial assistance to women borrowers on the ground of their lower creditworthiness and more chances of business failure.

They also face financial problems due to blockage of funds in raw materials, work-in-progress finished goods, and non-receipt of payment from customers in time.

Tough Competitions

Usually, women entrepreneurs employ low technology in the process of production. In a market where the competition is too high, they have to fight hard to survive in the market against the organized sector and their male counterpart who has vast experience and capacity to adopt advanced technology in managing enterprises.

High Cost of Production

Several factors including inefficient management contribute to the high cost of production which stands as a stumbling block before women entrepreneurs. Women entrepreneurs face technology obsolescence due to nonadoption or slow adoption of changing technology which is a major factor of the high cost of production.

Low Risk-Bearing Capacity

Women in India are by nature weak, shy, and mild. They cannot bear the amount of risk which is essential for running an enterprise. Lack of education, training, and financial support from outside also reduces their ability to bear the risk involved in enterprises.

Limited Mobility

Women’s mobility in India is highly limited and has become a problem due to traditional values and the inability to drive vehicles.

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Moving alone and asking for a room to stay out in the night for business purposes are still looked upon with suspicious eyes. Sometimes, younger women feel uncomfortable in dealing with men who show extra interest in them than in work-related aspects.

Lack of Entrepreneurial Aptitude

Lack of entrepreneurial aptitude is a matter of concern for women entrepreneurs. They have no entrepreneurial bent of mind. Even after attending various training programs on entrepreneurship women entrepreneurs fail to tide over the risks and troubles that may come up in organizational work.

Limited Managerial Ability

Management has become a specialized job that only efficient managers perform. Women entrepreneurs are not efficient in managerial functions like planning, organizing, controlling, coordinating, staffing, directing, motivating, etc. of an enterprise.

Therefore, less and limited managerial ability of women has become a problem for them to run the enterprise successfully.

Legal Formalities

Fulfilling the legal formalities required for running an enterprise becomes an upheaval task on the part of a women entrepreneur because of the prevalence of corrupt practices in government offices and procedural delays for various licenses, electricity, water, and shed allotments.

In such situations, women entrepreneurs find it hard to concentrate on the smooth working of the enterprise.

Exploitation by Middlemen

Since women cannot run around for marketing, distribution, and money collection, they have to depend on middlemen for the above activities. Middlemen tend to exploit them in the guise of helping. They add their own profit margin which results in less sales and lesser profit.

Lack of Self-Confidence

Women entrepreneurs because of their inherent nature, lack of self-confidence which is essentially a motivating factor in running an enterprise successfully. They have to strive hard to strike a balance between managing a family and managing an enterprise. Sometimes she has to sacrifice her entrepreneurial urge in order to strike a balance between the two.

FAQs Section

What are the problems faced by women entrepreneurs in India?

The following are the problems faced by women entrepreneurs in India:
1. Family Ties
2. Male-Dominated Society
3. Lack of Education
4. Social Barriers
5. Shortage of Raw Materials
6. Problem of Finance
7. Tough Competitions
8. High Cost of Production
9. Low Risk-Bearing Capacity
10. Limited Mobility.