Women Entrepreneurs: Definitions, Characteristics, Functions

What is a Women Entrepreneur?

The woman or a group of women who initiate, organize, and operate a business enterprise is known as a women entrepreneur. A woman entrepreneur has to perform all the activities involved in establishing an enterprise. These include idea generation and screening, determination of objectives, project preparation and product analysis, etc.

Definition of Women Entrepreneurship

These are the following definitions of women entrepreneurship:

Any woman or group of women which innovates, imitates or adapts an economic activity may be called woman entrepreneurship.

Frederick Harbison

A woman entrepreneur is defined as an enterprise owned and controlled by a woman and having a minimum financial interest of 51 % of the capital and giving at least 51 % of the employment generated in the enterprise to women.

Government of India

Woman who innovates, imitates or adopts a business activity is called woman entrepreneur.

J. Schumpeter

Characteristics of Women Entrepreneurs

These are the following characteristics of women entrepreneurs:

  1. Management and Control
  2. Employment to Woman
  3. Risk-Taking
  4. Good Organizer
  5. Self-Confidence
  6. Decision Maker
  7. Visionaries
  8. Hard Worker
  9. Achievement Oriented
  10. Optimistic
  11. Technically Competent
  12. Bold and Brave
  13. Mentally Sound
  14. Leadership

Management and Control

A woman or group of women managed the whole business of enterprises. She prepares various plans and executes them under her own supervision and control.

Employment to Woman

Entrepreneurs must provide at least 51% of the employment generated in their enterprises to women.


Risk means uncertainty. A woman entrepreneur takes a calculated risk. She faces uncertainties confidently and assumes the risk.

Good Organizer

The most critical skill required for industrial development is the ability to build a sound organization. A woman entrepreneur assembles, coordinates, organizes, and manages the other factors namely, land, labor, and capital. She obtains the factors of production from society and supplies them with finished products.


It is essential to be self-confident as a woman entrepreneur. She should have faith in herself and in her abilities. She should have the confidence to implement the change and overcome any resistance to change.

Decision Maker

The main function of women entrepreneurs is to make decisions. She makes various decisions regarding the activities of his enterprise. She decides about the type of business to be done and the way of doing it. A woman entrepreneur must be clear and creative in the decision-making process.


A woman entrepreneur is one who incubates new ideas, starts her enterprises with these ideas, and provides added value to society based on their independent initiative.

Hard Worker

A distinguishing future of a woman entrepreneur is the willingness to work hard. She has to follow the principle, “Hard work is the key to success”.

Achievement Oriented

A woman entrepreneur is an achievement-oriented lady, not money-hungry. She works for challenges, accomplishment, and service to others. Achievement orientation is derived from overcoming challenges to advance and grow.


A woman entrepreneur must be optimistic. She should approach her venture with a hope of success and an optimistic attitude. She attempts her task with an optimistic attitude for success rather than fear of failure. The positive thinking of an entrepreneur can make the situation favorable to her.

Technically Competent

The success of enterprises largely depends upon the ability of women entrepreneurs to cope with the latest technologies. Technical competency refers to the ability to devise and use better ways of producing and marketing goods and services.

Bold and Brave

Women entrepreneurs face adversities boldly and bravely. She has faith in herself and attempts to solve the problem even under great pressure.

Mentally Sound

A woman entrepreneur is energetic, and having a mission and a clear vision she should be the lady of creative thinking and analytical thinking. She must be intelligent, adaptable, and problem solver.


Leadership qualities are the most important characteristics of a woman entrepreneur. It is the process of influencing and supporting others to work enthusiastically toward achieving objectives.

Functions of Women Entrepreneurs

These are the four categories of functions of women entrepreneurs explained:

  1. Entrepreneurial Functions
  2. Promotional Functions
  3. Managerial Functions
  4. Commercial Functions

Entrepreneurial Functions of Women Entrepreneurs

The entrepreneurial functions of women entrepreneurs are:

  1. Innovation
  2. Risk-Taking
  3. Organization Building


J. Schumpeter has made a substantial contribution to the literature of entrepreneurship she says that an entrepreneur is basically an innovator and she introduces something new in the economy. Innovation is the basic function of an entrepreneur.

As an innovator, the entrepreneur has introduced new combinations of means of production, new products, new markets for products, and new sources of raw materials. As an innovator, an entrepreneur identifies the potentially profitable opportunity and tries to exploit it.

Innovation refers to doing new things. It includes the introduction of new products, the creation of new markets, the application of new processes of production, the discovery of new and better sources of raw materials, and the development a new and better form of industrial organization.


Risk-taking is also the fundamental function of an entrepreneur. Risk-taking refers to taking responsibility for loss that may occur due to unforeseen contingencies of the future.

An entrepreneur reduces uncertainty in his plan of investment, diversification of production, and expansion of the enterprise. She is a self-confident and highly optimistic person willing to assume the risks involved in innovations, new ventures, and expansion of an existing venture.

Organization Building

Organization and management of the enterprise is the main function of an entrepreneur. It refers to bringing together the various factors of production. The purpose is to allocate the productive resources in order to minimize the losses and reduce costs in production.

All the decision relating to an enterprise is taken by entrepreneurs. She alone determines the lines of business to expand and capital to employ. Thus, an entrepreneur is the final judge in the conduct of business.

Promotional Functions of Women Entrepreneurs

The promotional functions of women entrepreneurs are:

  1. Conception of an Idea
  2. Detailed Investigation
  3. Assembling Requirements
  4. Financing Proposition

Conception of an Idea

The first promotional function of an entrepreneur is the conception of a new idea. She visualizes that there are opportunities for a particular type of business and it can be profitably run. The idea may be to exploit a new area of natural resources or more profitable ventures in an existing line of business.

She developed this idea with the help of technical experts in that field. If they are convinced that profitable avenues are available in that line of business then the idea is taken forward for more exhaustive analysis.

Detailed Investigation

The entrepreneur will estimate the total demand for the product. There may be certain concerns already in that type of business and so she will determine his share of demand. After determining the prospective demand for goods she will think of arranging finances for the venture. The availability of power, labor, raw materials, and machinery is also considered.

The cost structure of the product is analyzed to find out the profitability of the venture. An expert opinion is sought on the viability of the project. The work of estimation becomes more difficult if the proposed line of business is new. The estimate should be based on a proper analysis of different factors. A guesswork creates problems later on.

Assembling Requirements

After making sure that the proposition is practical and profitable, the entrepreneur proceeds to assemble the requirements. She persuades some more persons to join hands with him by becoming directors or founder members. If she has invented something new, she should get it registered in his name.

She may also acquire some patent rights. The entrepreneur selects the factory site, decides about plant and machinery contacts suppliers or raw materials, etc. She does not purchase all these because it involves huge sums of money.

Instead of going for outright purchase, he uses option methods. The contracts are finalized by paying option money and the ultimate purchase is done only when the company is incorporated. If the company fails to come up, the entrepreneur only loses option money.

Financing Proposition

The entrepreneur decides the capital structure of the enterprise. The requirement of finances is estimated first. Then the sources from which this money will come are determined. How much share capital will be issued, the type of the shares to be issued, and the nature of loans, whether debentures or borrowing from financial institutions for a longer period all are finalized.

Generally, commercial banks are helpful only in financing working capital requirements. The financial requirements for short periods and long periods are estimated separately.

Managerial Functions of Women Entrepreneurs

The managerial functions of women entrepreneurs are:

  1. Planning
  2. Organizing
  3. Staffing
  4. Directing
  5. Leadership
  6. Communication
  7. Motivation
  8. Supervision
  9. Co-ordination
  10. Controlling


Planning is a basic managerial function of an entrepreneur. Planning helps in determining the course of action to be followed for achieving various entrepreneurial objectives. It is a decision in advance, what to do, when to do, how to do, and who will do a particular task.

Planning is a process that involves thinking before doing. Planning is concerned with the mental state of an entrepreneur. She thinks before undertaking a work. Other managerial functions of entrepreneurs such as organizing, staffing, directing, co-ordaining, and controlling are also undertaken after planning.


Every business enterprise needs the service of a number of persons to look after its different aspects. The entrepreneur sets up the objectives or goals to be achieved by its personnel. The energy of every individual is channeled to achieve the enterprise’s objectives.

The function of organizing is to arrange, guide, coordinate, direct, and control the activities of other factors of production viz. man, material, money, and machines so as to accomplish the objectives of the enterprise.

In other words Koontz and O’Donnell, “organizing is that part of managing that involves establishing an intentional structure of roles for people in an enterprise to fill.’’ The organization provides the necessary framework within which people association for the attainment of business objectives.


The function involves manning the position created by the organization process. It’s concerned with the human resources of an enterprise.

In the words of Koontz and O’Donnel, staffing is filling, and keeping filled, positions in the organization structure through defining workforce requirements, appraising, selecting, compensating, and training. Every entrepreneur has to perform the staffing function in one form or the other, in order to get things done through others.


Directing is concerned with carrying out the desired plans. It initiates organized and planned action and ensures effective performance by subordinates towards the accomplishment of group activities.

In the words of George R. Terry. ‘Direction is moving to action and supplying simulative power to the group.’ After planning, organizing, and staffing, the entrepreneur has to guide and supervise his subordinates.


An entrepreneur has to issue orders and instructions and guide and counsel his subordinates in their work with a view to improving their performance and achieving enterprise objectives.

Leadership is the process by which an entrepreneur imaginatively directs/guides and influences the work of others in choosing and attaining specified goals by mediating between the individual and organization in such a manner that both will get maximum satisfaction.


Communication constitutes a very important function of an entrepreneur. It is said to be the number one problem of entrepreneurs today. It is established fact that entrepreneurs spend 70 to 90 percent of their working time in communicating with others.

Communication is the means by which the behavior of the subordinate is modified and change is effected in their actions. Communication is a two-way process as it involves both information and understanding. It may be written, oral, or gestural.

Communication is said to be formal when if follows the formal channels provided in the organization structure. It is informal communication when it does not follow the formal channels. Communication flows downward from a superior to subordinates and upwards from subordinates to a superior.


The term motivation is derived from the word ‘motive’ which means a need or an emotion that prompts an individual into action. Motivation is the psychological process of creating an urge among subordinates to do certain things or behave in the desired manner.

It is a very important function of the entrepreneur. The importance of motivation can be realized from the fact that the performance of a worker depends upon his ability and motivation.


It is another important managerial function of the entrepreneur. After issuing, instructions, the entrepreneur has to see that the given instructions are carried out. This is the main aim of supervision. It refers to the job of overseeing subordinates at work to ensure maximum utilization of resources, to get the required and directed work done, and to correct, the subordinates whenever they go wrong.


It is one of the most important functions of an entrepreneur. It is essential to channel the activities of various individuals in the organization for the achievement of common goals. Every department or section is given a target to be achieved and they should concentrate only a work and should not bother about the work of other organs.

It is left to the entrepreneur to see that the work of different segments is going according to pre-determined targets and corrective measures have to be taken if there is any decision. It creates a team spirit and helps in achieving goals through collective efforts.


It can be defined as, “determining what is being accomplished, that is evaluating the performance, if necessary applying corrective measures so that the performance takes place according to plans”. Control is essential for achieving the objectives of an enterprise. The planning of various activities does not ensure the automatic implementation of policies.

Control is the process that enables the entrepreneur to get its policies implemented and take corrective actions if performance is not according to the pre-determined standards. Control is a line function and entrepreneur assesses the performance of their subordinates. The main purpose of control is to see that the activity if achieving the desired results.

Commercial Functions of Women Entrepreneurs

The commercial functions of women entrepreneurs are:

  1. Production
  2. Finance
  3. Marketing
  4. Personnel
  5. Accounting
  6. Supervision


Production function is a key function of an entrepreneur. The activities of production are independent of the size of the undertaking. In a small concern, one person may be undertaking this function whereas in a large organization, this activity may be undertaken by various individuals or separate teams.

Production is the creation of goods and services. In relation to goods, production is the fabrication of a physical object through the use of men, materials, and equipment, whereas, with reference to services, production is the discharge of a function that has some utility.

This interpretation of production activity is a very broad one and it does not coincide with the commonly used practice of associating it with the manufacturing process only. The production function consists of manufacturing, ancillary, and advisory activities.


The finance function is the most important of all enterprises. It remains a focus of all business activities. It is not possible to substitute or eliminate this function because the enterprise fails in the absence of finance. The need for money is continuous. It starts with the setting up of an enterprise and remains at all times.

The development and expansion of enterprise need more commitment for funds. The funds will have to be raised from various sources. The sources will be selected in relation to the implications attached to them. The success of the finance function will depend upon its planning. The receiving of money is not enough, its utilization is more important.


Marketing is primarily concerned with the movement of goods and services from the producer to the ultimate consumer. It creates place, time, and possession utilities. Marketing is a concept, a point of view, and a way of thinking. It is directed towards the satisfaction of consumer wants. It begins and ends with customers.

Marketing plays a significant role in promoting the well-being of all business enterprises. In fact, the success of any organization depends upon its successful marketing. Marketing is necessary not only for a producer of goods and services, but also for a customer, a government, and society at large.


This function is concerned with people at work and with their relationships within an organization. It aims to bring together and develop into an effective organization of men and women who make up an enterprise.

This function is concerned with the employment, development, and compensation of the personnel and the provision of working conditions and welfare measures to maintain a good working force in the organization. The enterprise should endeavor to make proper utilization of human resources.


Accounting is defined as a systematic, recording of entrepreneurial transactions in order to get a true and fair view of the results of the operations of the enterprise and the financial position of an enterprise. It includes:

  1. Keeping up-to-date
  2. Developing an efficient system of communication.
  3. Keeping and maintaining records.
  4. Developing time and labor-saving devices in accounting.


After issuing an instruction, the women entrepreneurs have to see that the given instruction is carried out. This is the aim of supervision. Supervision refers to the job of overseeing subordinates at work to ensure maximum use of resources, to get the required and directed work done, and to correct the subordinates whenever they go wrong.

FAQs Section

What is the definition of women entrepreneurship?

Any woman or group of women who innovates imitates, or adapts an economic activity may be called a woman entrepreneur. By Frederick Harbison

What are the characteristics of women entrepreneurs?

The following are the characteristics of women entrepreneurs: Management and Control 2. Employment to Woman 3. Risk-Taking 4. Good Organizer 5. Self-Confidence 6. Decision Maker 7. Visionaries 8. Hard Worker 9. Achievement Oriented 10. Optimistic.

What are the functions of women entrepreneurs?

These are the four major groups of functions of women entrepreneurs:
1. Entrepreneurial Functions
2. Promotional Functions
3. Managerial Functions
4. Commercial Functions.