Narendran, R, Fostering a gender-sensitive entrepreneurship culture: India, In: Entrepreneurship Policies through a Gender Lens, OECD Studies on SMEs and Entrepreneurship, OECD Publishing. ISBN 9789264968325, Paris, France, pp. 47-50 (2021) [Entry]
As in most economies, women in India women are less active in entrepreneurship than men. Out of 458.5 million entrepreneurs in 2019, only 8.1 million are women (Startup India, 2019) and they employ 13.5 million people (Government of India, 2020). The majority of women-owned enterprises operate in the Agriculture, Manufacturing and Retail sectors (Startup India, 2019), and are under-represented in the Engineering and Construction sectors (OECD, 2017).
The National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015) has made significant contributions to promoting entrepreneurship, including supporting women entrepreneurs. A core policy objective is "to empower the individual, by enabling her/him to realise their full potential through a process of lifelong learning where competencies are accumulated via instruments such as credible certifications, credit accumulation and transfer" (p. 11). While the policy is not gender specific, it includes a section on women’s entrepreneurship that refers to "women", "female" and "gender", but does not categorise women as a marginalised group. The report also focuses on castebased groups.1 While the policy advances actions targeted at the population of small- and medium-sized enterprises, it recommends the provision of gender mainstream training to increase women’s participation in the workforce and entrepreneurship, and enhanced access to credit. Actions targeted at women entrepreneurs include business awards, networks and mentors (2017-18 Annual Report of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship).
The Indian government has developed dedicated programmes to support women entrepreneurs, such as Speed Mentoring, Cent Kalyani Scheme (loan up to INR 1 million), Women Entrepreneurship Platform (an online forum to motivate women to start businesses, foster entrepreneurial activities and provide handson supports to establish and scale a business), Iccha Shakti to motivate start-up, and Gyaan Shakti to provide knowledge and ecosystem support to women entrepreneurs (see https://wep.gov.in).
The under-representation of women in entrepreneurship highlights important gaps within policy and programming. One gap is the failure to address the safety of women entrepreneurs.
|Keywords:||entrepreneurship, gender, policy|
|Research Division:||Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services|
|Research Group:||Strategy, management and organisational behaviour|
|Objective Division:||Law, Politics and Community Services|
|Objective Group:||Community services|
|Objective Field:||Gender and sexualities|
|UTAS Author:||Narendran, R (Dr Roshni Narendran)|
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