Shepreneurs: The Ascendance of Women-Led Startups

India is witnessing a rapid surge in the number of women taking on entrepreneurial roles, gradually contributing to the country’s business and economic growth. Women-led businesses actively impact society by creating job opportunities, initiating geographic changes, and inspiring future generations of female entrepreneurs. 

With more women joining the field, the current business environment is going through a positive transformation. According to data from Bain & Company, the proportion of women-owned enterprises, which previously stood at 20% of all businesses, is expected to rise significantly to 33% by 2030. The data also shows that women-led startups achieved a remarkable 35% higher return on investment than those led by men, demonstrating the effectiveness and success of women-led businesses in generating higher revenue with lower investment.

Women entrepreneurs are now receiving significantly more attention and recognition than they did several decades ago. According to a study by McKinsey, the inclusion of women entrepreneurs is projected to contribute $1 trillion to the Indian ecosystem and economy simply by creating a level playing field for them. Globally, this figure translates to over $20 trillion in potential value. Moreover, startups led and focused on women are expected to tap into 50% of the economy for talent and the consumer market. This is poised to have a substantial impact on GDP and economic growth. McKinsey further states that if all stakeholders in the ecosystem and economy collaborate, global GDP could see an increase of almost $12 trillion by 2025 through the advancement of women’s equality.

Fortunately, entrepreneurship and startups are no longer confined to major cities. Startup India’s statistics reveal that tier two and three cities contribute nearly 50% to India’s recognised startups. It indicates the potential of women in smaller cities and suburban areas. A study by the Edelgive Foundation suggests that women-owned businesses in India are projected to grow by up to 90% in the next five years, surpassing growth projections in the US (50%) and the UK (24%). Approximately 20% of India’s 63 million MSMEs are owned by women. This trend helps women break barriers and enter the entrepreneurial world and positively impacts female employment opportunities.

Women entrepreneurs are responsible for inspiring and supporting other women in business and employment. Today, women entrepreneurs excel in various sectors, including e-commerce, fashion, education, healthcare, and technology. These women are instrumental in generating job opportunities and fostering growth in pivotal industries. They accomplish this by surmounting cultural prejudices and dismantling obstacles.

It can be challenging for women entrepreneurs to succeed in a male-dominated business environment. Many Indian women entrepreneurs have encountered gender bias in the workplace, facing resistance from team members and manufacturing partners. Also, the advancement of women in terms of seniority and tenure does not always progress at the same pace as men, indicating the need for continued efforts to address gender disparities. However, every small step contributes to positive change and creates a brighter future for women in business.

Looking ahead, women’s participation in the workforce holds the potential to accelerate India’s economic development significantly. Attaining gender equality in entrepreneurship demands collaborative efforts from all stakeholders to build an inclusive environment that provides equal opportunities for women.

Many women-led businesses take pride in having a workforce where over 50% are women, demonstrating their commitment to promoting gender equality. Several organisations have implemented policies requiring an equal number of CVs from both genders for every role to ensure fairness. Women-led businesses are drivers of innovation and diversity, working towards an equal and inclusive future for women.

The increasing presence of women in entrepreneurial roles in India signifies economic progress and societal transformation. Their innovative efforts and unwavering determination reshape the entrepreneurial landscape and pave the way for a more equitable future. As women persist in overcoming obstacles and breaking barriers, their journey towards empowerment inspires generations to come.

Leave a Reply