Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs in India


Dr. Sunita Jain

Professor, Economics Department, SVN University, Sagar M.P.



 “You can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women” - Jawaharlal Nehru

The   term   entrepreneur  was originally  loanword from French and was first defined by the Irish French economist Richard Cantillon. Entrepreneur in English is a term applied to a person who is willing to help and launch a new venture or enterprise and accept full responsibility for the outcome. Jean-Baptiste say, a French economist, is believed to have coined the word “Entrepreneur” in the 19th century. He defined  an entrepreneur as one who undertakes an enterprise, especially a contractor,  acting as intermediately  between capital and labour.


We have assessed the importance of women’s entrepreneurship as well as society. Women entrepreneur networks are major sources of knowledge about women’s entrepreneurship and they are increasingly recognized as a valuable tool for its development and promotion.  The present condition of our country shows the reasons for women becoming entrepreneurs. Innovative thinking, new challenges and opportunities for self fulfillment, employment generation, freedom to take own decision and are independent, Government policies and procedures. Family occupation need for additional income bright future of their wards success stories of friends and relatives. Role model to other, support of family members, education and qualification self identity and social status. As we still do not know enough of the entrepreneurial process and women we have argued the better knowledge about the economic importance of women’s entrepreneurship and their particular strengths, weaknesses and opportunities is central.  As low rates of women’s entrepreneurship are both related to the status of women and the status of entrepreneurship, we have suggested that increasing the abilities of women to participate in the labour force and generally to improve the position of women in society and generally increase the possibility to engage in entrepreneurship is central. However, more targeted initiatives are also needed to support women entrepreneurs and would be entrepreurs.



To   study   the   present   status   of   women entrepreneurs in India.

To study and present examples of innovative entrepreneurs.

To highlight the role of Entrepreneurship development in the economic growth of a nation.

To identify the various problems and challenges faced by women entrepreneur in Indian  economy.

To make suitable suggestions for promoting women entrepreneurs in India.




An enterprise owned and controlled by women having a minimum financial interest of 51% of capital and giving at least 51%  of employment generated in the enterprise to women , participate in national, social and political affairs-

·        Women’s Education

·        Women’s Employment

·        Women’s health and marriage and family



·        Women’s labour becomes important part of enterprises with new types of ownership emerging after reform and opening up, including private sectors, joint ventures, foreign enterprises, etc.

·        Compared with the situation before reform, the female labour force began to shift positions suited for women;

·        The reforms break the situation of barriers between town and country and allow the free movement of the rural population;

·        Women’s labour force becomes the principal laid-off or unemployed.



·        Women are more likely to take contributions to the society as a key factor for the satisfactory degree of working.

·        Women are more likely to take voluntary jobs advocated by their communities and companies.

·        They care more about the labour policy and environmental performance.

·        They believe that companies should do better in respective of social responsibility.



·        Leadership: A women entrepreneur has to be good. Leader and good leadership qualities to build her team and business.

·        Communication Skill: An Entrepreneur must have perfect communication skill she has view to convey each aspect of her strategy property to her customers.

·        Decision Making: Women Entrepreneurs should have good decision making power for taking the decision finely.



·        Time management: The most important resource of all is true time is precious once spent one can  neuter get it back necessary to identify the difference between deadline and completion dated for your organization.

·        Personal Management: ‘SWOT’ analysis an entrepreneurs needs to be a highly well planned person will all her things well managed. She should implement SWOT analysis in organization.

·        Motivational Skill: As an entrepreneur if you are able to motivate yourself and your team of employee then it is the atmosphere very conducive and gives maximum result to organization. If you put Maslow’s Theory into practice like good  pay scales, maintain good looking condition maintain good human relation towards for good world, good canteen, medical, facilities will helpful to growth of organization.

·        Team work Strategy: Women Entrepreneur should have ability to work in team. Team work strategy should be follow.

·        Risk Taking: Women Entrepreneur should have good vision according to market position. She should have to take risk.

·        Customer oriented: If you will provide good service tour entrepreneur will flourish so entrepreneur should be customer oriented and satisfying the best service at reasonable rates.

·        Opportunity Reorganization: Women Entrepreneur should have to grab the opportunity for organizational growth at eight times.



·        The influence of limitation of real level of productivity development.

·        The impact of concept changes of enterprises.

·        The impact of adjustment of economic structure.

·        The impact of gender.



·        Education to girls in poverty-stricken and low-income regions still needs our concerns.

·        The trend of flowout of rural population imposed extra burdens to villages and flowout women.

·        In terms of AIDS prevention, women are more fragile to AIDS.

·        Imbalanced gender ratio of births, which not only shows the social attitude to the issue of gender, but also have serious influence on the future of the nation.



In the globalized knowledge economy, the physical difference between men and women is no more disadvantages for women to start up business, and the development of new economy has been provided many new opportunities to women, which has formed a new trend of women’s starting undertakings in different parts of the world.


With India reform and opening-up, especially after the socialist market economy established, women entrepreneurs have reached the peak period of development and the booming situation lasts until nowadays at present women entrepreneurs in India.




No of Units Registered

No. of Women Entrepreneurs




Tamil Nadu




Uttar Pradesh
























Madhya Pradesh




Other States












Source : International Journal of Innovative Research and Studies. Vol. 2 Issue 11, Nov 2013, page no. 244


Table 1: Women Entrepreneurs in India (State-wise)The analysis of the data shows that UP has got the highest percentage of 39.84% in numbers of women entrepreneurs followed by MP which secures 28.38% and lowest no. of women entrepreneurs only 842 in 2967 registered units. The state of Karnataka has the lowest women entrepreneurs i.e. 26.84%. So this analysis shows that women entrepreneurship is going very slow.



Country                                                                Percentage

India (2010-2011)                                               31.6

USA                                                                        45

UK                                                                          43

Indonesia                                                              40

Sri Lanka                                                              35

Brazil                                                                     35

Source : World Bank Report 2010-11 and WAWE Conference Report 2009-10.

Table 2: Women work Participation 2010-11 women work participation in India is 31.6% whereas in USA it is 45%, UK 43%, Indonesia 40%, Sri Lanka and Brazil 35% From the above analysis it can be concluded that India has got lowest development of women entrepreneurship in the select leading countries.



The proportion of women-managed enterprises is slightly higher in rural areas than in urban areas.


Table 3: Percentage Distribution of Enterprises by Gender of Owner in Rural and Urban Areas;


AREA                            FEMALE   MALE

Rural                              15.27%                          84.73%

Urban                             12.45%                          87.55%

All                                   13.86%                          86.14%

Source: MSME Annual Report 2011-12, Ministry of MSME, Government of India


Table 4: Percentage Distribution of Enterprises by Gender of Owner and Sector-

SECTOR                       Female                           Male

Micro                             14.19%                          85.81%

Small                              5.06%                            94.94%

Medium                         4.21%                            95.79%

Source : MSME Annual Report 2011-12, Ministry of MSME, Government of India


Dominance of males in ownership was prevailing in each of the three segments of MSME sector. Most of the women enterprises are Micro Enterprises with 14 percent share in total share of women enterprises. In Small and Medium segment, it is only 5 per cent and 4 percent, respectively.



Even though female entrepreneurship and the formation of women business is steadily rising, there are a number of challenges and obstactes that female entrepreneurs face. One major challenge that many women entrepreneurs may face is the traditional gender-roles society may still have on women.  Other than dealing with the dominant stereotype, women, Entrepreneurs are facing several obstacles related to their businesses.

·        Finance Problem: Every business stand on finance. Finance is a blood of business women entrepreneurs. They face the financial problem.  They did not get loan easily. They do not have property on their own names to use the securities for getting loan from bank and Financial Industries.

·        Raw Material Problem : Raw material is not easily available which encounter the problem of shortage of raw material and necessary input also create a problem of high rate of raw material.

·        Cut-throat Competition: Women entrepreneurs have to face competition from organized industries.  They have also to face stiff competition with the men. Entrepreneurs who easily involve in the promotion and development area and carry out easy marketing of their product both in the organized sector.

·        Lack of Education and prevalent level of illiteracy amongst women: In Indian 40% women are illiterate this is the most important problem of many women.  Due to lack of knowledge they lack in  latest technological.

·        Marketing Problem: Women entrepreneurs faced the marketing problem of their product.  They have not any experience of marketing. They depend on middlemen,who pocket the hunk of profit. Although the middle men exploit the women entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs also find it difficult to capture the market and make their product.

·        Lack of Self confidence: Most of women entrepreneurs suffering from problem of self confidence. Self confidence is the motivational factor for entrepreneurs. Due to lack of self confidence,most of women entrepreneurs cannot take the risk in their entrepreneurs.  Thus all these psychological factor often in the area of enterprise.

·        Family Problem: Women entrepreneurs play dual role in their life.  So family support is a very important for achieving great successs in their life. Indian women look after her children and manages the other family member.  They have spent a lot of time for family.  So they did not get more time for the business as a result.  They can’t become a success in the business.

·        Failing to change their knowledge quickly.

·        The enterprises of most women entrepreneurs are comparatively weak and small.

·        Women entrepreneurs will meet with more difficulties than men entrepreneurs in the society (such as family, society and corporate management) and Subordinate to men.

·        Dual role to play at workplace and at home place.

·        Non-awareness of facilities provided by government.




Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.


Rising of women entrepreneurs and triple bottom line

·        Economy accountability

·        Social ethic

·        Environment sustainability.


Triple bottom line and pleasant society

·        Indian government proposed to join hands to build a harmonious world, which fundamentals are “lasting peace” and “common prosperity”.  Lasting peace is the premise and common prosperity is the ultimate goal of a harmonious society.

·        Triple bottom line has become an important vehicle to achieve this ultimate goal.


Characteristics and Significance -

  A Function  of  High  Achievement:  People having high need for achievement are more likely to succeed as entrepreneurs, according to McClellan. Motivation is high achievement and Profit is merely a Measure of success and competency.


Innovation:  According to Schumpeter, entrepreneurship is a creative activity. An entrepreneur is basically an innovator who introduces something new into the economy.


Organization Building   Function:  According  to  Harrison, Organization Building  skill means the ability to “multiply oneself”  by effectively delegating  responsibility to others.


  A Function  of Managerial  Skills and Leadership: Managerial Skills and leadership qualities are more  important than financial skills.


  A   Function    of   Status   Withdrawal:   According   to Hagen, Creative innovation or change is the fundamental feature of economic growth. He describes an entrepreneur as a creative problem solver interested in things in the practical and technological realm.



There is some suggestion for promotion of the women entrepreneurship to keep in mind the present study.

·        Procedure of getting finance should be simple.

·        Effective propagation of programmes and yojna.

·        Linkages between product, services and market centers.

·        Encouragement to technical and professional education for women.

·        The government must provide efficient and effective consultancy services to the women entrepreneurs.

·        The product must fit the need through bottom up approach.

·        .Some women need some technical training.

·        Some women need the support from the financial institution.

·        Gender specific training must be given to the women entrepreneurs to suit socio –economic-   demographic Condition.

·        Public speaking scheme also provided by the govt. to the women entrepreneurs

·        Need of Pre –entrepreneurial training to the women entrepreneur.

·        Make a social culture relation.



Entrepreneurship is  presently  the  most  discussed and encouraged concept all over the world to overcome economic challenges. Women being the vital gender of the overall population have great capacity and potential to be the contributor in the overall economic development of any nation. Therefore, programs and policies need to be customized to not just encourage entrepreneurship as well as implement strategies which can help support entrepreneurial culture among youth. Media has the potential to play the most vital role in entrepreneurial development by creating and highlighting all such platforms which can bring out the creativity and innovation among the women and men to grow entrepreneurship culture in society. Developing countries are definitely in dire need to encourage  women  entrepreneurship  as  women workforce is promptly available to exploit the unexplored dimensions of business ventures. Developed nations should primarily focus on entrepreneurial educational programs in order to develop women entrepreneurs.



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Received on 10.08.2015

Modified on 22.08.2015

Accepted on 15.09.2015

© A&V Publication all right reserved

Research J. Humanities and Social Sciences. 6(3):July- September, 2015, 213-217


DOI: 10.5958/2321-5828.2015.00027.3