Be it thinking of a new idea or gauging the likelihood of lending shape to a new business possibility, both men and women think alike. However, in practice, the number of men heavily outnumber women. This is evident from the data of more men leaving their jobs and turning into entrepreneurs or leading their way in some of the strongest venture-capital-backed startup firms. Despite both men and women beginning their journey on a level playing field, men have been found to have a greater inclination for taking risks as opposed to women. This is unusual considering that women are innovative and are likely to run businesses more successfully than men.
The data shared by various banks and financial companies in India reveal how more women are now applying for business loans. The increase in the number of women borrowers underscores how more women are now following their hearts into carving a nice for themselves in the business world. Take, for example, the percentage of women entrepreneurs in India that has risen to a measly 20 per cent from 14 per cent in 2018. With funding not immediately available for new ideas in most cases, most entrepreneurs opt for business loans. The proliferation of women in this pioneering attempt at being self-employed has gone up sharply in the last few years.
Celebrating our women’s success
While the total number of women doing businesses in India, both big and small, is around 15.7 million, the number is starkly small considering the pace at which the country’s economy is growing and how gender neutrality is now an essential element in today’s society. However, this number is slated to go higher with more women choosing the self-employment route and starting their ventures. Every social problem is a business opportunity in disguise, and who realizes problems better than a woman.
The number of women entrepreneurs in India is endless. Be it Falguni Nayar whose company Nykaa got publicly listed on the country’s stock exchanges this year or Biocon’s Kiran Mazumdar Shaw who brought biotechnology to our doors with her smart decisions and equally life-changing solutions, the list is long and never-ending. While we count these women among the country’s most ambitious and powerful women, let us not forget those working behind the scenes solving common problems with their uncommon solutions.
The current government is keen to position India as the world’s startup hub. The Angel Tax norms have been eased down to ensure a host of tax reliefs to those who intend to start early. To bring about transformation in the way we live and do businesses is the key mantra of every entrepreneur.
On this International Women’s Day, let us celebrate not only our women entrepreneurs who have redefined feminism but also those who remain unrecognized for their efforts. No society can function without respecting its women. We do not need to elevate them from their current positions; all we need is to give them the same opportunities that they deserve. In keeping with the theme, “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow”, let us promise to treat our women equally, if not better.