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Women Entrepreneurs

Women Entrepreneurs- Meaning, Progress of women, causes of growth

Meaning of women entrepreneurs

Women in general have been discriminated against male dominated society. Education beyond primary or at the most high school was rare. In general girls in rural and small towns are considered to be fit cooking fond and confine to home affairs. The participation of women in business affairs is almost nil.

The Government of India is keen to uplift the women’s status. The need for their participation in the economic and industrial growth of the country has recently been recognized though belated. Scarcity of jobs, non-flexible job hours and the desire to be independent and also to have an individual identity, make more and more women start business of their own. There are a number of schemes specially, offered to women for finance, infrastructure and training by various government agencies and developmental institutes.

With the changing times a growing number of women are taken up non-traditional projects and succeeding as entrepreneurs. Female entrepreneurs quite often do not have technical knowledge, work experience and exposure to business world and there are certain other socio-cultural, environmental constraints, especially to women.

Causes of Slow Progress of Women

The main reasons of slow progress of women entrepreneurs are as follows:

  1. Women are known to have lower attachment to work and are therefore, content with lower entrepreneurs positions;
  2. They do not consider themselves as primary earners and withdraw from the labour force one family income reaches adequacy.
  3. They lack education and training commensurate with men as marriages and home making take precedence;
  4. They are less preferred to men in recruitment and selection because of legal and other problems mentioned below, and
  5. Women are low paid up keep is expensive. For example a factory will have to appoint a lady doctor, a crèche and such other considerations.

Need or Causes of Growth of Women Entrepreneurs

The following are the main reasons for entry of women entrepreneurs :

  1. Economic Needs :

    It is observed that this motive is most dominant, specially in law income group where about 82 percent of women consider it as the prime motive because of obvious reasons. Approximately 55 percent of women entrepreneurs from middle income group have mainly economic motive.

  2. Utilization of Own Experience and Technical Education :

    Amongst the women entrepreneurs with education in Science and Technology this is the dominant motive for 75 percent, while amongst other it plays a minor role.

  3. Husband’s/Family’s Interest and Support:

    This is the reason why 50 percent of women come forward to become entrepreneurs. In case of unmarried women, the family interest is observed in 18 percent of case.

  4. Availability of Free Time and Finance :

    About 60 percent of the housewives turned entrepreneurs feel that their children have grown up and they have free time which prompts them to start their business ventures. Amongst the women of higher middle class, this motive is stronger, as apart from free time utilization money is also available.

  5. Satisfaction of Personal Ego :

    This motive is present in more qualified women as well as those from higher middle class. Women’s ego is often the reason to become and entrepreneur as they want to do things on their own. Some of them also feel as to why heir husbands should bear their burden. Thus, it is basically their sense of independence that motivates them towards entrepreneurship. Presently over 60 percent of women entrepreneurs, other than those from low income group are coming from graduate and post graduation level. Half of these women have nil or negligible work experience. Most of them are housewives converting to entrepreneurs. This profile of women entrepreneurs along with certain constraints is special to women due to our socio-cultural environment after the opportunities available to women for business. Thus, selection of business by women is effected by the following:

(a) Husband’s/family’s business or her technical experience. (b) Own knowledge/skill. (c) Least mobility. (d) Moderate investment.

Product selection of women entrepreneurs are as : (i) General group, (ii) group with Science and Technical qualification and (iii) women from low income group. It is observed that educational background and experience has little or no effect on the choice of selection of business opportunity. A lady with no technical qualification may be in the business of manufacturing electrical bulbs or special chemicals. Similarly a lady with specialized knowledge of computer software may be in printing business.

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