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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Global Entrepreneurship Summit : 25 percent women entrepreneurs by 2025.


Women Entrepreneurship – Agenda 25x25
An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Today’s women have broken the glass ceiling and scaled new frontiers in business and industry-building brands, shifting commercial centers, creating start –ups, bringing fresh ideas into the commercial and tech landscape of India. 
These innovations are actively reshaping engineering, technology, design, handicrafts, weaving, shoe making, agriculture, organic farming and other cultural & creative industries. 

Any woman who has left her home by way of marriage, taken over the reins of another household, in a joint family, transitioning across states and cultures, is instinctively wired as an entrepreneur. The recent World Economic Forum meeting held at Davos adds to this notion of the new age women entrepreneur, putting out a call to bring up an equal number of women, in the labour force. 

This equalization done at a macro level can enhance the Gross Domestic Product of a developing country & emerging economy like India by over 27%. And women entrepreneurs in India are truly proving that when women do business, they mean business.
As professional entrepreneurs, women are truly living their dreams. India has developed a vibrant entrepreneurial landscape aided by several progressive initiatives and measures instituted by the Government to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country. Today, with more than 20,000 startups, India has emerged as the 2ndlargest startup ecosystem in the world and is expected to grow at a rate of 10-12% YoY. It is heartening to see that India’s jumped 50 places in the overall Ease of Doing Business rankings and this is just another reason to keep plowing ahead full steam towards ensuring a groundswell for Women Leadership in the country.

With women comprising over 48% of the country’s population, it isvirtually impossible to think of economic growth without women as the fundamental drivers of change.It is projected that by 2025, India’s GDP will get an additional boost of 16%, by integrating women into workforce.
The theme of the 8th edition of Global Entrepreneurship Summit, ‘Women first, Prosperity for all’ highlighted that when women do better, countries do better.Yes, we have an agenda, and yes we are driven & committed toachieve inclusive and equitable socio-economic growth and for that, we must ensure that at least 25% of entrepreneurs in the country are women by 2025.
According to the Sixth Economic Census by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), only 14% businesses in India are run by women. As fewer number of women-led startups manage to raise funds, it is estimated that over 90 percent of finance requirement for women entrepreneurs is met through informal channels since they are unable to source formal, collateral free and transparent financing for their enterprises. This is further validated by the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2018 (MIWE) which observed that cultural bias and a lack of access to financial services were amongst the major hindrances for women business owners in India.Therefore, there is an urgent need to create an enabling environment for women to pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations through progressive policies which promote gender diversity and workforce development.
With an estimated 250 millionwomen entrepreneurs worldwide, the startup ecosystem has emerged as a growth driver, redefining the contours of socio-economic development. It is projected that by the year 2025, theinclusivity of women in a ‘full potential’ scenario will add another US$ 28 trillion to the Global GDP. 
The Indian startup landscape, with over 8 million women entrepreneurs, is at aninflection point where an accelerated pro-women change is of vital importance in order to galvanize India’s growth trajectory. While for many women, pursuing entrepreneurship and establishing enterprise is a necessity, for others, the aim is to generate personal wealth and fulfill their aspirations.For the country it is an opportunity to give back its women a life of dignity and respect that only complete financial independence and self-reliance can. That is true Swaraj.
Over the past few years, India has witnessed record growth in women entrepreneurship. The Government’s progressive policy initiatives including Stand-Up India, MUDRA, and NITI Aayog’s recent Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) are steps in the right direction for enabling India to harness its burgeoning talent pool of next-gen women entrepreneurs.It is highly encouraging that the initiatives such as the Startup India Yatra has covered 12 villages in 4 months, with the aim of nurturing innovative solutions and entrepreneurial talent of rural women.
Several women-led leadership and mentorship programs such as empoWer,SAHA Fund and Sonder Connect are also gaining traction in India with corporates and technology companies also actively promoting inclusion of women in the workforce.
We must focus on establishing necessary infrastructure, such as women-centric incubator and accelerator models, actualizing mentorship initiatives, increasing investment opportunities, as well as redrafting educational policies and skilling initiatives, making them more contemporary and relevant.Access to new age alternate funding for women entrepreneurs such as women specific venture funds and crowd funding is important for encouraging their growth. Also, we need to encourage women to invest in other female-led companies to balance gender disparity, co-creating both mentorship and networking platforms. Lastly, with emerging technologies such as hashgraph, blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (A.I), deep learning and Internet of Things (IoT), it is of vital importance that the skillset of women be expanded to match the current market trends.
This new wave of growth amongst women entrepreneurs will have a ripple effect in catalyzing the start-up economy, leading to a massive increase in economic productivity all over the world. In order to ride this future wave of growth, it is imperative for the Government, industryand the developmentalsector join hands to build a rock solid foundation for the future. Empowering women for entrepreneurship would also trigger a multiplier effect, as women leaders in business and those holding public office inspire morewomen to participate in the economy and invest in their ideas. 
Women of this country have shown us time and again that they believe in us, it is now time for us as a community to show them that we believe in them, their voice and agency. Each small step that we take today will bring us closer towards fulfilling the larger vision for India of our Agenda 25x25 i.e. 25 percent women entrepreneurs by 2025.






Global Entrepreneurship Summit : 25 percent women entrepreneurs by 2025. Reviewed by S. Chitra on August 14, 2018 Rating: 5 Women Entrepreneurship – Agenda 25x25 An Idea Whose Time Has Come Today’s women have broken the glass ceiling and scaled new frontie...

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