Beyonce said it right when she sang Who run the world? Girls. Women nowadays are conquering every sector in the business world. Be it a corporate or manufacturing, women are heading them all.
November 19 is the day when women entrepreneurs are celebrated world over — apart from that, the day is also meant to empower women in businesses globally. So, how does it feel to be at the top of the world, rising above the pyramid of patriarchy and breaking the glass ceiling?
Savitha Kuttan, CEO of Bangalore based company, is of the opinion that women might have a tough time coming into this profession but they are often the best in this field. Asha Gautam, a leading fashion designer, says, “Women population means almost half the world and their talent hasn't been fully discovered. Point is not about gender but more about the suppression of this talent due to gender. How can we know till the time their talent is optimised? The universe needs more entrepreneurship, innovations and ideas and this is why more the merrier as it will bridge the gap between extreme rich and extremely poor.”
Ruchita Bansal,founder of a designing company shares, “Many women are choosing the entrepreneurial dreams and succeed in their chosen ventures. Women empowerment continues to be a major feature in an effort to perform well in social, economic and political challenges across the globe.”
While there are ambitions and opportunities in a time of today, there exist even challenges. Speaking of one such major challenge, Blossom Kochhar, points out that it is still male-oriented. She continues, “I always feel that if you can't go this way find another way. They don't take women seriously and still see them as homemakers and it is difficult for some to accept them as leaders, though I believe women make very good leaders.”
With time though, a lot has evolved. Aashmeen Munjaal , a director of a salon company feels that with many things going digital, the scope for ‘traditional women entrepreneurship’ has reduced. She shares, “In the beauty world, things are getting done at home, so our old entrepreneurship skills are not in light at all. So many new things are innovated most of the time and this is basically a challenge and for women, yes there are many women competitions as well and so many people entering into a similar industry which may create a challenge for old as well as budding entrepreneurs.”
While there have been schemes launched by the government to support women entrepreneurship — the central government in their manifesto promised `50 Lakh collateral-free for entrepreneurs out of which 50 per cent of that amount was to be directed towards female entrepreneurs. Apart from that the Mudra scheme that promises Rs 1,00,000 for women, there are schemes like Dena Sakthi scheme, under which women entrepreneurs in manufacturing, agriculture, micro-credit, retail stores, and other small enterprises can avail a loan of up to `20 lakhs.
Aashmeen adds, “Even while sitting at home, you can become an entrepreneur. As the government is coming up with such good schemes on loans, GST, back plans and even schemes for small scale industrialists are managed by the government in a very good way. No matter if it's a skill development of India work, where people are prepared with skills to become an entrepreneur.”
Asha remains upbeat about the initiatives adding, “I appreciate the steps taken by the government and hope to see more steps taken. At the same time, society needs to also step up. Government alone cannot do everything we need onus, accountability and transparency from the beneficiary as well to give it a spiral effect.”
While the obstacles seem large, there are opportunities at every hurdle. Now there is one thing to do, take charge and rise!