If we were to have a swift, eagle-view of the overall percentage of female entrepreneurs in India, only 14% can be accounted for in the business realm. However, one can already feel the feeble winds of change – more strategic partnerships are being forged among ambitious businesswomen and more accelerator programs in India are focusing on women-led startups. While the entrepreneurial universe is still dominated by men, there has been a growth of 114% in global women-owned businesses, wherein the wage-gap has been bridged to a considerable extent. Here’s why 2019-2020 shall be hailed as the year of female entrepreneurs.
1. More Women Will Excel At Side-Hustles
Being an entrepreneur warrants juggling multifaceted jobs, while achieving an upward-moving spiral in every avenue. As per a Harris Poll, 75% of women entrepreneurs seek a side-hustle for acquiring additional income, whereas 28% of millennial women are already juggling more than one side-hustle. Sadly, the need for a side-hustle arises due to insufficient funding and lack of lucrative opportunities in male-dominated arenas. However, things are gradually and strategically changing, as women no longer feel the need to rely upon dominant [and often problematic] corporate notions to achieve their dreams.
2. Women-Centric Entrepreneurial Initiatives Will Continue to Proliferate
Companies with a loyal customer base are those that focus on solving real-world issues and harbor goals that are sustainable in nature. As women constitute a major chunk of the consumer population, women-founded companies and women-centric organizations can focus on alleviating serious issues faced by the female sex on an everyday basis. Moreover, the Indian government is aiming to boost female participation in entrepreneurial ventures with the help of initiatives such as MUDRA and ATAL Innovation Scheme. Furthering this thought, NITI Aayog launched the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) in March 2018 to help women scale-up initiative and long-term strategies for their businesses.
3. More Women Will Become Established Board Members
As per a 2016 study by MSCI, companies with 3 or more women on their board experienced a sizeable boost in return on equity and earnings per share within 5 years. Besides the fact that numerous studies chronicle that diverse boards have lower levels of volatility and higher levels of performance, most mergers and acquisitions occur when senior executives can visualize themselves working with executives from the teams they acquire. This places an added emphasis on professional relationships and how they can be nurtured to the extent of facilitating much-needed enfranchisement.
4. Women Will Make Sustainability Mainstream
It has taken a humongous amount of time and effort to shine a light on the issue of sustainability. Hence, things are changing for the better, ever so slightly – apart from introducing the world to fresh perspectives, more women are becoming key managers of natural resources, along with formidable agents of change. Nidhi Tandon’s research on rural women and Fatima Jibrell’s environmental activism in Somalia are a testimony of how women can bring about great transformation. By 2020, more women-led businesses, including fashion and textile, will join the cause of sustainable material innovation. Changes are bound to occur.
These changes shall be accompanied by efforts for bridging the VC gap, with the help of women-led fundraisers and other concentrated efforts. While this power-shift occurs, more men need to come forward and help women achieve their ambition by inspiring and supporting their ventures. We wish 2020 ushers in a world wherein having women on executive committees and as the CEOs of global conglomerates becomes the norm and not something groundbreaking or noteworthy to write about.