Women entrepreneurs are tipping the scales in the start-up ecosystem that is usually dominated by the males. Women entrepreneurs are now attracting attention with their work and attracting funds from VCs, Investors and also government programs.
These women are developing start-ups that are around the needs of many women in India and are successfully reaching out to them. Start-ups like Nykaa, Zivame, Sheros, Fab Bag, Faballey have gained commercial success and are well known brands in India. Local women village groups are also being sponsored heavily. They have involved themselves into making life easier for other women and generating income at the same time. Start-ups in retail for eco-friendly sanitary napkins, menstruation and pregnancy help and support, beauty and wellness service for women and also consultation for career development. Women have also ventured in the space of crowdfunding to help other grow with their business. The crowdfunding platform of Wishberry started by 2 women entrepreneurs have now grown to a large extent and is being supported and funded by Bollywood celebs and other individuals. Women entrepreneurs have also ventured into unconventional ventures of sports for women, designers, etc. In all these ventures women have taken a step forward to go digital and achieved zenith in leveraging technology to support the ventures and take them forward.
With growing number of women entrepreneurs NITI Ayog has decided to start a women entrepreneurship cell which would act as a platform for women to connect and give boost to their initiatives. Alternatively, women themselves have taken up the role of investor. These women investors are successful entrepreneurs and have a deep appetite for innovation and creativity. Incubators and Accelerator in India have recognised this women power and are focusing on women entrepreneurs to support them with required mentoring and funding. Zone Startups, an accelerator in Mumbai opened its division ‘Empower’ to support women entrepreneurs for women in tech and Ernst and young’s EY foundation that has raised INR85m for women entrepreneur. Additionally, government mandates PSUs to run women empowerment schemes which are now taken up by banks such as PNB, Dena, Canara, ICICI bank, etc. Government of India also practices schemes for women upliftment like:
- Mudra yojna
- Udyogini Financial Linkages
- Maan Deshi Foundation – Women’s Bank
- Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI)
- Stand up India
- Agri Udaan : Food & Agribusiness Accelerator 2.0
- Trade Related Entrepreneurship Assistance and Development (TREAD) Scheme for Women
- Science For Equity Empowerment and Development (SEED)
- Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women (STEP)
- National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Ltd (NCGTC)
- Oriented Mahila Vikas Yojana
- Stree Shakti Package
- CENT Kalyani