Women Entrepreneurs in India: Introduction
Women entrepreneurs in India have significantly shaped the country’s business landscape and made remarkable contributions across various sectors. According to reports, 50% of India’s start-up ecosystem is empowered by women in some way.
They have defied societal norms, overcome challenges, and achieved remarkable success in their entrepreneurial journeys. These stories transcend gender to inspire all entrepreneurs alike.
As of 2021, the number of women entrepreneurs in India accounted for around 8 million (14%) of all business establishments.
A Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s (GEM) report highlighted that India has one of the highest percentages of women entrepreneurs. Check the report here!
According to a report by Bain & Company, women-led businesses in India can potentially create 150-170 million jobs by 2030. Check the report here!
Successful women entrepreneurs in India such as Sudha Murthy, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Indra Nooyi, Shahnaz Husain, Falguni Nayar, and Vandana Luthra are renowned for their success and uncompromised work-life balance.
Problems Faced by Women Entrepreneurs in India
1. Limited Access to Capital & Networking Opportunities
Challenges faced by women entrepreneurs include accessing adequate capital for their businesses. According to a study by the World Bank, only 27% of women in India have access to formal financial services, making it difficult to get business loans & investments.
Women entrepreneurs in India often need more networking opportunities, as traditional business networks are predominantly male-dominated.
Resource 1: Top 5 VC Funds Helping Women Entrepreneurs In India
Resource 2: 7 Indian Government Initiatives To Help Women Entrepreneurs
2. Gender Bias & Stereotypes
Gender Bias & Stereotypes are deep-rooted in the Indian business landscape. International Finance Corporation (IFC) report highlighted that women-led businesses regularly face biases and have a much harder time in accessing networks, mentorship, and business support.
Read: How India’s Women Entrepreneurs are Breaking Societal Stereotypes
Also Read: How some Women Entrepreneurs are Breaking Stereotypes in Entrepreneurship
3. Balancing Work & Family Responsibilities
Women entrepreneurs in India who are working mothers or “Mompreneurs” have to somehow manage two important yet overwhelming roles – that of an “Entrepreneur” and a “Caregiver”.
Read: How to attain Work Life balance as a Woman Entrepreneur
Also Read: Women Entrepreneurs talk about nailing Work Life Balance
We understand that fulfilling family responsibilities alongside business commitments can be overwhelming where you often might have to prioritize one or the other.
We write this Blog as a Guide to all Working Mothers and “Mompreneurs” to help get insights and motivation to fulfil this dual role.
Who is a “Mompreneur”?
A Mompreneur is a mother who actively manages her own business or startup (or, let’s say, a job) while also fulfilling her responsibilities as a parent.
It could be for financial freedom, a desire to create a fulfilling career or to follow their passion while simultaneously providing for the family and children.
However, it has always been challenging for Mompreneurs to do what they do!
Problems Faced by Mompreneurs / Working Mothers in India
- Time Management: Actively running a business and caring for children can be a significant challenge. Mompreneurs often find themselves struggling to allocate time for both.
- Work-Life Balance: This is an everyday struggle for Mompreneurs. The boundaries between work and personal life may blur, leading to burnout. Mompreneurs may also experience “work-life guilt” or conflicting emotions pressuring them to be fully present to do both tasks.
- Financial Constraints: Running a business requires financial resources, and Mompreneurs may need help accessing funding. They may need to navigate financial aid and find creative ways to fund their ventures.
- Limited Support Systems & Networking Opportunities: Mompreneurs may need access to a strong support system. Due to time constraints, they often need help networking with other entrepreneurs, mentors, or potential clients. (Resource: Best Resources for Mompreneurs).
- Gender Bias & Stereotypes: Mompreneurs may face gender bias and stereotypes in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. They may encounter challenges in securing partnerships, accessing networks, or receiving equal recognition and opportunities compared to male entrepreneurs.
- Scaling & Growth Challenges: Mompreneurs may need to navigate growth strategies, hire employees, and expand their operations while ensuring a stable work-life balance. There is only so much one person can do.
- Self-Care and Well-being: Taking care of their well-being can often be neglected as Mompreneurs prioritize their business and family. Neglecting self-care can lead to increased stress, health issues, and a decline in overall well-being.
- Cultural and Social Expectations: The overwhelming majority of mompreneurs in India still face cultural & social biases that prioritize men and deter women from prioritizing their roles as mothers over their entrepreneurial aspirations.
Tips for Mompreneurs to Balance Motherhood & Entrepreneurship
Here are some best tips by Mompreneurs across India to help balance work and life:
Top 5 General Tips
- Be surrounded by supportive people: Seek help from family, friends, and fellow entrepreneurs who understand your challenges and can offer guidance, support and encouragement.
- Set Realistic Expectations: Avoid perfectionism and set realistic expectations for yourself. It is okay to ask for help or delegate tasks as you may be unable to do everything. Being overly critical will do more harm than good.
- Create a schedule: Include time for work, family, and personal activities and stick to it.
- Use Technology: Use tools and apps to streamline your home activities & business operations.
- Plan Meals: Consider batch cooking or meal delivery services to save time.
Top 5 Time Management Tips
- Prioritize: Determine the most important & urgent tasks each day and focus on those first.
- Block Time: Schedule dedicated time for tasks, such as client meetings & family activities.
- Eliminate distractions: Identify time-wasting activities and minimize their Impact. Example: Reduce social media usage, limit non-essential meetings, etc.
- Delegate and Automate tasks in and outside of work if needed.
- Learn to say NO to tasks or opportunities that do not align with your priorities and principles.
Learn a few more valuable Time Management tips from Chhavi Mittal, Founder of Being Woman.
Top 5 Work-Life Balance Tips
- Set Boundaries: Set clear boundaries between work and family time and abide by them.
- Be Present at the moment, whether it’s during work or family time.
- Schedule Quality Time: Get regular quality time with your family. Prioritize this time.
- Take Regular Breaks throughout the day to recharge and refresh.
- Maintain Open Communication with your family, team, and clients about your needs, boundaries, and availability.
Top 5 Tips to Get Financial Aid
- Explore Government Schemes that provide financial support to women entrepreneurs
- Seek Funding from Women-Centric Investors
- Participate in Business Competitions & Grants
- Connect with Women Entrepreneurship Networks
- Develop a Strong Business Plan to attract financial aid
Top 5 Tips to Help with Daily Finances
- Keep your Business and Personal Finances separate.
- Budgeting: Create a detailed budget that accounts for your business and personal expenses
- Monitor Cash Flow: Monitor cash flow by tracking your incoming and outgoing payments.
- Control Debt: Be mindful of taking on excessive debt and manage your existing debts wisely
- Seek Professional Advice: Consult a financial advisor or accountant specializing in small businesses.
Importance of Self-Care for Mompreneurs / Working Mothers
Ultimately, Self-Care and Emotional Health are vital for a Mompreneur, a working mother (doing a job) or any women entrepreneur. It is essential for a working mother’s overall well-being and happiness. Exercising, eating healthy, and resting can boost energy and reduce stress.
Self-care can help working mothers with the following:
- Improved Productivity, Creativity and Performance
- Better Decision-Making Abilities
- Better Work-Life Balance
- Increased Resilience & Stress Management
- Positive Impact on all Relationships & Work Networks
- Setting a good example for children and family
Resource: Some Self Care Tips for Busy Moms.
Also Read: Dealing with the psychological well-being of mompreneurs in millennia India:
Inspiring Examples of Successful Mompreneurs in India
Many new women entrepreneurs in India look up to these top successful women entrepreneurs who also happen to be Mompreneurs to seek guidance and inspiration.
Sudha Murthy (Chairperson of Infosys, Educator, Author and Philanthropist)
Sudha Murthy is the mother of two children and has always been committed to her family while pursuing her professional endeavours. She has mentioned in interviews and her writings that she prioritized her children’s well-being and spent quality time with them despite her busy schedule.
Check-out important PARENTING TIPS for WORKING MOTHERS by Sudha Murthy:
Indra Nooyi (Former CEO of PepsiCo)
One of the most prominent women entrepreneurs in India and the former CEO of PepsiCo., Indra Nooyi successfully raised two daughters while leading one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies. Nooyi emphasized the importance of work-life balance and prioritizing family values. It inspired many women and working mothers to pursue leadership positions without compromising family responsibilities.
Check out this video where Indra Nooyi discusses balancing motherhood and entrepreneurship.
Also Read: Indra Nooyi narrating the night she got promoted to “President of PepsiCo”.
Ghazal Alagh (Co-Founder of MamaEarth)
How can we forget Ghazal Alagh, one of our favourite sharks from Shark Tank India!
Ghazal showcased courage and excellent time management skills as she hustled between caring for her child and her start-up, MamaEarth. She balanced her work and life well, which made her make big strides in business and be a loving mother at the same time!
Here is an excerpt from one of her interviews where she talks about parenting and gender stereotypes.
Also Read: Alagh Ghazal talks about her learning curve as a mother and an entrepreneur
Despite a plethora of challenges, Mompreneurs in India showcase resilience, determination, and a drive to create successful businesses while fulfilling their responsibilities as mothers. By accessing supportive networks, seeking mentorship, and advocating for themselves, Mompreneurs can overcome these challenges.
Read: Top Lessons From Working Moms On Overcoming Challenges BY QNET
10 Inspiring Tips for Mompreneurs
The Rise of the Mompreneur: How Moms Are Killing It in the Startup World
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How to Become a Powerful Mompreneur in 2023
The 25 Best Business Ideas for the Aspiring Mompreneur
Empower your Mom this Mother’s Day
3 Ways To #ChooseWomen This Women’s Entrepreneurship Day
25 Quotes from Successful Women to Inspire Your Inner Entrepreneur
Global Entrepreneurship Month: Celebrating Women In Business