Funds For Strengthening her Enterprise :
The micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector in India is credited with generating high rates of employment growth and accounting for a major share of industrial production and exports. Production from the MSME sector accounts for 15% of India’s GDP and the sector is estimated to employ around 70 million people.
Women MSMEs in India play a critical role here. They collectively employ over 8 million people, contributing 3.09 % of industrial output. Yet few Indian women seem to take up early-stage entrepreneurship compared to men. Only 33% of early stage entrepreneurs in India are women (GEM, 2014). India also exhibits the third highest gender gap in entrepreneurship globally. This can be attributed to the many barriers that women entrepreneurs face both in starting and scaling up a business – access to education and training, legal and cultural barriers and infrastructure-related challenges, among others. But the biggest disadvantage faced by women-owned MSMEs is their inability to access capital to meet the growth needs of their business. Credit constraints have been cited as a reason for discontinuing their businesses by 43% of women entrepreneurs, as compared to just 26% of the male entrepreneurs (GEM, 2014). Access to financial resources was observed to be the greatest constraining factor in the entrepreneurial ecosystem for women in India by the Gender GEDI Index (2014) and Women Entrepreneurial Environment Index (WEEI).