Strengthening Her Enterprise:
Female entrepreneurship represents a vast untapped source of innovation, job creation and economic growth in the developing world. In the Indian context, overall entrepreneurial activity rate stands at 18.21% for men and 9.66% for women. This huge gender gap in entrepreneurial activity can be attributed to the differing economic, financial and socio-cultural factors that form part of the business environment for entrepreneurs. Increasingly, the Indian government and private sectors recognize that integrating women more fully into business and economic development processes is essential for the country’s growth. However in the absence of an objective evaluation of the impact of these programs, the efficacy of these initiatives in meeting their stated objectives remains largely under-investigated and under-invested in.
Athena Infonomics in partnership with US based NGO, Quantum Leaps, WEConnect International initiated the programme ‘Accelerating Women Entrepreneurship in India: Roadmap to 2020 and Beyond’. The initiative is designed to support policies, programs and partnerships that increase women’s participation in entrepreneurial activities. As part of this larger initiative, this study evaluates the entrepreneurial environment in select regions, identifying issues and challenges facing women entrepreneurs and makes high level recommendations to a variety of stakeholders who form part of the business ecosystem.The initiative has received support from GIZ.