While the Indian start-up ecosystem has seen a rising trend in women entrepreneurs lately, the status quo has remained unequal. The disparity continues even as start-ups led by women receive financial support from special business loan initiatives.
Why? Because the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in doing business are widely different from those faced by men. Multiple hurdles have held them back despite having the necessary talent and dedication to successfully run a business. Some of these challenges are discussed below.
A lack of support network
Most elite business networks are still inaccessible to business women, who, owing to a lack of robust network support, fail to find a reliable mentor/advisor to grow professionally. Women entrepreneurs are often left alone to find a footing in the industry to build meaningful business connections.
And this absence of guidance in today’s networking driven age can be fatal to business success. Given the importance of support, therefore, women entrepreneurs should proactively seek women-focused networks to make lucrative business connections.
Raising capital is always an uphill battle for start-ups, but even more so for women entrepreneurs. Lack of easy access to business credit has also been a primary reason for India’s low female entrepreneurial rates.
But fortunately, today, government loan schemes like PMMY (Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana) and NBFC funding at concessional business loan interest rates have made procuring necessary funds far easier.
Alternatively, women entrepreneurs can also rise above discrimination by securing funds through crowdfunding or venture capitalist funding.
When starting a business, women often face stiff competition from their male counterparts, especially in sectors where business doing methods are still predominantly “male” driven.
So, special incentives like a business loan for women can become a financial cushion for women to launch new ventures to raise the necessary capital to solve the marketing pains. As such, they can rely on intermediaries and outsource services to enhance brand visibility and turn in better profits.
Limited access to resources
Few are receptive of a woman trying to make a mark in the man’s world. Because of such a regressive attitude, many vendors are usually not forthcoming to supply essential resources, including machinery, raw materials, labour, etc., to women-run businesses.
Due to such hindrances, many women entrepreneurs in a manufacturing venture find managing the operations extremely difficult.
Balancing family life and business
Striking a balance between business and family life can be a demanding task for women entrepreneurs, especially married women with children.
Business-women, having to prioritise work commitments and childcare/household chores, are often held back by the constant back and forth, especially as running a business usually requires working for long hours. This also limits their professional growth.
To sum up
Limited funding options have always been the primary roadblock for women-led companies.
However, today, women entrepreneurs can readily leverage quick business loans from any reliable
finance company and ensure smooth business operations. Special loans are also available to female
borrowers at concessional rates, using minimal documentation and eased eligibility conditions.