Women entrepreneurship in India: On the rise and how


A recent survey titled Women & Entrepreneurship in India 2012 Study by Women’s Web interviewed more than 100 women entrepreneurs in India and put together an interesting set of statistics. Most of the respondents were owners of small to medium sized businesses, a majority of which reported sub 10 lakh revenue.

The survey pointed out that Bangalore seemed to be the nation’s top incubator for women entrepreneurs as most of the respondents were based in the city. Kiran M Shaw, Chairman and MD of Biocon, was recently ranked 2nd most powerful woman CEO in India. She is also from Bangalore. Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune and Ahmedabad followed. Interestingly, Kolkata was absent from the top metros in which women entrepreneurs in India were based. It was the only metro to be clubbed with the rest of cities in India.


Nearly 6 out of 10 respondents said that their businesses were in the areas of Professional Services, IT, Apparels or F&B. The rest tail ended into other sectors including Travel, Media, Health and Manufacturing. Statistics also showed that most women entrepreneurs from this survey had small to medium sized businesses and more than 70% had less than 5 employees working for them.

So why did these women take up entrepreneurship as opposed to the traditionally accepted pathway to success – Get a degree, get a job and work your way to the top?

The survey points out two major reasons which had lured the respondents to join the entrepreneurship bandwagon. 75% of them believed that they had a creative idea that needed to be taken to the market place and 60% felt the need to be their own boss.

reasons for entrepreneurship

Last but definitely the most inspirational finding for budding young to-be entrepreneurs is the fact that 60% of these respondents started with a capital of less than 1 lakh. Personal savings, loans from friends and family and loans from external parties emerged as the top 3 sources of funding. Not surprisingly, finance was the most important challenge and roadblock these women entrepreneurs faced.

Recently, Dell Women’s Global Entrepreneurship Study interviewed 450 women entrepreneurs in US, UK and India. It reported that India was one of the most favourable places for women entrepreneurs to set up shop. The study pegged businesses owned by women entrepreneurs to grow up to 90% in the next 5 years. In comparison, similar businesses in US and UK were expected to grow by 50% and 24% in US and UK in the same time period.

Dell Women’s Global Entrepreneurship Study – India Key Findings

Today, the country’s largest private sector bank ICICI is being headed by Chanda Kochhar. Upcoming contender Axis Bank, which has the largest ATM network, is being headed by Shikha Sharma. Naina Lal Kidwai heads HSBC India. Zia Mody is a partner at AZB Partners, one of India’s prominent corporate law firms. Ekta Kapoor heads Balaji Telefilms and has played a pivotal role in virtually changing the face of Indian television in the last decade. One of India’s leading biopharmaceutical company Biocon is headed by Kiran M Shaw. Apollo Hospitals is being headed by its founder Pratap C Reddy’s four daughters with eldest, Preetha Reddy at the helm of one of India’s and Asia’s largest healthcare groups. Such examples are now becoming commonplace.

Adding echo to this positive sentiment, the Dell study noted that 8 out of 10 of the women entrepreneur respondents from India were in hiring mode, which is generally considered as a sign of expansion and growth.

Intertwined with the same, 81% of the respondents in the Women’s Web survey said that Growth was one of the key priorities in their list of goals for the next 3 to 5 years.

  1. […] Women entrepreneurship in India is picking up, and there is tremendous momentum building up as more and more women are getting educated and awareness is increasing. But there are lots of challenges which still negatively affect this development. For a sustained and dependable development of the country, more Indian women should jump the band wagon, and start making a difference to the world. […]

  2. RAJU K. MUDALIAR says

    REQUIRE COMPLETE INFORMATION ON Women entrepreneurship in India (25 PAGES)

    1. Dr.Mrs Sushma Joiya Pandit says

      Kindly send me 25 pages report

  3. Dr Mrs Sushma Joiya Pandit says

    Integrated congress of women entrepreneurs is inviting women entrepreneurs to join together under one umbrella to gain sustainability and to get their current problems solved.
    Entrepreneurially yours
    Dr Mrs Sushma Joiya Pandit
    Integrated Congress of Women Entrepreneurs

  4. Janvi says

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