Prospective women entrepreneurs were briefed on prospects for self-employment during a four-day long seminar that started last week.
Kolkata: The seminar on ‘Women Entrepreneurship Training and Skill Development Programme’ organised jointly by Sania Sami research scholar, Danish Reyaz of Maeeshat Academy, Abu Talha Jamal Qasmi of Tameer Educational and Welfare Trust and Huzaifa Arshad of Career Designer 360.
The purpose of the seminar, the first phase of which was held September 18 and September 19 and the second phase to be held on September 25 and September 26 in Topsia, was to bring about economic empowerment of women in the region.
Interacting with the participants, Sania Sami explained the various schemes available under for young people. The crucial aspect of her training was to make women aware about the current status of women entrepreneurs in India.
“Women entrepreneurs have so far been a powerful driving force in today’s corporate environment, and they are capable of balancing their obligations of parenting and business. A woman may get a job at any time in her life, but if she becomes an entrepreneur, she can provide a living for ten more women,” Sami said.
She pointed out that there have been numerous obstacles encountered by women entrepreneurs in establishing profitable company endeavors in a male-dominated business world. They have not been able to reach their full potential. It is intended that from her training women would successfully identifies the barriers to the growth of women-owned enterprises and motivating factors that pulled or pushed women to take up entrepreneurship.
The second session of the program, Danish Reyaz, focussed on Converting Ideas into Opportunities and Leadership Skills.
He made women understand that entrepreneurs need to be adventurous in building a better tomorrow by generating new ideas, manufacturing goods, offering services, and creating job possibilities. He believed that women entrepreneurs need to take a necessary risk, produce products, and bear the uncertainty arising in the business.
During his session, he discussed that women’s entrepreneurship is concerned with both the position of women in society and the function of entrepreneurship within that society. He explained the three triggers (internal, external, and engagement – perks and rewards, and education and competencies) impact. Further to enlightened women he talked through financial freedom, risk-taking ability, social standing, larger profits, working independently, and unemployment have all encouraged women to start their businesses. He discussed on some critical and crucial aspects of entrepreneurship viz., networking, partnership, innovation, ideas, zeal and Jazba. He also focused on sustainable entrepreneurship and its impact on society in long run.
On the second day of the seminar, Chief Guest Dr. Saminah Khan (president of Lions Club and coordinator of Saiffee Hall School) gave a brief insight about her struggle in a process of being successful women today. Her words were highly motivating to the trainees and she believed that that to be successful in both professional and personal level one need to be highly determined, honest, patience, passionate and must have positive approach towards others.
Rajkumar Pal, owner of Bureau Global Certification, discussed about the importance of getting business legalized with a view to promote the business and discussed in detail necessary steps and process and rules and regulation related to different types of business. The aim to include this track was to ensure low-dependency of women on male family members.
The first two days of the seminar were highly enlightening and motivating besides creating awareness between potential and established entrepreneurs.
According to www.bain.com, at present India has 13.5–15.7 million women-owned enterprises, representing 20% of all enterprises. While large in absolute numbers, these are overwhelmingly comprised of single person enterprises, which provide direct employment for an estimated 22 to 27 million people.
Further, a number of enterprises reported as women owned are not in fact controlled or run by women. A combination of financial and administrative reasons leads to women being “on paper” owners with little role to play. Benchmarks from high performing countries and Indian states provide a good yardstick for India to accelerate overall female entrepreneurship. Accelerating quantity and quality of entrepreneurship towards such benchmarks can create over 30 million women-owned enterprises, of which 40% can be more than self-employment. This can generate potentially transformational employment in India, of 150–170 million jobs, which is more than 25% of the new jobs required for the entire working age population, from now until 2030.
Achieving this visionary but realistic goal requires understanding the barriers facing the various types of women entrepreneurs across the landscape in India. Specifically, we see six distinct segments of entrepreneurs, which exhibit differing characteristics based on whether they are scaled, small or solo; urban or rural; engaged in agriculture or outside. An in-depth understanding of these segments has been crucial for us to gain true insight into motivations, advocacy, constraints, and most importantly, the solutions to accelerate entrepreneurship for women in India. For instance, while access to finance impacts nearly every entrepreneur, it manifests in the form of disparity in the investor ecosystem for the scalers, but lack of information and absence of tailored products, for rural and urban solopreneurs. Similarly, scalers face an unfair disadvantage due to exclusion from networks, especially informal ones, but for urban solopreneurs, it is about not having had the opportunity to be part of a network of any sort. Rural agripreneurs is a distinct segment, which is here to stay, and can be a critical catalyst of the modernisation of agriculture and the rural ecosystem. All segments of entrepreneurs, as well as non-entrepreneurs, face severely inhibiting cultural constraints. These manifest in the form of denial of the social permission to work and gender biases that persists widely.