Business Today

Empowering enterprising women

Nearly 78 per cent Indian women from less-privileged backgrounds want to become entrepreneurs, says a study. TiE has now taken the lead to help them.

Anusha Subramanian        Print Edition: April 5, 2009

The number of women entrepreneurs in India may be growing, but the urban-rural ratio is still rather skewed as is the class divide with few women from not-soaffluent families taking to entrepreneurship. However, if given a chance as many as 78 per cent of poorer women would want to turn entrepreneurs, says a TiE-GEM study. Based on this finding from their own research, The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), one of the country's largest non-profit networks dedicated to the advancement of entrepreneurship, has roped in some of the most powerful businesswomen in India to help these budding entrepreneurs. The likes of Shikha Sharma, Chanda Kochar, Rama Bijapurkar and Anita Ramachandran have helped launch TiE Stree Shakti-a women's entrepreneurship platform.

The TiE-study revealed that 90 per cent of women at the grassroot level need help in training and education to improve their business skills, specially since 78 per cent of them are keen to start a business but need support. "The objective of this initiative is to recognise more women who are on their own and introduce them to other like-minded women," says Shikha Sharma, CEO, ICICI Prudential Insurance.

Recently, a Grant Thornton International study also showed that in India only 15 per cent women hold senior management positions in privately-held businesses with Chennai topping the list at 22 per cent followed by Delhi (18). The next 2-3 months will witness TiE chapters across India connecting with women keen to start their businesses by holding training sessions in 15 cities. TiE is also planning to set up a fund for women entrepreneurs.

What women want

  • 78% women from poorer families are keen to become entrepreneurs

  • A mere 15 per cent of women hold senior management positions in privately-held businesses in India

  • The global average is 24 per cent

  • Some of the key areas where women want to start a business include garment shops, catering and beauty salons

  • TiE will start knowledge and training centres in 15 cities by May

  • The setting up of a fund for women entrepreneurs is also on the cards





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