TomorrowMakers

When it comes to entrepreneurship, Indian women are leading from the front. They are likely to usher in some much-needed change not only in growth but also in our work culture.

 Five Ways Women Entrepreneurs Will Bring About Change in 2022

India is on the path of economic growth, and women have a key role to play. If more and more women join the workforce, the country could benefit from it. India could add up to $770 billion -- more than 18 per cent -- to its GDP by providing equal opportunities to women, according to a report by McKinsey & Company.

While women continue to seek jobs, they also create jobs as entrepreneurs. The 6th Economic Census by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation puts the total percentage of women entrepreneurs in India at 14 in 2018. Yes, there's a lot to be desired, but the winds of change are sweeping Indian businesses. 

Take the example of one of the biggest success stories of 2021. Nykaa CEO Falguni Nayar became India's wealthiest self-made billionaire after her beauty e-commerce business debuted on the markets. Nayar might be the first Indian woman to take a unicorn public, but there is no dearth of women-led start-ups hitting the headlines. Companies like Mamaearth, Zivame, MobiKwik are not just led by women but are also providing opportunities to thousands of others. 

When women are in charge, they bring a lot more to the table than just the money. Here's how:

  • The rise and rise of women-centric start-ups

As women acquire top positions, the number of start-ups focussing on solving real-life problems experienced by the gender will increase. In the femtech space, start-ups such as Niramai and Pregbuddy are helping women navigate issues related to healthcare, pregnancy, and motherhood. SHEREOS is a social network for women, where they can not only forge female friendships but also seek consultation for everything, from setting up their businesses to mental health. In 2022, as more women rise to the top, the everyday mother, wife, and daughter will find a stronger support system for themselves.  

Related: 6 Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs

  • Start-ups and social causes

According to a survey, 15 per cent of male entrepreneurs start their business to improve financial gains; only 2 per cent of women have similar goals. A large number of businesswomen are driven by a cause to bring about some change. They strive to solve problems, thus benefitting the community. 

  • Encouraging more women to join the workforce 

The increase in female entrepreneurs in India will have a positive impact on the gender ratio in the workforce. Organisations led by women are likely to inspire many more women to take up jobs. Equal pay and equal opportunities are more achievable if the gender gap at the workplace reduces. With more women finding employment, policies like menstrual leave will be easy to implement, bringing about a much-needed change in work culture.  

Related: 6 Young Female Entrepreneurs in India who are making a mark

  • The making of green leaders 

Environmental degradation is real, and hence it's the need of the hour for businesses to go green. The role of women here cannot be undermined. Not only are women more vulnerable to climate change, but they are effective in bringing about transformation.  

In Uttar Pradesh, Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group, a non-profit, has been training women in climate-resilient farming. In Rajasthan, uneducated tribal women have been trained to make solar lamps. Women thus can make for excellent green leaders. 

That's not all. More and more organisations are adopting sustainable practices, especially in women-centric industries related to food, wellness, beauty, and fashion. Companies led by women are likely to go above and beyond in their endeavour to protect the environment. In 2022, we can only expect them to take their efforts to the next level.    

  • Rural and small-town women take a step forward

The e-commerce revolution has empowered more women from the rural and Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities to break free and enter the business world. Start-ups like Meesho, an app that resales clothes and accessories, give women, many of who were homemakers, a chance to become entrepreneurs. 

According to Shiprocket, a logistics aggregation platform, 68 per cent of women selling online were from Tier-II cities in India. In the year ahead, their numbers are likely to grow. 

India has witnessed a rise in women entrepreneurship in the last decade, thanks to social awareness, changing mindsets, and the power of the internet. Economies grow when the contributions of women increase. More power to them.