Is the Startup ecosystem unfavorable to women entrepreneurs?

The recent Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) ranks India 52 out of 57 countries. The latest ranking for India remains unchanged from the previous year.

According to the report, the Indian women business owners, leaders or professionals exhibit less inclination towards business ownership due to cultural bias. They are also less likely to grow their business, whether locally or overseas, and are more prone to discontinue their businesses due to unprofitability or lack of finance.

India is home to the world’s third-largest start-up ecosystem, yet only 14% businesses in India are run by women. The data also revealed that most of these women-run companies are small-scale and about 79% of them are self-financed. 



Debate Closed!

72%
Yes
28%
No

Your Views

All Yes No Moderator
Moderator

Thank you all for your valuable participation. More than 70 percent of you believe that the start up ecosystem is unfavourable for women entrepreneurs. But nearly all of you believe that women can not only build their businesses but also take them to great heights. We have talked about how the government policies, the funding market and networks can be made more women friendly. We have also talked about the role of family’s support, appropriate mentoring and freeing our society from gender bias and discrimination. We all know how good it will be for the economy and the nation when all the women start realizing their true potential. Here’s hoping that our conversations on this forum become the starting point of change, in our homes, offices and nation. See you all next week for another debate on a very important topic. Good night!

Anindita Mukherjee
Yes

We need to work hard to make it happen

Moderator

Women are perfect for working in start-ups because of their drive, passion and enthusiam. "Men work for three things - money, title and work satisfaction in the stated order and women also work for the same three things but in reverse order. It is this attribute of women which makes them perfect for the start-up eco-system," says Sairee Chahal, founder and CEO of Sheroes, a portal which provides information for women job seekers. Do you think that women do better as entrepreneurs than men?

Moderator

While we don’t have any such data for India, a research done in USA found out that women entrepreneurs have had to face sexism and even harassment while trying to start their businesses or get funded. One chief executive described how she had faced numerous sexist comments from an investor while raising money for her online community website. One female entrepreneur recounted how she had been propositioned by a Silicon Valley venture capitalist while seeking a job with him, which she did not land after rebuffing him. Another showed the increasingly suggestive messages she had received from a start-up investor. We have not yet had a ‘me-too’ campaign in the start-up/ VC space yet, but do you think that such behavior also deters women from taking up entrepreneurship?

Nidhi
Yes

As a society we still have a fixed mindset and not a growth mindset. A level playing field for entrepreneurs irrespective of the gender is the need of the hour.

Moderator

Anu and Manjusha have raised an important point. We are talking of women entrepreneurship here, when even the basic gender equality is still a distant dream in this country. From educating the girl child, letting her pursue her career or even giving her the liberty to choose her life partner; do you think these issues need to be addressed first?

No

Women are always the best !! They have a career ; look after the young children and the aged parentz and yet want to di more for the society.

Ashok
Yes

Yadavashok12337@gmail.com

Sadik
Yes

Sadiq Alam

Anu Liza Thomas
Yes

The journey is definitely much for challenging for women compared to men and it starts within the families. Unequal resource allocation and unfair treatment are just some of the few things most women in our country have to put up with. Sometimes their education and their choices are also limited especially if resources are limited. Women make sacrifices, men provide. There are very few among us who have not faced these attitudes. We need to address them as we promote female entrepreneurship.

Noopur
Yes

This app is nice

Basanti Patel
Yes

Women empowerment should be encouraged

MANJUSHA BALWANT
Yes

Forget about the financial independance and upliftment , she haven't given the choice only to live her own life on her own terms yet I feel.

Moderator

Mahua has given a beautiful example of Sweden, where men and women share the child-care responsibilities, there are stay-at-home dads and overall the happiness index is great. What is happening in India is that while women are slowly breaking the stereotypes and stepping out to work, men are not really coming forward to share the household responsibilities. May be they don’t want to, or may be the system isn’t allowing them to. Isn’t love and care of family an important aspect that shapes the personality of the children, and in turn the quality of the nation they will build tomorrow?

Moderator

We are still at nearly a 75-25 split of responses, with majority of you saying that the start up ecosystem is unfavourable to women entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is difficult agreed, and fraught with failures & challenges. Isn’t it however just as difficult for women as it is for men? Debadutta Upadhyaya who started Timessaverz that provides curated home service said in an interview that the challenges faced by both men and women remain the same when it comes to start-ups. What do you think?

No

We have to uplift and change our thoughts beyond stereotypes. This is in response to moderator's trigger on what's wrong if women nurtures family as she has given birth. My view is it should be by choice and not by compulsion. As a country we should work towards building ecosystem inclusive of policies and infrastructure that enables women make that choice - should not be burdened. Lets talk data - India's per capita GDP (1.9K USD) and India's happiness Index in 2018 - (133rd, dropped from 122nd in 2017.. even behind most SAARC countries). Whereas lets take example of Sweden - Per capita GDP (~533K USD) and Sweden's happiness Index in 2018 - (9th in the world). Even in Sweden women give birth to babies following nature - but they have 14% 'Stay at home dads' post child birth because of their policy - The partner can choose on whether paternal / maternal leave. Isn't data enough to prove that we are building a downward spiral society where there is minimal focus on choice... its all thrust of opinion and what are we doing by getting into these societal norm - building a poor nation. Hence we should all gear towards growth mindset and try to bring a change in our own stride within our own families and organizations to build a better future for next generations!

Mahua Mukherjee
No

Been there done that. Its a fair play ground. On the contrary these days theres so much more help avaialble and offered to women entrepreneurs. The mindset has certainly shifted.

Ami Shah
No

I agree, the numbers don't match. Not all women get the support of family and other resources. Very surprisingly my own research - talking to young women colleagues who've either decided to quit working or take a break or just talk about entrepreneural aspirations but do nothing about it - points to family being the single major obstacle. However, I am also seeing a slow but steady change. More and more women are today trying to effectively reduce work–family conflict by choosing strategies better matched with their internal needs and access to external resources. The support ecosystems are also getting stronger. Spouses and other family members are willing to share her workload and external support is getting more organized. The numbers are probably not very encouraging right now, but I believe we are on the right track.

Lakshmi Vedanarayanan
Cherry Goyal
Yes

Women are still ringed with various unseen boundaries and have choose everything over self. Economic Independence us a rarity, a luxury very few enjoy.

Julikumari
Yes

Howtomakeeggtoeggpower.