Most underprivileged women are keen to start businesses but lack skills and financial know-how
© Indiainsider Most underprivileged women are keen to start businesses but lack skills and financial know-how

  • Over 77% of the women intend to start a small business to support their families financially.
  • But most of them are stalled by childcare and and domestic responsibilities, as per IWWAGE report.
  • According to the report, the women have lack of clarity or information on what kind of business they can start; and don’t have the access to seed capital.

Two-thirds of women who hail from underprivileged backgrounds have a burning need to support their families – and intend to start a small-scale business.

As per a survey conducted amongst Anganwadi hubs in Delhi by an NGO Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy (IWWAGE), 84% of the families are supportive, while 72% said they would be permitted to travel outside their homes to avail of training programmes.

However, over two-thirds of women who are keen to start their business, are stalled by childcare and domestic responsibilities.

“This study highlights that women are eager to take up business endeavours, given some space, understanding and encouragement in the form of skill training, economic management along with others,” said Neelanjana Gupta, project manager at IWWAGE.

Lack of financial support and skills

According to the report, the women have lack of clarity or information on what kind of business they can start; and don’t have the access to seed capital.

They are well-versed digitally, as 7 out 10 know how to use mobile phones and have effective communication skills. As many as 76% of them have smartphones, and 78% have access to an internet connection.

Also, 73% of the women have their own bank accounts, while 42% of them use them to avail government schemes and benefits. However, they lack knowledge about bank loans, interest rates or how to deposit or withdraw money from their accounts — which become hurdles for future entreprenuers.

“Poor support networks, absence of mentors, and lack of access to information and communication technology are critical challenges faced by women entrepreneurs,” says the report.

Most of them also do not possess the know-how to start a business. Yet, a lot of them are keen to acquire skills to engage in activities that will help improve their economic status.

“It reflects that despite the lack of support from family and other gendered boundations, women in India are looking for ways to support themselves and their family along with seeking social independence,” said Gupta.

Half the respondents of the survey expressed an interest in taking up stitching and sewing to earn an income, followed by pickle/papad making; and embroidery.

“These preferences were similar across the board for entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs surveyed with 81% respondents also expressing a keen interest in learning skills that were not heard or known of,” the report said.

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