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Women Entrepreneurs

Conference Paper · April 2016


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Kavita Sangolagi
Central University of Karnataka


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Women Entrepreneurs
Kavita Sangolagi1, Mallikarjun Alagawadi2
Department of Management,Central University of Karnataka,Kadaganchi, India
Mallikarjun Alagawadi, Department of Management,Central University of Karnataka,Kadaganchi, India

Abstract-Women Entrepreneurship and Women empowerment are considered as an important tool in eradicating
poverty and unemployment.Now a day’s Women empowerment has become a buzzword. Empowerment of women
may not be feasible just by creating employment opportunities for them. The need of the hour is to inspire them to set
up their own enterprises. Traditionally, women have been on stage, by playing a crucial role in the management of
the family as well as in the society. But their job has not been duly recognized.

She is active in family, farm, shop, and factory and even in politics. Women entrepreneurs are gaining momentum all
over the world, but at the same time they are facing a number of challenges. These challenges can be faced with
making them and their family aware of the opportunities available to them. Hence the support of family members is
essential for leveraging their creative talent.

The paper focuses on opportunities for growth and challenges faced by women entrepreneurs of today. The paper is
based on women Roti makers working in Gulbarga city of Karnataka state in India.

Key words: Entrepreneur, Women Entrepreneurs, Challenges, Opportunities, Economic Development

The Government of India has been declared year 2001 as women empowerment year. As there exist a need
to strengthen and streamline the role of women in the development of various sectors.So that women dare
to take risks and become successful entrepreneurs. Women across India are showing a concern to be
economically independent. Women entrepreneurship and economic development go hand in hand. Though
the entrepreneurial process is the one and the same for men and women, however in practice, many
challenges are faced by women, which are of different dimensions and magnitudes, which prevent them
from realizing their full potential as entrepreneurs

Nowadays with the growth of MSME, many women have embarked into entrepreneurship and running their
enterprises successfully. With the relevant education, work experience, improved economic condition and
financial opportunities more women are venturing into business.


In India, the major portion of the women’s community though equal to men in the population is subject to
lots of deprivation in business activity. The largest numbers of women are involved in domestic works as a
result their entrepreneurial skills and abilities are not properly utilized for the development of the nation
[1],Researcher identifies the reasons and influencing factors behind entry of women in entrepreneurship. He
explained the characteristics of their businesses in Indian context and also obstacles & challenges. He mentioned
the obstacles in the growth of women entrepreneurship are mainly lack of interaction with successful
entrepreneurs, social un-acceptance as women entrepreneurs, family responsibility, gender discrimination,
missing network, low priority given by bankers to provide loan to women entrepreneurs. He suggested the
remedial measures like promoting micro enterprises, unlocking institutional frame work, projecting & pulling to
grow & support the winners etc. The study advocates for ensuring synergy among women related ministry,
economic ministry & social & welfare development ministry of the Government of India [2],Commenting on
the challenges facing women entrepreneurs, [3] classified women into ‘better-off and low-income women’.
According to them, ‘better-off women’ face the following challenges: lack of socialization to entrepreneurship
in the home, school and society; exclusion from traditional business networks; lack of access to capital;
discriminatory attitude of leaders; gender stereotypes and expectation: such as the attitude that women
entrepreneurs are dabblers or hobbyists; socialized ambivalence about competition and profit; lack of self-
confidence; inability to globalize the business: men are leading in the global market. On the other hand, ‘low–
income women’ face challenges such as: poor savings, longer hours to work, health care and other assistance,
illiteracy, regulation that do not distinguish between personal business assets make it extremely difficult to start

NCADOMS-2016 Special Issue 1 Page 216

a business or to invest the time it takes to make it profitable, lack of managerial skill, cultural bias both within
cultural group and in the larger society, high level of poverty.


The main objectives of this study are:
1. To understand the concept and emergence of women entrepreneurship in India
2. To know the development of women entrepreneurship in India
3. To list out the reasons, for women involving themselves in entrepreneurial activities in India.
4. To list out the challenges, faced by the womenentrepreneurs in India.
5. To identify the opportunities, availablefor women entrepreneurs.
6. To study the Roti making women entrepreneurs in Kalburagi City.
7. To give suggestion for changing existing challenges into potential opportunities


For any study there must be data for analysis purpose. To meet the research objectives the Researcher employed
desktop research by reviewing relevant texts, websites, journals, magazines and newspapers. In depth literature
review helped the researcher
Entrepreneurship has been globally felt as a developmental and progressive idea for business
world.[4],Entrepreneurship refers to the act of setting up a new business or reviving an existing business so as to
take advantages from new opportunities. Entrepreneur is a visionary and an integrated person with outstanding
leadership qualities; with a desire to excel. An entrepreneur is a catalytic agent of change and works for the
good of people. One who takes initiative, have innovative skills for innovation and who looks for high
Women Entrepreneurship means an act of business ownership, creation and controlling which empowers
women economically increases their economic strength as well as position in society. Entrepreneurship is not
just confined to any one gender now rather due to multi-faceted economic pressures women have turned up and
realized that the survival of their families and their own potential lies only in working side by side with men.[5]

A. Emergence of Women Entrepreneurs in India

In earlier days, Women got involved with 3 Ks viz Kitchen, Kids, Knitting, then It can be traced out as an
extension of their kitchen activities mainly to 3Ps viz Pickles,Powder & Pappad. And now at present with
increasing awareness about business and spread of education among women over the period, they have started
shifting from 3Ps to engross to 4 modern E’s viz Engineering, Electronics, and Energy they have excelled in
these activities

3 Es -
3 Ps - 2. Energy
1. Powder 3.Engineering
2. Pappad
3 Ks - 3. Pickles
1. Kitchen
2. Kids
3. Knitting
Fig. 1 Emergence of women into business

B. Types of Entrepreneurs
Motivational factors influencing woman to join the leading group of entrepreneurs are of two types. One is
entrepreneurship by choice, and the other is entrepreneurship by necessity. [6],

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Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurship
by Choice by Necessity

Fig.2. Types of Entrepreneurs

Women become entrepreneurs by choice Women become entrepreneurs by necessity
Due to the following reason due to the following reasons
1. Start own business 1. Job dissatisfaction
2. Contribute something to the society 2. Necessity
3. Get economic independence 3. Flexible work environment
4. To be the boss 4. Had skill set to commence the business
5. To gain social prestige 5. Increasing standard of living
6. Success stories of friends and relatives 6. Continue her family business
7. High profit margin in this business 7. Encouragement from family members
8. Use government subsidies, incentives and concession 8. Encouragement from support agencies
9. Availability of raw material 9. Aspiration about my children
10. Heavy demand for product/service 10. Share family economic burden
11. To materialize idea into a capital 11. Death or sickness of bread earner of the family member
12. To prove herself among family members
13. Liberty to take decisions
14. Generation of employment
15. Self-identity
16. For a bright future

Women by nature preferably choose to work in service sector like education, social services and household
services such as domestic work. But at the same time the startup motivations vary from industry to industry.[7],
women in low income countries have strong incentives to create their own work environments that are
compatible with their child rearing and household responsibilities at the same time.[8], Women entrepreneur of
21st century is potentially motivated for change in order to improve the living conditions of her family, provide
a sharing hand to her husband in income generation, provide quality education to her children, contribute
positively by creating job opportunities, empowering other women and bringing out the society out of economic
disparity and unemployment.[9],


Women work participation is low in India in comparison to selected counties of the world. Women work
participation in India is 31.6 % whereas in USA it is 45 %, UK 43 %, Canada 42 %, France 32 %, Indonesia 40
%, Sri Lanka and Brazil both 35 % .In India, men generally take the lead in the entrepreneurial world. With the
changing cultural norms more and more women are accepting entrepreneurship as their career.[10], The
development of women entrepreneurship should become an important aspect. Several policies and programs are
being implemented for the development of women entrepreneurship in India, though women have played a
fundamental role in the society, their entrepreneurial ability has not been properly tapped due to the lower status
of women in the society. Women role has been explicitly recognized only from the Fifth Five Year Plan (1974-
78). They implemented shiftin the approach from women welfare to women development and empowerment.



NCADOMS-2016 Special Issue 1 Page 218

Fig. 3Shift in the approach for women development

Banks Organizations
MAHILA UDYAM NIDHI , MAHILA VIKASH NIDHI , Micro SIDO (Small Industries Development Organization), CWEI
Credit Scheme by SIDBI ( Small Industries Development Bank of (consortium of women entrepreneurs of India), WIT (Women India
India), Dena Shakti scheme of Dena Bank , Udyogini Scheme of Trust) , SEWA (Self Employed Women Association), FIWE
Punjab and Sind Bank are some of the important schemes introduced (Federation of India Women Entrepreneurs) , Central Social Welfare
by various Banks Board (CSWB), National alliance of young entrepreneurs (NAYE)
are some of the organizations which are engaged in providing
technical, financial and marketing assistance to women

Ministry of MSME Ministry of Kerala Delhi Orissa MSME
Women and Government’s Government’s Government’s
1. Trade related 1.Support to 1.Women 1.Stree Shakti 1.MahilaVikashSamabaya Promotional package
entrepreneurship Training and Industries Project Nigam (MVSN) to give for micro & small
assistance and Employment Programme training, loans to WSHG and enterprises
development Programme for to market their products women entrepreneurs
(TREAD) scheme Women (STEP) 2. Misson Shakti scheme by to to encourage Small
for women 2. Swayam support bank,ngos,and & Micro
2.Mahila Coir Siddha WSHGs Who work for women manufacturing units
Yojana entrepreneurs. owned by women in
their efforts to enter
overseas markets


Women entrepreneur's performance is not as much progressive as desired due to various challenges faced by
them. Such as ‘being women’ it is the biggest challenge faced by women entrepreneur

Fear of failure


Educational Motherhood Marketing Travelling

Family Accounting
Responsibility Work Technological
Lack of Mobility Competition

Fig. 4 Challenges faced by women entrepreneurs

Personal Social Financial Marketing Technological
Challenges Challenge Challenge Challenges Challenges

NCADOMS-2016 Special Issue 1 Page 219

1.Lack of confidence 1.Change in Attitude 1.Lack of working 1.Market-Oriented Risks 1.Lack of
2.Lack of Education 2.Self-Recognition capital 2.Stiff Competition Technical knowle
3.Lack of communication skills 3.Male dominated society 2.Awareness about the 3.Exploitation by middle men 2.Lack of Knowledge
4.Male dominated Society 4.Tradition financial assistance 4.Growth of Mall Culture of latest operational
4.Family ties 5. Customs 3.Not being taken 5.Uneven demand for the related Technology
5.Overcoming family 6.Socio cultural values Seriously by bankers product/service 3. Lack of Knowledge
Resistance 7.Ethics 4.Income derived is 6.Harassment from co-sellers of latest informational
6.Motherhood, 8.Gender based violence inadequate 7.Market coverage related Technology
7.Provision of Amenities 9.Lack of societal support 5.Lack of tangible
8.Inadequate training security to access
9.Work-family interface funds
11.Developing Business
12.Knowledge in business


Women Entrepreneurship is definitely a solution to manage the economic disparity and rising impact of
technological and informational forces. To overcome this impediment women entrepreneurs have the power of
diverting the forces towards development and progression by putting in theirown potentials and skills to
improve economic conditions of any country. [11],

The additional business opportunities that are recently approaching for women entrepreneurs are
Educated women entrepreneurs (Literates) Un-Educated women entrepreneurs (Illiterates)
1. Eco Friendly Technology 1. Tourism Industry
2. Bio Technology 2. Plastic Materials
3. It Enabled Enterprises 3. Mineral Water
4. Event Management 4. Sericulture
5. Telecommunication 5. Floriculture
6. Herbal and Health Care 6. varmiculture
7. Food, Fruits and vegetable Processing
8. Cold-storage factories
9. Soap factories
10. Poultry farming
11. Textile industries
12. Silk enterprise
13. Leather factories
14. Packaging and packing
15. Pulses mills
16. Rice mills
17. Cattle rearing etc.


Kalaburagi city is located in a region which is economically and socially backward. The traditional social
structure and value system is less favorable to progress and change and is one of the major obstacles to growth.
Education has an important role to play here not only in promoting human development but also in bringing
about desired social change in values, attitudes and institutions of the society.[12],Traditional stereotyping of
sex roles relegates women tobeing home oriented.[13],Women are generally low risk-takers due to their primary
responsibility of respondents.[14],

Over the past ten yearsin an environment of high unemployment, Illiterate women’s in Gulbarga city are
struggling to improve theirstandard of living. So, more and more women have entered into roti making business
as they don’t possess any special skill other than roti making. These women entrepreneurs success is dependent
on a combination of social and culturalfactors, as well as individual entrepreneurial competences. Based on this
general conceptual frameworkresearcher tried to study prerequisite forroti making women entrepreneurship
inKalburagi cityis the study that can support both potential and existing women entrepreneursagainst the
prevailing factors like illiteracy rate and lack of awareness of opportunities for women.

NCADOMS-2016 Special Issue 1 Page 220

Fig. 5 Women entrepreneurs involved in Roti making business

In this urbanization era.Womenwho is illiterate, don’t have any special skills to do some big business. They are
very much bothered and worried about their family survival. They are having aspiration about their
childrens.They need economic independence. So they wanted to do something or the other whatever the little
house hold chores they know they are trying to utilize that and making themselves to involve in entrepreneurial
activity. With this backdrop illiterate women trying to capture the local,national and even international market
through their roti making business in Kalburagi. Hence trying to contribute for the development of their family
in particular and country in general.It is essential to develop and promote programs that target women, who
show potential for entrepreneurial pursuits.

Over all, weather the women is literate or illiterate if she want to be a successful in her business she has to adopt
these “9 C”s or traits in her all entrepreneurial activities then only she can convert all the challenge into an
opportunity and create a space for herself in entrepreneurial arena.

Control Courage


Fig. 5 Traits of women entrepreneurs


1. Women should understand and implement the new way to balance work and life
2. Women entrepreneurs should spend some time to study and observe the nature of challengeswomen face in
3. Women should make adequate preparation to face the challenges before starting the business.

NCADOMS-2016 Special Issue 1 Page 221

4. Women should attend training programs, seminars,workshop and conferences. This may help to reducethe
challenges they face in business.
5. Women should start their business from micro or small leveland allow it to grow gradually
6. Women should take assistance of other women entrepreneur who are already successful in business
7. Take the help or guidance of Capital and fund raising platforms
8. Women should develop or keep contact with the Entrepreneur Business Networks
9. Women should keep someone as a Role Model to start her own business venture
10. Keep in touch with the Small Medium Size Enterprise Development Platforms

In India the business scenario is changing day by day due to the development of technology, modernization,
industrialization, urbanization, spread of education and development programs initiated by the government. In
such conditions, employment opportunity increased drastically for women.

In India the past image of restricted and home bound women is slowly going under change. The Indian women
even after facing many Challenges she is now trying to become economically independent. Government has
come forward with many facilities, concessions and incentives exclusively for women entrepreneur. General
measures can be adopted to encourage and develop women entrepreneurship. As even illiterate Women have the
potential and the determination to set up, uphold and supervise her own enterprises in a very systematic
manner.The right kind of assistance from family, society and Government can make these Roti making women
entrepreneurs a part of the mainstream of national economy and they can contribute to the economic progress of
the country.

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andManagement, Vol. 4(3), pp.-115
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[3]Gould , S., Parzen, J., Enterprising Women. Paris: Organization (Ed.), 1990.
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[5] Marlow, s. (2002). “women and self-employment; a part of or a part from theoretical construct?” International entrepreneurship and
management journal, 3 (2), 83-91.
[6]Schumpeter, j.a. 2000 (1934). “entrepreneurship as innovation”. In r. Swedberg (ed.) Entrepreneurship: „the social science view
‟. Oxford, england: oxford university press.
[7] Birley, s. (1989). “female entrepreneurs: are they really any different?” Journal of small business management 27 (1),
[8] Global entrepreneurship monitor (gem), 2004, report on women entrepreneurship, 2007.
[9]Starcher, d.c. (1996). “women entrepreneurs: catalysts for transformation”. Available at: www.ebbf.org/woman.htm.
[10] PriyadarsiniPadhi1and Anshuman Padhy2, women entrepreneurship in india: present status, problems and prospect,International
Journal of Scientific Research and Management Studies,Volume 1 Issue 3, pg: 72-79
[11]Powell g. N and eddleston, k.a. 2008. “the paradox of contented female business owner”. Journal of vocational behavior, 73, 24-36.
[12]Kalburgi district human development report2014
[13]Parasuraman, S. (2001) 'Type of employment, work-family conflict and well-being: a comparative study', Journal of Organizational
Behaviour 22(5)
[14]Goffee, R. and R. Scase (1985) Women in Change: The Experiences of Female Entrepreneurs, London: Allen &Unwin

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