It has been more than five months and I still remember these words. At that time, I just started my venture and put my steps into entrepreneurship. Although I had no experience but had confidence to succeed. I was at a stage when I was ready to provide services to clients but not at a stage where I had continuous flow of clients.
Then I happened to get a call from a prospective client and as expected I was quite excited. He asked me to visit his office and give a presentation of my services. I went there, we had a talk of future potential of the project and everything seemed good. However, to my surprise after two days I got a reply from the person that they would not take it further. I made peace with their decision. What shocked me was the revelation after few days that why I was rejected by him. I was told that I was running my company as a woman entrepreneur and there were not many men in my start-up and it would be difficult for me to handle the project.
I was surprised with the revelation at that time, however, with time, I learnt many things and also that this has been happening with many women. Still many young women entrepreneurs feel the same prejudice by the industry. It does not matter how many news channels give special mention of women entrepreneurs, the practical situation does not seem to be going in the right direction.
Even today, after more than five years since women started taking entrepreneurship as an occupation, we find that not even one third of entrepreneurs are women. People still consider a woman leader as bossy rather than taking her aspirations in a constructive form. Having talked to one of the women entrepreneurs Surabhi Dewra, CEO, CareerGuide, I was sure that the phenomenon is global and does not seem to be taking a U-turn.
Women face several problems while stating their venture, some of them are;
However, open minded we become, India is still not safe for women. They cannot roam independently at late hours. Wherever they go, they are looked with an eye of suspicion. They still can’t go out and get lodging independently. Starting up an enterprise without any external help is always a cumbersome job for a woman yet many are exploring their ways and getting successful as well.
Even after 70 years of independence, India is still a male dominant country. Even if a woman starts her company, she would be expected to take care of her children, her family and whole house. If she is married she will have to take care of her own venture along with the household. She keeps balancing her life on a sword that expects her to continue walking on it.
Women get fewer opportunities in terms of education and facilities. Many women in India are not even able to get secondary education and thinking of starting an enterprise is way beyond them. They can only think of how to survive. However, some women have come forward and despite of challenges have started their own ventures and many have even got success at that.
In addition to above challenges, there are many more such as social expectations, high competition from male counterparts, lack of financing ability etc. Women today although have become empowered, but there is still a long mile to go before we achieve complete equality for women in entrepreneurship.
The article is written by Aakanksha Aggarwal, Founder, Craft Driven Research