Woman Special: Woman Entrepreneurs, from Ancient Period to Modern Day

Woman Special: Woman Entrepreneurs, from Ancient Period to Modern Day

Woman Special: Woman Entrepreneurs, from Ancient Period to ModernDay

Women are described as the better half onmen. They play a key role in the conservation of basic life support systemslike land, water, flora, and fauna. In Hindu scriptures, women are described asthe embodiment of Shakti that means a source of power. Today, their role haschanged. A woman is a driver of a family and in turn nation. And, they do notwant to bid their lives in the four walls of the room. They are leaving theirmarks in different parts of life, and the entrepreneurial world is not an exception.

 In the21st century, business women as entrepreneurs are the highest risingentrepreneurial populations in the country. Women entrepreneurship has beenrecognized as an important source of the economic process.  They produce new employment themselves andothers and spring up with amazing solutions for society to management,organization and business problems.  Theymake a strong contribution to the economy in the well-being of the family andcommunities, reducing poverty, and women's empowerment.

As it is said, Rom was not built in a day. The development of women in thebusiness world is a long process; it starts from the early centuries andreaches in modern India after going through a lot of changes andtransformations.


The concept of entrepreneur came intoenlightenment in the 19th century especially the term "womenentrepreneurs".  The story ofentrepreneurship development begun in ancient India. Entrepreneurship basicallyincorporates the function of seeing investment and producing opportunity,organizing an enterprise to undertake ventures on production and service.

Considering the participation of women inancient India, it is found that the Rig Vedic Age women were the co-partners inlife. Study indicates that Indian woman enjoyed a high status during the earlyVedic period surpassing contemporary civilizations. The traditional role of aHindu wife was precisely laid down in Hindu Literature. In earlier societies,women's role was limited to family; they played an effective role as homemaker.


During the mid 18th century, Indian womenused to own certain businesses like retail shops, and small handloom businessand more. During the 18th and 19th centuries, more women came out from underthe domination of society's limits and began to rise into the public eye. Butbefore the 20th-century women were running a business as a way of supplementingincome.

In modern India, though during British erareforms have been made to improvise the status of women, it was only after independence,they enjoyed privileges. According to the constitution, women as similar tomen, and various provisions are introduced for upliftment.


In the early 20s, the involvement of womenand their contribution were pretty noticeable. The figure of businesswomen hasexpanded, mainly in the 1990s. Women came forward to utilize modern techniques,investments, finding a niche in the market and creating sizable employment orother.

The Industrial Policy Resolution of 1991 hashighlighted the need to grow women entrepreneurship programs. As per the 1981Census Report, there were 1.5 lakhs self-employed women in India that were 5.2%of the total self-employed people of the country. According to Government ofIndia reports, "Women start small-scale industries exclusively run by a female,there are more than 2, 95,680 business women claiming 11.2% of total 2.64million entrepreneurs in the country during 1995-96.

Multifarious factors like urbanization,technological advancement and educational status of women have transformedtheir conditions. The presence of women in economic development in theunorganized sector, organized sector, self-employment, and entrepreneurship isencouraging.

The status and role of women have changedrapidly. The thoroughly domesticated ladies who could not think beyond thewelfare of their families now awakened to action. They have a great desire toprogress that is awakening of their dormant individuality. Women hold enoughtalent and skills to occupy predominate positions.

With the introduction of liberalization,privatization, and globalization in 1991, the Indian economy has been workingthrough a radical change. Woman entrepreneurs are gaining prominent importance,and they are finically supported by the banks and encouragement by family.Apart from vocational education to moment to climb the stairs of success

Present Day

In the contemporary world, there exist aplethora of successful business women entrepreneurs in different fields inIndia. They are performing well and scraping their success stories. Governmenthas also introduced numerous schemes like National Skill Development Policy andNational Skill Development Mission to bring skill training, vocationaleducation, and entrepreneurship program for the emerging workforce. However,entrepreneurship development and skill training is not the only responsibilityof the government and therefore other stakeholders need to shoulder theresponsibility.

According to the Hindu scriptures, women arethe embodiment of "Shakti". But in actual life, they are treated as Abla. Womenare leaving the workforce in favour of working at home. Not to be a homemakerbut as employment-creating business owners. The rising participation of womenentrepreneurs has transformed the demographic characteristics of the businessand economic growth of the country. Businesses owned by female power areplaying a more active role in society and the economy, inspiring academics tofocus on this interesting phenomenon.

Here, there are top women entrepreneurs in adifferent business sphere of India.

  • Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (Chairman & MD, Biocon Ltd.)
  • Indra Nooyi (CFO, Pepsico)
  • Shahnaz Husain (Herbal Beauty Queen)
  • Naina Lal Kidwai (Group General Manager & Country Head–HSBC,India)
  • Ekta Kapoor (JMD & Creative Director, Balaji Telefilms),
  • Chanda Kochar (MD & CEO, ICICI Bank)
  • Jyoti nayak (President, Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad)
  • Preetha Reddy (MD,  ApolloHospitals)

While innovation, entrepreneurship, science,and technology activities are today increasingly being dominated by women inIndia, there still exist significant gaps before women can achieve parity withmen. Women entrepreneurs mainly suffer gender-based hurdles at the initialphase of their businesses such as marital status, discriminatory property, andinheritance laws and also cultural practices; access to formal financemechanisms; restricted mobility and access to information and networks, etc.

Though, the globe, as well as varieddevelopmental organizations, is actively endeavouring promotion of womenentrepreneurs through numerous schemes, incentives, and promotional measures.But the availability of finance and other facilities like land and industrialsupport is often constrained by restrictions that do not account for practical realities.Funding facility is not available for the field in which women are mainlyinvolved. Here there are major obstacles that women face in their success path:

  • Lack of Education and Knowledge
  • Short Of Self-Confidence
  • Market Risks
  • Socio-Cultural Barriers
  • Capital Amount
  • Male Dominated  Society andmore

In terms of growth, there needs to be anincrease into his quality and quantity of investors, the government needs tostill continue reducing the administrative burden on women entrepreneurs andconnect with their agencies to make sure that required resources are directedwhere they are needed.

Earlier, the role of women entrepreneurshipwas limited to only in handloom and handicraft but present-day, their aspectshave broadened into different industries including hospitality, salon business,incense stick making, candle making, etc.

EmpowerWoman Entrepreneurs in India:

These are some outstanding ways to encouragewomen entrepreneurs:

  • Considerwomen as specific target group for all developmental programmers.
  • Bettereducational facilities and schemes government part
  • Effectivetraining programme on management skills for women community
  • Encouragewomen's participation in decision-making.
  • Vocationaltraining for production process and production management
  • Skilldevelopment polytechnics and industrial training institutes
  • Training onprofessional competence and leadership skill

 Many women entrepreneurs have entered in trade with  low capital, lack of technical  knowledge,and  working in production of soaps,detergents, ready-made  instant foodproducts  as well as  pickles, spices, papad,  manufacturing of  wooden  product, salon  business, typewriting  centre, job  contracts  for  packaging  of products and  distribution  and household  provision  etc successfully. 

Policies andSchemes for Business Women

Presently, government is running 27 schemesfor women to empower them in business world. Some of them are given below:

  • Integrated RuralDevelopment Programme (IRDP)
  • Khadi And VillageIndustries Commission (KVIC)
  • Training of RuralYouth for Self-Employment (TRYSEM)
  • Prime Minister„sRojgar Yojana (PMRY)
  • Assistance to RuralWomen in Non-Farm Development (ARWIND)
  • schemes
  • Trade RelatedEntrepreneurship Assistance and Development (TREAD)
  • Working Women„sForum
  • Indira MahilaKendra
  • Mahila SamitiYojana
  • Mahila Vikas Nidhi
  • Micro CreditScheme
  • Womens DevelopmentCorporations (WDCs)
  • Marketing ofNon-Farm Products of Rural Women (MAHIMA)
  • EntrepreneurialDevelopment programme (EDPs)
  • ManagementDevelopment progammes
  • Indira MahilaYojana
  • Rashtriya MahilaKosh
  • SIDBI„s MahilaUdyam Nidhi


Women have become equal participants invarious respects at all levels of society. There are women that have shown intothe industrial sector and earned both name and fame in and outside thecountry.  The future will see more femalepowers venturing into a different field. It will lead to income generation anda greater sense of fulfilled among them.

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