The Center’s ambitious Startup India project Stand-up India has failed to attract women entrepreneurs. According to the Economic Survey 2019-20, only 43 per cent of the 27,084 start-ups recognized in India had a female director as of 8 January.

Even in states that the survey showed top performers in terms of the state-wise distribution of recognized start-ups, Delhi, Maharashtra and Karnataka, the representation of women remained low.

India’s Rank In Women Entrepreneurship

Also, India ranked 52 out of 57 surveyed countries in the 2019 Women Entrepreneurs Index.

Even worse, the number of funded start-ups with at least one female co-founder decreased from 17% in 2018 to 12% in 2019, according to Innovate Capital, company debt and lending platform. “Financially, women have no risk, in addition to a lack of credit support. There is an absence of institutional support for first-timers, so they even give up on the smallest challenge. In general, families should be supported in a discouraging environment,” said Ranjana Kumari, Director of the Center for Social Research.

Economic Survey

According to the industry distribution of recognized start-ups, the economic survey shows that IT services accounted for 13.9 per cent followed by health and life sciences (8.3 per cent) and education (7.0 per cent).

“Women makeup 70 per cent of the world’s health workers and are the primary carers for the elderly and children. Despite their clear predominance in healthcare, women’s investment interest in health start-ups remains limited, “said Savitha Kuttan, CEO, Omnicuris, a start-up healthcare provider. “While Startup India has helped emerging companies interact with industry leaders, draw up and implement business plans, it is important that we focus on promoting women entrepreneurs in the field of healthcare.”

Culture Of Innovation

While start-ups drive economic growth, create jobs and foster a culture of innovation, the government has not been helpful for women to enter businesses.

“The Startup India initiative lacks women because many women who initiate their actions are not at the forefront or professionally supervised. Also, when it comes to the financing, women are examined not only how they are running their businesses but also their families in parallel, which are not the same as filtering men, “said Riya Saxena, an innovative financial partner for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which requires women to break through filters to raised capital and grow their businesses.”

The Observer Research Foundation

The Observer Research Foundation (ORF), a public policy think tank, has recently published a research article suggesting that low women’s entrepreneurship rates are part of a broader gender gap in economic participation and opportunities.

Women Entrepreneurs in India: What is holding them back?

‘Women Entrepreneurs in India: What is holding them back?’ He noted that policies are needed to incorporate more women in senior positions and leadership positions to help them gain experience and understanding that will allow them to start their businesses.

“In particular, women in rural areas are a potential gold mine for enterprise and must be promoted through expertise and hand-held skills,” said Neha Rastogi, founder and CEO of Agatsa, a healthcare company.

Promote Youth Entrepreneurship

To promote youth entrepreneurship, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Startup India initiative Stand-up India on 15 August 2015. The initiative aimed to build an environment conducive to start-up development.

The ORF researchers have advocated better access to finance and networks for women entrepreneurs in India. Organizations like NITI Aayog’s Women Entrepreneurship Platform, the women’s entrepreneurship catalyst and Zone Startups India’s tech accelerator provide women entrepreneurs individual support, it added.


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