Even though women in India are progressing at higher rate today, they still face serious financial barriers that don’t exist for men. According to Gender-GEDI Index for 2014, compiled by Washington-based Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute (GEDI) access to external funds and business networking are major challenges to growth of women entrepreneurs in India.


According to Vijayalakshmi, the founder of Design-Dreams, a web design venture, who is also working on developing a few tech products: “When you walk into a networking seminar, you can count the number of women on your fingers. One feels secluded and interactions are difficult. Lack of collateral makes it tougher for women to get bank loans:” she told Times of India.


The report by GEDI states that India ranks in the bottom five of 30 countries surveyed for conditions that foster ‘high potential’ women entrepreneurship, according TOI. A series of reports revealed that more female entrepreneurs than male entrepreneurs in the US, survived the recession. Unfortunately with such little support for women in India, they may not be able to prove their potential.


[Picture Credits: British Council]


According to the report, the number of self-employed women in India has doubled to a crore over a 10-year period. This includes women working in low-skilled jobs from home or as street vendors. However, the number of women entrepreneurs in the country still remains to be extremely low. The same report also said that the highest participation of women entrepreneurs was in the service sector but the percentage has remained stagnant at 6% even with 1.88 lakh employees.