Every Year March 8 is celebrated as International Women’s Day to honour and highlight the achievements of women in the domain of economy, politics and social spheres. Adopted by the United Nations in the year 1977 and aided by the second and third waves of Feminism, this day is a reminder of the grit and determination of women all across the world.
For the very first time in India, we have more women than men. The fifth National Family and Health Survey (NFHS) found that there are 1,020 women for every 1,000 men. As India is caught in the midst of an entrepreneurial wave, the advancements of women entrepreneurship too should be highlighted.
In India, women entrepreneurship thrived in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector. 8 million MSMEs are led by women and the most inspirational journey of all is the story of Lijjat Papad created by 7 women with just Rs 80 in capital.
Of the 44 startups that turned unicorn last year, 4 of them are women-led. Ambiga Subramanian was the 1st woman to take her venture into the unicorn club. Other great examples of leadership are Falguni Nayar of Nykaa and Upasana Taku of Mobikwik who made their respective companies public. Ghazal Alagh along with her husband was able to turn her startup Mamaearth into a household name. Dr Garima Sawhney’s Pristyn Care, India’s surgical care system, too gained the billion-dollar valuation.
Other women-led startups that too are shining examples of #girl-power are Shweta Gandhi and Joyneel Acharya’s NirogGyan. Started in 2019, this venture makes smart reports to help solve India’s weak health literacy rate. Upasana Todi Prakash and Shripriya Khaitan Dhelia’ FabPads empowers women from disadvantaged backgrounds to stitch and sell cloth pads. For every 25 sustainable pads they sell, they donate 1 FabPad to girls from economically weak backgrounds.
As more and more women take on leadership positions, it will bring a new dawn of economic and cultural prosperity to India. Currently, all working women add just 17% to India’s GDP. If we get half of all Indian women to participate and create work, then the current pace of economic growth, 1.5% will shoot up to 9%. A report on entrepreneurship claims that women-run businesses can create employment for 150 to 170 million Indians.