Give Her an 'Aircraft', Not Just Wings

Sujith Vasudevan, Special EditorIt's a devastating fact that the number of startups by women worldwide still lags that of men. Having prolonged for ages, there is no panacea to this unfair statistic. But women have come this far, despite a world of challenges confronting them; sooner than later, it's going to be a fair game for sure. Our subcontinent is no alien to this statistic. A recent report by Bain & Company in collaboration with Google India says that there are around 16 million women owned enterprises in India, but most of them are one-woman-army, and only 17 percent employ people.

Where do we restart women empowerment?! Should it be from College or School? I would say
it should commence from instilling a sense of gender equality when she takes her baby steps as a `daughter', but then again, if at all Indian parents (barring a few, of course) are concerned about their daughter at that age, it's more likely about her marriage, rather than her success as a leader. In fact, it's never too late to grow a leadership mentality. The predicament is, till date, the society has ventilated only about giving her wings, but when it comes to the business realm, she often needs an aircraft with proper navigation and support. That's something we, as a society, owe to the women population. And there is no better time to start on it.

The government via Niti Aayog has set a great example through Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP), which provides an ecosystem for budding & existing women entrepreneurs across the country. It provides different support services like Incubation, training, marketing, and mentorship, among others. It's time to grasp the opportunities ahead, which, according to the aforementioned Bain & Company-Google, is enormous. It says that women owned enterprises could generate 150-170 million jobs in India by 2030.

There is no better place to ignite the spark to this revolution than Pune, the education hub of India. The city has been generous and exceptional over the past few years in terms of engendering women entrepreneurs. In this issue, we are featuring a few of such Young Turks, who have been not only exemplary entrepreneurs, but also an inspiration to budding women entrepreneurs in our country.

Do let us know your thoughts!