Expanding Opportunities for
2012, the World Economic Forum identified women entrepreneurship as ‘the
way forward’. Yet, today in 2017, women entrepreneurs struggle to take
their rightful place in the entrepreneurship ecosystem owing to lack of
information, linkage and entrepreneurial skills.
Technology and Action for Rural
Advancement's (TARA) experience of working with women entrepreneurs
suggests that in order to expand the opportunities for women
entrepreneurship; a comprehensive model comprising of information
access, skill building and access to enterprise services is required.
Keeping this in mind, TARA in the year 2016
partnered for a pilot ‘Creating Opportunities for Employment and
Entrepreneurship for Women in India’- an initiative by IKEA Foundation,
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), India Development
Foundation and Xynteo to provide entrepreneurship opportunities to women
in Delhi-NCR region.
As part of the baselines conducted in the
project, it has been found out that though nearly 40 percent of the
women are skilled in one trait or the other, not even 2 percent of them
know what types of enterprises to set up and only 1 out of 20 are
informed about the formal credit services available for them. Moreover,
less than 5 percent of the total women interested have little or no
information about the market end.
The project therefore caters to the need of
the women entrepreneurs in the following three stages:
• Pre training: Includes bridging
information gap by means of mobilisation and awareness events.
• Training: Interested participants from
pre-training phase are provided entrepreneurship (International Labor
Organization Start and Improve Your Business) capsule seven-day package
which aims at increasing the
viability of small and micro enterprises suitable for the environment of
• Post training: The finalised entrepreneurs
are provided enterprise support across four main areas – technology
linkage, financial linkage, market linkage and capacity building.
As a result, information gap has been
bridged for over 2000 women, entrepreneurship training has been imparted
to 250 women and over 30 women have been linked with enterprises, in a
span of eight months.
It has been found that even though most
women resort to low investment enterprises (INR 10,000 to 50,000), the
sectors have varied widely. In contrast to the notion that women only go
for home based beauty parlour and tailoring kind of set ups, women have
setup innovative enterprises.
One such enterprise is the ‘Data Centre’
setup at Hauz Rani by five young entrepreneurs (all in age bracket of
19-23) Kavita, Poonam, Gauri, Pooja and Sarita. Three out of five are
still pursuing their studies alongside doing this business.
During one of the bridging information
sessions carried out by TARA in Hauz Rani, these young women discovered
the various opportunities that could be taken up by them. Soon they
registered for the training and underwent a seven-day long training.
With post training counselling and access to marketing channels, they
started a small data centre unit from home with an investment of INR
40,000 towards second hand laptop and software update.
Their centre has been in operation for three
months now and earns INR 3,000-4,000 per month which helps them
supplement their family income and enables them to continue their
studies. Their clientele includes companies, schools and colleges nearby
which deal with large databases and desire to outsource the data entry
Since Poonam and Pooja also have a Diploma
in Computer Science, they want to further take up analytical work. They
also plan on shifting their enterprise to the market area in Malviya
Nagar to give more visibility to their business.1
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