Women constitute half of India’s population, and yet this number is not reflected proportionally in the country’s economic growth, be it the labor force participation or their visibility in the entrepreneurship space. India’s business environment has not been conducive for women entrepreneurs owing to several social, economic and financial barriers that they face. Although several schemes have been accelerated by the government to encourage women’s participation in the economy, they have seen limited success. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has pummelled female participation in the workforce. Therefore, the need of the hour is to improve their workforce participation through non-conventional means of entrepreneurship and strategic action on several fronts simultaneously to contribute positively to the business ecosystem for women in India. Perspectives on challenges and opportunities for female entrepreneurship in India Read More


In India, female entrepreneurs face significant, diverse challenges in the world of work born out of system and society wide gender discrimination. This case study looks at the journey of Lijjat, a women’s cooperative involved in manufacturing various fast moving consumer goods established in 1959. In 2018, the cooperative saw an annual turnover of more than Rs. 800 crores, employing 43000 women across 17 Indian states. Lijjat is an exemplary study of an organization founded on principles of self-reliance, collective ownership, cooperation and trusteeship that has enabled and enhanced female entrepreneurship and income and livelihood security for women workers across the country Read More



Livelihoods India is a national level initiative to bring together diverse stakeholders on a single platform to discuss critical issues that impede and afflict the livelihoods of the poor. Organized by ACCESS Development Services, and supporting partners, the Livelihoods India Summit is a two-day conference enabling dialogue on several thematic areas such as inclusive value chains, technology infusion for livelihoods enhancement, women enterprises and more. The platform serves as a forum for stakeholders to share experiences, deliberate critical issues, analyze the policy environment and build consensus on strategies that will deliver sustainable outcomes. On 28 January 2021, Development Alternatives conducted a session in the Livelihoods Summit on “Women’s Entrepreneurship 2030: Unearthing new possibilities, driving system change” aimed at co-creating new approaches to women entrepreneurship and empowerment. More information on the Summit, and session recordings can be accessed here.

Map   Map   Map   Map