Last five decades have seen phenomenal changes in the status and work place diversity of women in India. Women entrepreneurs doming 50s fall into two categories. One set took to creating and managing an entrepreneurial activity where there was no income generating male.
The second set took enormous courage to break through the social maps and coding to take. Charges of the business the husband had left or else her family would be the losers. In sixties women took small steps to start small one woman enterprises at home and from home for self occupation and engagement.
The women in seventies opened up new frontiers and developed not only aspirations but ambitions for self employment and employment generation. These women wanted home, marriage, children as well as occupation. They accepted the share of the work and responsibilities for success and growth of their enterprise.
They wanted their voices to be heard as leaders to employees and as managers of the enterprises to the outside business environment. However, all of them accepted both their social and occupation roles balancing between the two.
In eighties, the number of women pursuing highly sophisticated technological and professional education increased. They entered into family business as equally contributing partners.
They made personal choices, stood up for their convictions and had the courage to make new beginnings. For them the society was hostile and sometimes they developed a sense of guilt for not playing appropriate traditional and social roles.
The women of the nineties were capable, competent, confident and as service. They were clear of their goals, processes and the dynamics of goal accomplishment.
These women were fearless, and have learnt to live alone, travel alone and rear children alone when failure in marriage and life partnerships occurs. In most of the cases they move out shone and out performed their male counterparts.
21st century is the century of telecom, IT and financial institutions. Women’s expertise in all these industries has made them emerge as a force to reckon with.
Many of these industries are headed and guided by women as pioneers and mavericks. They have ventured to build enterprises, to discover their relevance and meaning of life in themselves. But still in relation to the women population. The trend has not been spectacular.
As per 1991 census, only 185900 women accounting for only 4.5% of the total self employed persons in the country were recorded. Majority of them are engaged in the unorganized sector like agriculture, agro based industries, handicrafts, handlooms, and cottage based industries.
There were more than 295680 women entrepreneurs claiming 11.2% of the total 2.64 million entrepreneurs in India during 1995-96. This is almost double the % of women (5.2%) among the total population of self employed during 1981.
The present rate of 30% success of EDP training was likely to go up to 45% with growing experience and improved techniques of training and follow up. The women were to be given training in self employment/entrepreneurship of shorter duration as well as some training in trade and skill areas.
In order to mobilize such of women entrepreneurs, a number of activities such as motivational drive; preparation of information material; conducting training; creation of women industrial estates/areas/sheds; creation of common marketing exposition centers, training of trainers/ promoters; use of mass media, etc are required. Combined effect of all these is bound to accelerate the process of women entrepreneurship development.