EM­POW­ER­ING WOMEN EN­TREPRENEURS

Assocham Bulletin - - ECONOMY -

AS­SOCHAM or­gan­ised a Na­tional Con­fer­ence on 'Standup In­dia - Stand-up Women :Dri ving In­dia's Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment' on Septem­ber 18,2017.

While speak­ing on the oc­ca­sion, Mr. Ke­shav Prasad Mau­rya, Deputy Chief Min­is­ter, Ut­tar Pradesh said that there is a need for multi-di­men­sional ap­proach from dif­fer­ent sec­tors in­clud­ing gov­ern­ment, fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions, in­di­vid­ual women en­trepreneurs for a flex­i­ble in­te­grated and co­or­di­nated spe­cific ap­proach for de­vel­op­ment and pro­mo­tion of women. In­vest­ing in women and women en­trepreneurs would lead to bet­ter growth in the coun­try. Data from across the world shows that women owned and op­er­ated SMEs­drive eco­nomic­growth and help in job cre­ation.

The ob­jec­tive be­hind this 'Stand-up Women cam­paign' is to pro­mote en­trepreneur­ship among women, and also sched­uled castes and tribes. This can be done by pro­vid­ing them di­rect ac­cess to re­sources and mar­kets, help them se­cure easy loans and credit, de­vel­op­ing in­no­va­tive poli­cies and tap the unutilised po­ten­tial to its core.

This scheme is a part of Start-up In­dia, Stand up In­dia scheme which aims to en­cour­age en­trepreneur­ship. Among other things, it is ded­i­cated to women and the mem­bers of sched­uled castes (SC) and sched­uled tribes (ST). This scheme will trans­form the lives of dalit and tribal com­mu­ni­ties.

Un­der the scheme, SCjST and women en­trepreneurs will be pro­vided loans be­tween Rs.I0 lakh and Rs.l crore for set­ting up new en­ter­prises.

This will help in cre­at­ing 2.5 lakh en­trepreneurs through­out the coun­try as ev­ery­bank branch will be re­quired to pro­vide two such loans - to a Dalit or SCj ST per­son and a woman. The sys­tem will per­son­ally guide each en­tre­pre­neur through the pre-loan and op­er­a­tional phases. The scheme will also fa­mil­iarise the en­trepreneurs with fac­tor­ing ser­vices, e-mar­ket places and regis­tra­tion with on­line plat­forms and other as­pects of web en­trepreneur­ship.

The scheme aims to em­power ev­ery In­dian and en­able them to stand on their feet. It seeks to con­vert 'job-seek­ers into jobcre­ators', said Mr. Mau­rya.

De­mand for credit by star­tups is not as high as cor­po­rate en­ti­ties, while they are more labour in­ten­sive. Nur­tur­ing th­ese start-ups helps in their growth into larger in­dus­trial houses, he added.

It has al­ways been a tall task for women to start their own busi­nesses. Women en­trepreneurs are do­ing good in the en­tre­pre­neur­ial ecosys­tem and if they are given proper sup­port, they can do won­ders for them­selves and the econ­omy.

On the side­lines of the event, the re­port of the sixth Eco­nomic Cen­sus was dis­cussed. As per the sixth Eco­nomic Cen­sus, un­der the Stand-up In­dia scheme launched in 2016-17to sup­port en­trepreneur­ship among the Dal­its, tribal and women; over 16000 new en­ter­prises have come up in ar­eas such as food pro­cess­ing, gar­ments, di­ag­nos­tic cen­tres etc. In a com­mend­able de­vel­op­ment, there are a to­tal of 8050819 es­tab­lish­ments un­der fe­male en­trepreneurs in In­dia. Tamil Nadu has the high­est per­cent­age of fe­male en­trepreneurs at 13.5%out of the to­tal es­tab­lish­ments, whereas North Eastern states are at the bot­tom, as per the re­port re­leased dur­ing the event.

As per the re­port, Ut­tar Pradesh In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy & Start up pol­icy is for­mu­lated to fa­cil­i­tate all stages of IT/ITeS in­dus­try en­com­pass­ingS­tar­tupsI En­trepreneurs, MSME (Mi­cro, Small, and Medium En­ter­prises)

and large IT/ITeS In­dus­try by pro­vid­ing best of the in­cen­tives with con­ducive pol­icy frame­work.

The state has 482379 women led en­ter­prises com­pris­ing 5.99% of to­tal women en­trepreneurs in In­dia. Gov­ern­ment in Ut­tar Pradesh is tak­ing sev­eral ini­tia­tives to pro­mote women led en­ter­prises thereby, boost­ing em­ploy­ment in the state.

Women con­trib­ute sig­nif­i­cantly to the na­tional in­come of the econ­omy and help in main­tain­ing the sus­tain­abil­ity of the world com­mu­nity. They face many bar­ri­ers ma­jorly be­ing so­cio­cul­tural at­ti­tude, le­gal bar­ri­ers, fi­nan­cial bar­ri­ers and fam­ily sup­port. They lack ac­ces­si­bil­ity to easy fi­nance. Mi­cro­fi­nance is an emerg­ing tool for em­pow­er­ing women.

The fi­nan­cial needs and sup­port ser­vices re­quired by women en­trepreneurs will have to be re­searched and doc­u­mented. Due to lim­ited know ledge and ex­pe­ri­ence in this area, fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions may have to be­gin the prod­uct de­vel­op­ment process with mar­ket re­search fol­lowed by pi­lots in se­lect ge­ogra­phies.

Next, with an un­der­stand­ing of the needs of women en­trepreneurs, fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions can fo­cus on build­ing a "brand" as a fi­nan­cial part­ner for women-owned busi­nesses, cater­ing to the full spec­trum of their fi­nan­cial needs. A suite of fi­nan­cial prod­ucts and ser­vices specif­i­cally tai­lored to the fi­nan­cial needs of th­ese en­trepreneurs can be of­fered, along with as­so­ci­ated sourc­ing and mar­ket­ing strate­gies.

In ad­di­tion to de­vel­op­ing tai­lored prod­ucts and ser­vices and a "women-friendly brand", fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions can align poli­cies, pro­ce­dures, and sys­tems to be­come more ac­ces­si­ble to women en­trepreneurs. Fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions can build "brands" as banks that serve women en­trepreneurs through tar­geted sourc­ing/ mar­ket­ing strate­gies, gen­er­ate aware­ness about prod­ucts and ser­vices, and pro­vide tai­lored tools to women such as doorstep ser­vices, on­line, and phone sup­port.

Since a key de­mand-side con­straint is the lack of aware­ness of prod­ucts and ser­vices, fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions should pro ac­tively build aware­ness about tai­lored prod­ucts and ser­vices avail­able. Banks could or­gan­ise work­shops, sem­i­nars, town coun­cil meets, and group dis­cus­sions. Such events of­fer op­por­tu­ni­ties to women en­trepreneurs to have one-on-one in­ter­ac­tions with bankers and get to know about fi­nan­cial prod­ucts and schemes for women. They also of­fer op­por­tu­ni­ties for women en­trepreneurs to build net­works.

Train­ing pro­grams on hu­man re­sources, fi­nan­cial man­age­ment, busi­ness man­age­ment, mar­ket­ing, and fi­nanc­ing the ven­ture. Th­ese skills can be ex­tremely ben­e­fi­cial in sup­port­ing women en­trepreneurs sus­tain and grow their en­ter­prises, mak­ing them long- term and bet­ter cus­tomers.

MSME tool­kit to help women busi­nesses at dif­fer­ent stages of the busi­ness cy­cle -in­cep­tion, start-up and growth - in ar­eas such as busi­ness plan­ning, fi­nan­cial pro­jec­tions, in­put man­age­ment, mar­ket­ing, mar­ket link­age, and brand­ing. Women-owned busi­nesses that are un­able to en­gage ex­pen­sive ad­vi­sory ser­vices can ben­e­fit from this type of in­terv ntion.

A sim­pli­fied col­lat­eral regime will greatly en­cour­age women en­trepreneurs and en­able ac­cess. Gov­ern­ments may fo­cus on de­vel­op­ing an ef­fec­tive se­cured trans­ac­tions regime for women en­ter­prises char­ac­ter­ized by a wide range of al­low­able col­lat­er­als (im­mov­able and mov­able), the es­tab­lish­ment of clear pri­or­ity rank­ings of claims over col­lat­eral, ef­fi­cient col­lat­eral reg­istries, and ef­fec­tive en­force­ment of col­lat­eral in case of de­fault. Gov­ern­ments may fo­cus on de­vel­op­ing a credit guar­an­tee scheme to en­able women en­trepreneurs bor­row from for­mal fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions in the ab­sence of col­lat­eral.

It has been found that in­vest­ing in women of­fers the most ef­fec­tive means to im­prove health, nu­tri­tion, hy­giene, and ed­u­ca­tional stan­dards for fam­i­lies and con­se­quently for the whole of so­ci­ety. In gen­eral, women need ac­cess to small loans (es­pe­cially for work­ing cap­i­tal), in­no­va­tive forms of col­lat­eral, fre­quent re­pay­ment sched­ules more ap­pro­pri­ate to the cash flows of their en­ter­prises, sim­pler ap­pli­ca­tion pro­ce­dures and im­proved ac­cess to sav­ing ac­counts. Thus, a spe­cial sup­port for women in both fi­nan­cial and non-fi­nan­cial ser­vices is nec­es­sary.

Mr. Ke­shav Prasad Mau­rya, Oy Chief Min­is­ter, Ut­tar Pradesh re­leas­ing the Con­fer­ence Back­ground Pa­per along with other dig­ni­taries.

Chief Guest (L-R) Mr. D. S. Rawat, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, AS­SOCHAM, Mr. Sau­rabh Gupta, A R Ther­mosets Pvt Ltd., Dr. Udi­traj- Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment (Loksabha), Mr. Ke­shav Prasad Mau­rya, Hon'ble Deputy CM, Up, Ms Preeti Mal­ho­tra, Part­ner & Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Smart Group along with awardees. Mr. D. S. Rawat, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, AS­SOCHAM wel­com­ing Mr. Ke­shav Prasad Mau­rya, Dy. Chief Min­is­ter, Ut­tar Prad~sh.

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