What Makes Women Entrepreneurs?

In anticipation of the publication of our book ‘Women Entrepreneurs in the Indian Middle Class: Interdisciplicary Perspectives’ @OrientBlackSwan, I reblog a talk on innovation and entrepreneurship. According to Schumpeter, only innovation entrepreneurs are real entrepreneurs as they create a disequilibrium force. We argue in our book that there could be other reasons for entrepreneurship, especially among women. The economist’s definition of an entrepreneur as risk-taking, innovators looking for an opportunity, or that of the psychologist as high achievers may not suit most of these entrepreneurs. A key take away from the book was that “entrepreneurship can result from necessity as well as opportunity and women entrepreneurs pursue goals beyond economic gains”. Women’s decision to become an entrepreneur can be precipitated by both push and pull factors. It is not just ‘profit’ and attaining ‘scale’ that motivates a woman entrepreneur.

Unni-Verse

India currently faces a massive challenge of slowdown in growth and high levels of unemployment among youth, especially among the educated urban population. The formal labour market in India is saturated, unable to absorb the ever-increasing number of the labour force. Therefore, the role of small-medium enterprises in creating employment opportunities is vital for economic prosperity and social stability. Entrepreneurship is a crucial mode for utilizing youth power and generating employment that will in turn contribute to the economy’s growth and development, especially for those who aspire to be owners and employers rather than employees. Understanding the motivation and constraints faced by entrepreneurs is critical for designing and formulating appropriate policy initiatives. Encouragement of the ‘enterprise spirit’ or ‘animal spirit’ among young people is a precondition for success in employment, growth, competitiveness and innovation.

Woman Entrepreneur designing Blown Glass Bowls, London

I base this brief talk[1] on our book…

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