In this book we, Jeemol, Vanita, Ravikiran and Swati, examine entrepreneurship using a gender and class lens from multidisciplinary perspectives. We trace the evolution of the field and uncover the factors impacting women’s participation in entrepreneurship to understand what motivates women in India to operate enterprises ranging from small and medium to large enterprises? What is the nature of occupations and entrepreneurship within segments of the middle classes? What kind of opportunities do women pursue? Are young girls interested in becoming entrepreneurs? How can policy be informed? We use a novel macro and micro research approach and propose an enabling ecosystem framework of promoting women entrepreneurship in India. This book will be useful for policymakers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and curious minds.
I had written a piece earlier on a talk that I had given in a seminar on this blog titled ‘What makes women entrepreneurs? See here. What was the motivation for writing a book on this theme? My research interest is on the fortune of small enterprises, including the micro enterprises in the informal sector. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) measured the level of entrepreneurship across countries. In 2013 entrepreneurship level in India was ranked one of the lowest in the world. Compared to its peers, with similar level of development, India ranked below average on job growth expectations, innovation and internationalization. In fact, India ranked far below Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of innovative orientation. This was a motivation for the book and also my consistent belief that improving size, scale, technology and productivity in small and micro enterprises will boost not just growth, but also the living standards in India.
I was lucky to find these wonderful coauthors, Vanita, Ravikiran and Swati, also very mcuh interested in the theme of women entrepreneurs. In the long time that it took to complete the orginal project we also tragically lost one of our beloved coautors, Preet Rustagi, a bright young economist. This book is ‘Dedicated to the Loving Memory of Preet Rustagi’.
We would like to thank our publishers, Orient Blackswan, particularly Roopa Sharma, Associate Publisher, and Moyna Mazumdar, our copy editor, and their team at Orient Blackswan Pvt Ltd, for all the effort at working on this publication during the trying times of the pandemic. We hope you will buy, read and use the book in your teaching, research and public discussions.