"Today India, and the world, finds itself in the unenvious position of enduring two major economic recessions in a span of 10-12 years, unprecedented in modern history. In the aftermath of COVID-19, which has hit the small enterprise sector the hardest, where a majority of women-led ventures are recorded, it has become imperative to actively find avenues to encourage sustainable growth. This report delves deep into the various factors and circumstances inhibiting the growth of women-led enterprises, and further explores how women entrepreneurship can be encouraged while also being a force of change. Through various articles mentioned in this collection, which are based on original research studies conducted in this area during the pandemic, we seek to provide a snapshot of the existing obstacles, but also the way forward in promoting women entrepreneurship, which can be a major contributor in the socio-economic recovery of India."
"In collaboration with Google, this report presents four opportunities for unlocking the potential of female entrepreneurship in India: 1) Level the playing field for the high-impact, employment-creating entrepreneurs; 2) Enable ambitious “solopreneurs” and small business owners to scale and become high-impact entrepreneurs; 3) Encourage more women to start enterprises; 4) Build, strengthen and scale productive rural “agripreneurs.”
"We initiated this study to identify demand-led macro unlocks that can drive growth for urban women (primarily the homepreneur segment), taking the lens of mass entrepreneurship. The intent was to present opportunities to ecosystem stakeholders, such that innovation, interventions, policies and business models can emerge that can lead to a conducive environment creating a path to bringing more women into the labour force in India."
"Syngenta Foundation India (SFI), established in 2005, is an independent not-for-profit organisation. SFI’s mission is to have small and marginal farmers participate in agriculture development by improving their access to better seeds and other inputs, technology, information, credit and market access. In this context, SFI launched its Agri-Entrepreneur (AE) Program in 2014. Under the program a rural youth is trained as an entrepreneur who provides last mile services to a group of 150-200 farmers. Currently there are 1763 AEs under the program who are supporting over 2, 00,000 farmers across India.
Of the total AEs, 265 are women AEs who are currently active across 5 project locations, i.e; Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. The objective of the study was to understand the performance of women AEs and create an enabling environment to improve income and increase participation. The study methodology is based on the integration of quantitative and qualitative research methods."
"Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) is implementing the project ‘Economic Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs and Start-ups by Women’ on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and in partnership with the Indian Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MoSDE), to promote aspiring and existing women entrepreneurs in India. Under the name of ‘Her&Now’, the project also implements a media campaign to tell the stories of successful women entrepreneurs and to foster a positive mindset change in society. In this framework, GIZ has conducted this study to: establish the current profile of and barriers facing women entrepreneurs; analyse promising sectors and regions across India for women-owned/led businesses; ascertain potential sectors that would generate income and employment for for women entrepreneurs; and provide recommendations for policymakers and implementing partner interventions on women entrepreneurship."
"This issue brief is a part of a series formulated by the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) India chapter. It aims to contextualise the findings and strategy regarding our key urgent issues and the small and growing business (SGB) sector outlined in ANDE’s globally focussed issue brief, Climate and Environmental Action in the SGB Sector, at a regional level. This brief is a starting point for conversations on environmental action and is meant to help shape ANDE India’s strategy for the region. This is not meant to serve as an exhaustive collection of the research/literature on the topic, and proxy data points have been used to best represent the state of the SGB sector."
"As an output of the ANDE SGB Finance Learning Lab, ANDE India and Asha Impact have collaborated, with the support of SAP and platform partner UNDP SDG Finance Facility, to put together this playbook on Social Success Notes. SSNs are innovative financing mechanisms that aim to leverage commercial capital for social good. Aiming to be a functional tool for the entrepreneurial ecosystem, this playbook addresses the why, what and how of SSNs, along with a few case studies, challenges and opportunities revolving around these nascent financing tools. Especially in times of crisis, instruments such as SSNs have the potential to improve the efficacy of philanthropy and government spending. The playbook has been developed for impact investors, social entrepreneurs, outcome funders and other players in the impact ecosystem."
"In India, women-owned micro, small, and medium enterprises struggle to obtain the financing they need. In early 2015, Swadhaar FinServe and RBL Bank launched an innovative business correspondent partnership to reduce the financing gap for MSMEs in India through a customized approach for MSME clients, with a particular focus on women-owned businesses. This Accion Insights paper examines lessons learned from the pilot program and can serve as a point of reference for financial institutions looking to reach the MSME market and female entrepreneurs, particularly through partnership."
"While the rise of the internet and online hiring practices can increase access to job opportunities for historically disadvantaged groups, an upsurge in the number of applications can lead managers to intentionally or unintentionally rely more heavily on demographic-based stereotypes. This type of discrimination is a challenge globally, and to counter these tendencies new and innovative tools are needed to reduce bias. We look specifically at the challenge of reducing gender bias in Indian hiring. Using data on hiring for full-time professional jobs in India from Shortlist, a hiring firm that is a leader in using bias-mitigating tools, we consider the validity of the global literature on gender discrimination in the Indian context.rm that is a leader in using bias-mitigating tools, we consider the validity of the global literature on gender discrimination in the Indian context."
"Global evidence of a strong business case for investing in women and leveraging their potential as entrepreneurs is emerging. The 'Women Investing in Women' movement can play a significant role in addressing the systemic access to finance challenges that women entrepreneurs contend with. The report takes stock of the access to finance challenges experienced by women entrepreneurs in India and the resulting financing gap. It explores the potential of the 'Women Investing in Women' movement to address those challenges and enhance access to finance for women-led start-ups and small businesses. The core objective of the report is to identify a strategic roadmap for strengthening this movement in India to further the adoption of gender lens investing. This report will be a valuable resource for a range of ecosystem stakeholders including regulatory agencies and government policymakers, development agencies, foundations, private sector companies who aim to strengthen the women entrepreneurship ecosystem in India. It is expected to inform policy formulation and intervention design targeted at strengthening gender lens investing in India."