Every day, the age-old stereotypes of India’s patriarchal society are being broken by enterprising women artists, business leaders and political personalities. The newfound institutional and social support has enabled aspiring women to come out and challenge men in almost every field. The small and medium enterprise industry is no different and many such businesses, helmed by women entrepreneurs, are leading innovation and giving stiff competition to their industry counterparts.
However, India is still in early days of a social revolution that demands equal status for all genders. A women entrepreneur in India faces many challenges in starting and continuing her journey. In today’s post, we discuss the five key problems faced by business women in India.
Social Acceptance for Working Women
While India has become more open to working women in recent years, in most cases the acceptability still comes with a caveat. A working woman is expected to balance her time between household chores and her professional work in most families. This may not be a key challenge for educated young women in cities starting their own business but definitely pose a challenge for married women living in urban or semi-urban areas who discover their calling later in life.
Marketing and Promoting their Enterprise
Another key challenge faced by women entrepreneurs is marketing and promotion of their startup business or SME. The matter is further complicated by the fact that online marketing and promotion has taken center stage in recent years. Since, IT is a male dominated field, women entrepreneurs often face competitive disadvantage when hiring online promoters and agencies to market their business.
Problems in Resource Procurement
Be it leasing a space for running their business or making a deal for raw material supplies, most women entrepreneurs face heavy disadvantage and distrust when starting on their own. Once again, it’s the prevailing social bias and general misconceptions about work ethics of women that hinder their access to raw materials, labor and machinery. Therefore, in most cases, women entrepreneurs end up paying above the base rates for procuring operational resources and supply chain contracts.
Getting Funding for SMEs
A major challenge faced by women entrepreneurs is securing funding for their small business. Here the issue is two-fold. The traditional banking system is still run by India’s lumbering bureaucratic system which is slow, biased and male dominated. This makes it very hard for women entrepreneurs to secure funding from a bank as the ultimate power for approving a business loan rests with the bank officials. On the other hand, Angel investors and venture capitalists who fund startups and promising SMEs often balk at working with women CEDs and business owners. Even if they do agree to fund a small business run by a woman, they often try to take control of the company by creating proxy power centers in the company.
A Patriarchal Social Order
As a whole this article may seem like a rant about women entrepreneurs not getting their due recognition because of the men. Well, it is the truth of the day. The key challenge faced by women all over the world and especially in patriarchal societies like India is the dominance of men. Women entrepreneurs face a lot of gender-based discrimination and harassment while working their way to success and these are not limited to the points mentioned above. Therefore, the existence of a biased social order is, without doubt, the biggest challenge faced by working women.
Our Vision for Empowering Women Entrepreneurs
At Lendingkart Finance, we believe in equality and adhere to the ethos defined in the constitution of India. Ensuring safe working environment for women and empowering them is a part of our vision and mission. One of the main reasons why women in patriarchal societies lag behind men is due to the lack of financial freedom. Here, at Lendingkart, we try to rectify that with our unbiased financial support system for small businesses which relies on business performance rather than social bias for granting small business loans.
We have an online business loan application process which analyzes your business for performance and financial stability and gives instant loan quotes, regardless of your gender. To simplify matters further, we have kept the documentation requirements to bare minimum. Once again, document submission is also done online and our system allows you to track your loan application in real-time as we verify the information provided by you.
If you are a woman entrepreneur looking for quick business finance to meet your working capital requirements or business expansion, Lendingkart can offer you a small business loan within 3-days of application. Furthermore, our unsecured business loans come with lower interest rates than many of the traditional banks and lending institutions out there. We also offer flexible repayment options such as monthly or bi-weekly EMIs that allow you to repay your loans easily.
Lastly, a relationship with Lendingkart Finance also gives you the opportunity to connect and network with like-minded SMEs and startups to grow your small business.
The business scene is still a tough place for women in India, but despite its hardships, enterprising women continue to find new ways to beat the odds placed against them. For the most part it is their own will power and vision that makes it possible for them to overcome the social and professional challenges; and in a small part it is the help from a younger, more open and pragmatic social and business order.