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The IUP Journal of Entrepreneurship Development :
The Role of Women Entrepreneurs in India: A Study on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Andhra Pradesh
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Women entrepreneurs have the necessary skills and initiative to take new ideas to market and make suitable decisions to transform the idea into a profitable organization. Recently, their entrepreneurial role is being recognized and steps are being taken to promote women entrepreneurship. Women entrepreneurs play a key role in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) of a developing economy. The present study attempts to identify the problems faced by Indian women entrepreneurs in MSMEs in Andhra Pradesh by analyzing their socioeconomic profile. The findings reveal some major problems faced by Indian women entrepreneurs, the factors influencing women entrepreneurship and the steps taken by the government for the upliftment of women entrepreneurs in India.

 
 
 

Women entrepreneurism is an emerging concept. Since women entrepreneurism is an untapped resource of the nation, it needs to be utilized effectively. The acceleration of economic growth requires an increased supply of women entrepreneurs (Shah, 2012). Women entrepreneurs play the role of change makers both in the family and also in the society and inspire other members of the society to take up such activities. They are assets of the nation as they are engaged in certain productive activities and also create job opportunities for others. The role of women entrepreneur in economic development is also being recognized and steps are being taken to promote women entrepreneurship.

Women entrepreneurs may be defined as woman or a group of women who initiate, organize and run a business enterprise. In other words, an enterprise owned and controlled by a woman having a minimum financial interest of 51% of the capital and giving at least 51% of the employment generated in the enterprise to women. Women entrepreneurs constitute 10% of the total entrepreneurs in the country. There has been a significant growth in self-employment of women with their starting new ventures at the rate of three times more than that of men. Generally, women entrepreneurship is found in the extension of their kitchen activities, mainly in preparing commercially the 3‘P’s, namely, Powder, Papads and Pickles. A few of them venture into services and manufacturing industry relating to tailoring, hospitality, catering, educational services, consultation or public relations, beauty parlors, jute products, gunny bags, etc. However, the benefits of women starting and owning businesses are well documented. The World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2015 Report (by the International Labor Organization) notes that even though gender gaps persist in the labor market and the women still suffer from greater unemployment and lower earnings, there are significant benefits of encouraging and supporting women entrepreneurship.