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  • Chapter VII: Constraints and Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs _______________________________________________________________

    __________________________________________________ 223

    Women Entrepreneurship in Tertiary Sector in Indore District




    A large number of women are entering into entrepreneurship in some form or

    the other. The drive to pursue entrepreneurship is due to the immense passion and

    certain compulsions. Entrepreneurs play an important role in the economic

    development of a nation. Womens skills, knowledge, talents, abilities and desire of to

    do something for themselves and their children or family are some of the reasons for

    the women to become entrepreneurs. According to World Bank, investing more in

    women enterprises rather in men reduces the inequalities and poverty and thereafter

    ensures the economic development of a nation. The government has also offered a

    variety of programmes for women entrepreneurs in the recent past.

    But, the challenges and opportunities for women entrepreneurs are growing

    rapidly. In India, although women constitute the majority of the total population, but

    the entrepreneurial world still seems a male dominated one, which exposes women

    entrepreneurs to often face some major constraints in running their enterprise

    successfully. Many women entrepreneurs are either housewives or illiterates or a fresh

    graduate with no previous experience of running a business enterprise. As compared

    with Western nations, Indian women have more inhibitions towards enterprising

    (Ghosh and Roy, 1997). These features have made their job more difficult. With

    changing time in globalized and competitive era, women entrepreneurs are now

    confronted with many barriers which have often prevented them to develop their

    enterprises. The problems and constraints experienced by women enterprise have thus

    resulted in restricting and inhibited the expansion of women entrepreneurship.

  • Chapter VII: Constraints and Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs _______________________________________________________________

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    Women Entrepreneurship in Tertiary Sector in Indore District

    Attempt has been made in the following pages to scrutinize the relevant

    literature focusing on the constraints and challenges faced by women entrepreneurs.

    Are the constraints and challenges faced by women entrepreneurs confined to their

    business competencies? Or it is Socio-economic barriers or market oriented risks or

    motivational barriers or gender sensitive obstacles or lack of financial

    assistance/resources or lack of training or knowledge or any other barrier which stands

    as a big challenge for them in their entrepreneurial development?

    There is little doubt that female entrepreneurship is affected by a complex blend

    of micro-level and macro-level variables (Bruin et al., 2007).Lee-Gosselin and Grise

    (1990) found that the most common start-up problems seem to be lack of capital.

    Barwa (2003) found that women face additional handicaps due to the prevailing social

    and cultural gender-based inequalities and biases. For instance, the barriers that

    women entrepreneurs face are magnified in view of their limited access to formal

    education, ownership of property, and social mobility. Other aspects include business

    experiences, limited knowledge of marketing strategies, weak business associations,

    lack of networking facilities, and poor access to education and training programmes.

    In a study by Karim (2001) on women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh, financial

    problems was the most common to be faced by their women entrepreneurs, particularly

    so in rural areas. Competition, procurement of quality raw materials, and balancing

    time between the enterprise and the family were ranked as major start-up problems.

    Hookimsing and Essoo (2003) identified four main obstacles faced by women

    entrepreneurs - the hassle of getting permits, the lack of market, the ability to raise

    capital and not being taken as seriously as men. A study by Soyeon Shim and Eastlick

    (1998) identified 10 business problem areas: sales and profit forecasting; obtaining

    lines of credit; capital management; working capital management; pricing strategies;

    customer database management; short-term business planning; labour cost analysis;

    managing debt; and gender problems. Many researchers feel that tension between

    personal lives and career pursuits is the most significant problem that women

    entrepreneurs face (Belcourt, et al, 1991, Lee-Gosseling & Grise, 1990, Neider,

    1987). Neider (1987) found in a study on female entrepreneurs that tension between

  • Chapter VII: Constraints and Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs _______________________________________________________________

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    Women Entrepreneurship in Tertiary Sector in Indore District

    personal life and career was a major problem for these women. Malika Das (2001)

    indicates that there may be both similarities and differences between the experiences

    of women from the developing world and the developed world.

    Winn (2004) inspects certain decision making factors and socio-personal

    constraints for development of women entrepreneurship. He emphasises on

    business/family interface for overcoming the barriers that women entrepreneurs face

    as they pursue their careers. Jamali (2009) examines various constraints and

    opportunities affecting women entrepreneurship and clearly illustrates the relevance

    of micro- and macro-level factors in entrepreneurship to manage the complexity of the

    women entrepreneurship in any particular context. Sarbapriya and Ishita (2011)

    while discussing the status and problems faced by women entrepreneurs, emphasized

    on significant differences between women entrepreneurs and the men entrepreneurs

    on ground of perseverance, potentiality and ability to work hard, as well as the abilities

    specific to emotional intelligence. Goyal and Parkash (2011) opine that despite the

    promise of giving equal opportunity to the Indian women, the government sponsored

    development activities have benefited only a limited section of women. The

    beneficiaries have been mainly the urban middle class women. Lathwal (2011)

    identifies the major problems of women entrepreneurs in Delhi. He concludes that a

    majority of women belonged to business families and business environment helped

    them to get prepared mentally. Kumbhar and Kumbhar (2011) also discuss several

    problems faced by women entrepreneurs like start up finance, access to technology,

    management and marketing skills and lack of confidence. The emphasis is been on

    development of women enterprises through Self Help Groups. Behara and Niranjan

    (2012) highlight the motivating and de-motivating factors of women entrepreneurship

    in Indian context and also suggest the way of eradicating these hurdles. Kumari, S

    (2012) while analysing different problems and challenges faced by women

    entrepreneurship in India state that its high time for women to come out of the

    drudgery of housework and express their creativity and entrepreneurship.

  • Chapter VII: Constraints and Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs _______________________________________________________________

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    Women Entrepreneurship in Tertiary Sector in Indore District

    Government has been making every effort, yet the breakthrough can be

    achieved by giving equal opportunities to them at par with men. Kumbhar, V (2013)

    discusses the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in rural India. Lack of balance

    between family and career obligations, lack of freedom to take financial decisions,

    absence of direct ownership of the property, lack of awareness of various operational

    aspects and capacities, low ability to bear risk, dealing with male workers, being non-

    familiar with financial institutions, lack of self-confidence, lack of professional

    education, mobility constraints and lack of interactions with externalities are major

    problems of women entrepreneurship development in India. Mehta and Mehta (2011)

    emphasizes on creation of a favourable atmosphere to increase self-employment for

    women. He further states there are bright prospects for rural women entrepreneurship

    in India. Choudhary and Rayalwar (2011) have raised the issue of giving equal

    opportunities to women entrepreneurs as men. He further states that Indian rural

    market embeds unique opportunities for women entrepreneurs.

    In context of the above literature, an attempt has been made to analyse various

    constraints faced by the women entrepreneurs in Indore District in detail under two


    A. Constraints in Starting an Enterprise.

    B. Constraints in Running an Enterprise

  • Chapter VII: Constraints and Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs _______________________________________________________________

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    Women Entrepreneurship in Tertiary Sector in Indore District


    The study elicited a number of problems which were faced by the women

    entrepreneurs in the urban and semi-urban background. Although they hailed from

    different backgrounds and family set-ups, but still the problems which they faced were

    not very different from each other. One of the primary aims of the present study was

    to understand how women entrepreneurs were able to start their enterprise. It

    highlights various barriers and obstacles which these women entrepreneurs faced

    while initiating their enterprises. This is illustrated in the Table: 7.1

    Raising the Funds:

    One of the important challenges which women entrepreneurs faced in the study

    region was of raising the funds for the initiation of their venture. This problem was

    more prominent among (87.06%) rural/semi-urban women entrepreneurs as they

    lacked information relating to the banks and financial organizations who could help

    them in the above said. They have to arrange for funds to start the business by

    borrowing or taking loan. The savings which they have is often insufficient to start the

    venture. This way they start raising their dependency on private moneylenders in

    villages. On the contrary the females from Indore city were not very high in number

    (28.24%). In their case, education played an important role in making the females

    aware of the facilities provided by the banks and the government for their benefit. The

    Banks and the financial institutions are active in the semi-urban area also but here the

    women entrepreneurs are either ignorant or hesitant to approach them.

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    Women Entrepreneurship in Tertiary Sector in Indore District

    *Multiple Responses

    Figures in parenthesis indicates percentages

    TABLE: 7.1


    S.N. Constraints Urban Rural/ Semi-



    No. % No. % No. %

    1. Raising Capital 48 28.24








    2. Lack of awareness and

    adequate knowledge

    31 18.24


    25 29.41


    56 21.96


    3. Lack of

    Entrepreneurial skills

    78 45.88





    135 52.94


    4. Lack of Computer


    43 25.29


    02 02.35


    45 17.65


    5. Lack of proper advice

    and guidance

    39 22.94


    37 43.53


    76 29.80


    6. Lack of family support 63 37.06 (3)

    32 37.65


    95 37.26


    7. Finding right Contacts

    for support

    50 29.41


    44 51.76


    94 36.86


    8. Combining work with


    67 39.41





    114 44.71


    9. Insecurity and lack of

    self Confidence

    57 33.53





    106 41.57


    10. Gender Biasness and


    49 28.82


    39 45.88


    88 34.51


    11. Lack of adequate


    56 32.94


    38 44.71


    94 36.86


    12. Others 32 18.82 (11)

    21 24.71


    53 20.78


    13. No Obstacles 17 10.00 (13)

    03 03.53


    20 07.84


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    Women Entrepreneurship in Tertiary Sector in Indore District

    Lack of Entrepreneurial skills:

    With respect to possession of soft skills and managerial skills between rural

    and urban entrepreneurs, data clearly elucidates that there exists a substantial

    difference with respect to the above mentioned skills. The majority of women

    entrepreneurs both in urban as well as semi-urban areas (52.94%) have lacked the

    entrepreneurial skills relating to administration, marketing, accounts, public

    relations etc. The proportion of such women is much higher amongst the rural/semi-

    urban entrepreneurs (67.06%) as against their urban counterpart (45.88%).Women in

    urban areas are marked ahead of their rural counterparts in this context. The possession

    of soft skills as well as managerial skills has very strong linkages with the level of

    education of the respondents. This is one of the prime factors which have given distinct

    edge to the urban women entrepreneurs. The reason for this was the lack of education

    amongst the semi-rural females in comparison to the urban women. The study also

    disclosed that these females were not exposed to activities where they could have

    gained confidence and become aware of the surroundings. More or less they were

    pushed into the entrepreneurial work due to circumstantial needs.

    This is very sad to note that majority of women entrepreneurs in rural areas

    were not even sent to schools by their parents. This has come up as a big hindrance in

    their capabilities of starting their enterprises. This in fact calls for bridging the gap by

    virtue of imparting suitable training programs which inducts learning among them with

    their comfort level.

    Combining work with Family, Insecurity &Lack of Self-confidence:

    One of the vital obstacles faced by the women entrepreneurs was combining

    work with family (44.71%). As an individual the women entrepreneurs have some

    personal constrai...


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