Women entrepreneurs in India can generate 150-170 million jobs by 2030, which is more than 25% of the new jobs required for the entire working-age population, as per a joint report released on Tuesday by Bain and Co. and Google titled Women Entrepreneurship in India—Powering the economy with her.
Megha Chawla, partner, Bain and Co., and the lead author of the report stated, “There are an estimated 16 million women-owned and controlled enterprises, representing approximately 20% of all enterprises today that are creating direct employment for about 27 million people in India. However, if we focus on enabling women entrepreneurs to start up and scale, we will be able to increase direct employment by 50-60 million people, increase indirect and induced employment of another 100-110 million people, taking the total number of jobs to 150-170 million by 2030.”
As per the report, India reports 16 million women-owned enterprises but only 17% employ people. In the 17% women-owned enterprises which employ people, employment is 20% lower than average. It added that India needs to create jobs for up to 400 million women of working age.
Of all these women-owned enterprises, a majority are single-person enterprises, with the largest group being rural non-farm home-based business owners at 38%, followed by urban self-employed women solopreneurs at 31%, who usually work from home. Following them are the other dominant segments that include rural agripreneurs who are farm-based business owners at 18% and small business owners at 14%, split across urban (6%) and rural (8%), employing less than 10 employees and contributing the most to employment generation. Finally, there are the scalers, who employ more than 10 people and account for less than 1%. In total, these women entrepreneurs provide direct employment to an estimated 22-27 million people today.
The report highlights that four dominant challenges women entrepreneurs face in India are personal and cultural factors, access to funding, access to knowledge and professional support.
However, the silver lining, as per the report, is that “an all-states effort that is focused on enabling women entrepreneurs to start up and scale could, by 2030, increase direct employment by around 50 million to 60 million people and increase indirect and induced employment of another 100 million to 110 million people.”
While it is very encouraging that India is actually seeing a lot of emerging entrepreneurs that are venturing in various sectors, yet for these ventures to scale and create more jobs, there is a need to invest in digitization in rural areas. Also, what is needed is support to level the playing field for the high-impact, employment-creating entrepreneurs, expand the funnel to get more women to start enterprises, and build, strengthen and scale productive rural agripreneurs.