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  • She Says

A 5-Step Guide To Women Entrepreneurship That You Shouldn’t Miss!

  • IWB Post
  •  July 16, 2015

Entrepreneurship is still deemed to be a big word for women in India. Sadly, even today, in various parts of the country, and inside the minds of a huge number of people, a woman’s identity is superimposed with the cliché image of ‘made to look after the household’.

But we think differently. We think entrepreneurship is the best way of empowering women and well, investing in them is rewarding too! This is because women entrepreneurship in India presents an untapped investment opportunity. Dear capitalists and investors, are you listening?

Among such angel investors is one, Mr. Sashi Chimala, who is a mentor, serial entrepreneur, spearhead of the National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN), and also the co-founder of firms such as Covansys, Indigo Technologies, PayPod and Qwiky’s Coffee among several others.

Acknowledging the pesky circumstances that surround an Indian woman entrepreneur, Mr. Chimala has come up with a significant 5-step guide!

Read on, the extracts from his article, and take notes!

Step 1: Erase the macho myth

We need to erase the stereotype that men make better entrepreneurs or that they are naturally better suited to be successful as entrepreneurs than women. Start-up success is gender agnostic. Competency has no gender bias. It is time to break the traditional mindset of “she’s a girl fit only to run the household.”

Step 2: Stop expecting women entrepreneurs to act like men

Unfortunately, women’s ability to create and grow businesses is evaluated on how similar they are to the male standard. However, women bring a lot of unique strengths to entrepreneurship. The so-called “feminine” characteristics like risk aversion and patience are actually necessary ingredients for start-up success. Hence, the second step is to start recognizing the natural strengths that women bring to entrepreneurship and encourage them to use their skills in business.

Step 3: Create women-focused funding

Research shows that gender bias extends to business lending. It is observed that women entrepreneurs face tighter credit availability and higher interest rates compared to men. The few schemes to assist women that exist are difficult to understand, and the red tape is too daunting.

Step 4: Build women-centric Mentor networks

I believe mentoring can have a remarkable impact on an entrepreneur. Unfortunately there is a severe lack of mentoring support for women in India. So the fourth step is to develop a national platform of local and regional mentoring networks that women can tap into to find capable mentors to guide them.

Step 5: Develop women’s own old boys’ networks

Women need networks they can call their own. So, my fifth and final step is to build thriving networks of women entrepreneurs helping each other. Networking helps women share best practices, explore and build business opportunities together, and share resources like capital and technology. This in turn can help them in growing their businesses.

The 5-step recipe for entrepreneurship seems like a rock bottom plan! Though, I suppose in reality there must be 500 more steps like these! But, it sure is a nice and doable action strategy for all you budding women entrepreneurs out there! So wait no longer, and well, get set, go!

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