Concept An enterprise owned and controlled by women having a minimum financial interest of 51percent of the capital and giving at least 51 percent of the employment generated by the enterprise to women – Government of India A woman entrepreneur can be defined as a confident, innovative and creative woman capable of achieving self economic independence individually or in collaboration, generates employment opportunities for others through initiating, establishing and running the enterprise by keeping pace with her personal, family and social life – Kamal Singh Characteristics/Traits
Women entrepreneurs share the following common characteristics: – • Self-motivated and self-directed • High need for achievement • Internal locus of control • Risk taking propensity • Competence in finance and business management skills • Strong interpersonal (and communication) skills • Consensus building competencies Problems of Women Entrepreneurs 1. The greatest deterrent to women entrepreneurs is that they are women. A kind of patriarchal – male dominant social order is the building block to them in their way towards business success. Male members think it a big risk financing the ventures run by women. . The financial institutions are sceptical about the entrepreneurial abilities of women. The bankers consider women loonies as higher risk than men loonies. The bankers put unrealistic and unreasonable securities to get loan to women entrepreneurs. According to a report by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), “despite evidence that, women’s loan repayment rates are higher than men’s, women still face more difficulties in obtaining credit,” often due to discriminatory attitudes of banks and informal lending groups (UNIDO, 1995). 3.
Entrepreneurs usually require financial assistance of some kind to launch their ventures – be it a formal bank loan or money from a savings account. Women in developing nations have little access to funds, due to the fact that they are concentrated in poor rural communities with few opportunities to borrow money. The women entrepreneurs are suffering from inadequate financial resources and working capital. The women entrepreneurs lack access to external funds due to their inability to provide tangible security. Very few women have the tangible property in hand. . Women’s family obligations also bar them from becoming successful entrepreneurs in both developed and developing nations. “Having primary responsibility for children, home and older dependent family members, few women can devote all their time and energies to their business”. The financial institutions discourage women entrepreneurs on the belief that they can at any time leave their business and become housewives again. The result is that they are forced to rely on their own savings, and loan from relatives and family friends. 5.
Indian women give more emphasis to family ties and relationships. Married women have to make a fine balance between business and home. More over the business success is depends on the support the family members extended to women in the business process and management. The interest of the family members is a determinant factor in the realization of women folk business aspirations. 6. Another argument is that women entrepreneurs have low-level management skills. They have to depend on office staffs and intermediaries, to get things done, especially, the marketing and sales side of business.
Here there is more probability for business fallacies like the intermediaries take major part of the surplus or profit. Marketing means mobility and confidence in dealing with the external world, both of which women have been discouraged from developing by social conditioning. Even when they are otherwise in control of an enterprise, they often depend on males of the family in this area. 7. The male – female competition is another factor, which develop hurdles to women entrepreneurs in the business management process. Despite the fact that women entrepreneurs are good in eeping their service prompt and delivery in time, due to lack of organisational skills compared to male entrepreneurs women have to face constraints from competition. The confidence to travel across day and night and even different regions and states are less found in women compared to male entrepreneurs. This shows the low level freedom of expression and freedom of mobility of the women entrepreneurs. 8. Knowledge of alternative source of raw materials availability and high negotiation skills are the basic requirement to run a business.
Getting the raw materials from different souse with discount prices is the factor that determines the profit margin. Lack of knowledge of availability of the raw materials and low-level negotiation and bargaining skills are the factors, which affect women entrepreneur’s business adventures. 9. Knowledge of latest technological changes, know how, and education level of the person are significant factor that affect business. The literacy rate of women in India is found at low level compared to male population.
Many women in developing nations lack the education needed to spur successful entrepreneurship. They are ignorant of new technologies or unskilled in their use, and often unable to do research and gain the necessary training (UNIDO, 1995b, p. 1). Although great advances are being made in technology, many women’s illiteracy, structural difficulties, and lack of access to technical training prevent the technology from being beneficial or even available to females (“Women Entrepreneurs in Poorest Countries,” 2001).
According to The Economist, this lack of knowledge and the continuing treatment of women as second-class citizens keeps them in a pervasive cycle of poverty (“The Female Poverty Trap,” 2001). The studies indicates that uneducated women do not have the knowledge of measurement and basic accounting. 10. Low-level risk taking attitude is another factor affecting women folk decision to get into business. Low-level education provides low-level self-confidence and self-reliance to the women folk to engage in business, which is continuous risk taking and strategic cession making profession.
Investing money, maintaining the operations and ploughing back money for surplus generation requires high risk taking attitude, courage and confidence. Though the risk tolerance ability of the women folk in day-to-day life is high compared to male members, while in business it is found opposite to that. 11. Achievement motivation of the women folk found less compared to male members. The low level of education and confidence leads to low level achievement and advancement motivation among women folk to engage in business operations and running a business concern. 2. Finally high production cost of some business operations adversely affects the development of women entrepreneurs. The installation of new machineries during expansion of the productive capacity and like similar factors dissuades the women entrepreneurs from venturing into new areas. Role ; Functions of Women Entrepreneurs 1) Imaginative: It refers to the imaginative approach or original ideas with competitive market. Well-planned approach is needed to examine the existing situation and to identify the entrepreneurial opportunities.
It further implies that women entrepreneur’s have association with knowledgeable people and contracting the right organization offering support and services 2) Attribute to work hard: Enterprising women have further ability to work hard. The imaginative ideas have to come to a fair play. Hard work is needed to build up an enterprise. 3) Persistence: Women entrepreneurs must have an intention to fulfill their dreams. They have to make a dream transferred into an idea enterprise; Studies show that successful women work hard. ) Ability and desire to take risk: the desire refers to the willingness to take risk and ability to the proficiency in planning making forecast estimates and calculations. 5) Profit earning capacity: she should have a capacity to get maximum return out of invested capital. A Woman entrepreneur has also to perform all the functions involved in establishing an enterprise. These include idea generation, and screening, determination of objectives, project preparation, product analysis, determination of forms of business organization, completion of formal activities, raising funds, procuring men machine materials and operations of business.
Fredrick Harbiscon, has enumerated the following five functions of a women entrepreneur: – a. Exploration of the prospects of starting a new business enterprise. b. Undertaking a risk and handling of economic uncertainties involved in business. c. Introduction of innovations, imitations of innovations. d. Co ordination, administration and control. e. Supervision and leadership. Comparison of Men and Women Entrepreneurs