How Women are Redefining India’s Startup Narrative

By Sunil Sonkar
2 Min Read
How Women are Redefining India's Startup Narrative

India is becoming a big player in the global startup scene, growing a lot in its startup world. And guess who’s at the center of this growth? Women entrepreneurs! They are changing the story and making sure everyone gets a chance in the startup world.

India’s startup scene, now the world’s third-largest, has seen remarkable expansion. In just five years, the proportion of women-led startups has surged from a mere 10% in 2017 to a substantial 18%, according to the Women in India’s Startup Ecosystem Report (WISER).

A new study found that the number of women in India in the segment has gone up by half since 2014. More women are now getting educated, finding money to start their businesses and getting support from the government as well. It is like they are getting a better chance to shine in the business world.

Women entrepreneurs are making significant contributions, creating job opportunities for 27 million individuals. According to Bain and Co, there are 15.7 million women-run enterprises in India and this represents 22% of the business landscape.

In India’s top three Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) sectors – personal and home care, food and beverage, and fashion – the number of women-led enterprises has skyrocketed from 130 in 2017 to 3644 in May 2023, a growth of over 2700% in just a year.

Despite this progress, women entrepreneurs face challenges such as biased perceptions, limited access to funding and the balancing act of family responsibilities. WISER highlights that women’s progress in seniority and tenure does not match the pace of men.

If women get the same chances as men, says McKinsey, India could make an extra $770 billion by 2025. Initiatives like the Global DEI Alliance and BCG’s virtual workshop are actively addressing concerns and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the entrepreneurial landscape.

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