It is normally said that ‘Women are the best managers’ not with just context to handling home drudgeries but also while managing her professional commitments.
The report by Google and Bian & Company titled ‘Powering the Economy with Her’ specifies that women-owned enterprises produce equally strong economic outcomes as compared to men-owned enterprises. The report also mentions that India has women-owned enterprises worth 13.5 to 15.7 million, representing 20% of total enterprises. Whether it is the private sector or the government sector, women are leaving no stone unturned to be economically independent so as to walk hand in hand with changing times.
Shifting our focus towards Punjab, 2018 data shows that the percentage of women entrepreneurship has been increasing tremendously over the years. Government, NGOs, self-help groups, and private organizations are making every effort to support the woman to explore her potential and untap her business acumen and strategic techniques. Whether it is Urban women like Geet Brar, who has her own music studio with the name UK music Studio in Chandigarh, or Anisha Sharma, Executive director of IDS Omni Solutions (P) Ltd. of Hamirpur district, who has brought laurels to the state by winning a national award for entrepreneurship, woman these days are experimenting and walking along with men with their skillful technique and analysis. To add to the list, there are many examples like Renu Sinha from Mrs. Bector’s (Cremica), Kalpana Kumari, founder of Punjab 365 news, Sukhmeen Kaur owner of Tammy File or Siva Goyal, cofounder of Edusquare and also has been recognized for school learning App and Taneesha Singh, Business Development Director, StudyKonnect, women have proved their mettle in the field of entrepreneurship and the challenges attached to it.
Along with the individual efforts, the Government is also making every effort to support and empower the women as she is equally talented and accomplished to contribute to the economy of the country. For an organization where women constitute less than 8 percent of the workforce, Alka Mittal,59, moved to the helm of oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), India’s largest oil and gas exploration company and among the country’s biggest PSUs, holding additional charge of Chairperson and Managing Director of the company. Government-owned programs and initiatives like Udyogini Scheme for Women Entrepreneurs, Annapurna Scheme for Food catering industry, Bharatiya Mahila Bank Business Loan, Mudra yojana Scheme, Orient Mahila Vikas Yojana Scheme, Dena Shakti Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana, Cent Kalyani Scheme, Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme are also helping the rural women to stand independent and empower them and support their family and communities in their livelihood.
In addition to the central government schemes, some of the exclusive schemes that run for women empowerment for Punjab are like Mai Bhago Istri Shakti Scheme that is implemented in order to strengthen women especially in rural areas in single/ individual capacity or clusters or groups. Punjab Small Industries & Export Corporation Ltd that supports the individual in her endeavor to set up their own industrial unit and assist his/her in setting up their small-scale industry to grow in Punjab, Punjab Khadi and Village Industries Board, Northern India Institute of Fashion Technology (NIIFT) and Bhartiya Mahila Bank and Punjab National Bank provides loans to women entrepreneurs for setting up a beauty parlor, daycare center or crèche, for setting Micro and small scale enterprises and for setting up food and catering units. Also another initiative by the Punjab government, Startup Punjab organizes various workshops for women entrepreneurs to brush their skills.
Private organizations have also joint government initiatives to empower and strengthen the women to earn and make them independent through self-employment. For example, Flipkart’s Samarth program has helped many weavers and artisans, one of them being from Sangrur by bringing them on board with their products and earn.
Business Clubs and clusters are also being developed in several cities to support and promote the women entrepreneurs like ‘Swades’ i.e. Soul Women Artistic & Designing Entrepreneurs Society is built-in Punjab to promote more than 20, 000 women entrepreneurs working as designers and artisans into manufacturing suits, paintings, sculptures, and other products and similar group titled Boss ladies exist in Amritsar that represents the community of the women entrepreneurs from Amritsar. Self Help groups named Guru Arjan Devji made by Charanjit Kaur in Samrala became the blessing for the women of the town who were finding it difficult to meet both their ends.
Women have always been more analytical, progressive, and Ernest while dealing with her family responsibilities but now she is also determined to contribute towards the economic development of her country which is a much bigger role. The future holds more opportunities towards women’s entrepreneurship where she will create new landmarks.