Women entrepreneurs motivated by impulse to create something new, says IIT-M study

They are satisfied though income and profits are low, according to researchers

‘Market opportunity’ and ‘necessity’ propel a majority of women in the State into entrepreneurship, says a study.

The findings came from a research by the Indian Institute of Technology Madras to understand what motivated women to embark on entrepreneurship. The research was based on the findings of the all-India report of the sixth economic census (2016), which had stated that Tamil Nadu had the maximum number of women-owned enterprises in the country with at least one hired worker.

The researchers interviewed women entrepreneurs in MSMEs between September and December 2019. They found that the women were motived by passion, impulse to create something new; an affinity for challenges, a desire to create social values and for work-life balance. They received social support from spouse and family and could access government aid and subsidies.

Rupashree Baral, associate professor in the Department of Management Studies, who conducted the study with Jasmine Banu, Ph.D scholar, published the findings in the Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy.

Ms. Baral said their investigation would not only foster women entrepreneurs’ well-being but also help to develop better women-centric initiatives, policies and programmes and reduce the gender gap in society.

The women entrepreneurs were satisfied and confident in continuing the business though income and profit were low. They said having a business gave them a sense of accomplishment, financial security, career satisfaction, flexible working hours and happiness as it gave them an opportunity to influence others’ well-being.

Ms. Banu called for encouragement from government, policy makers, practitioners and academicians. The women must be trained and their skills developed to enable them improve their achievements.

The study has recommended programmes to develop their personality and build their skills, technical and entrepreneurship ability. They should be ensured representation in trade fairs and their endeavours should be portrayed in media, educational and academic literature to enable change in society’s attitude towards women.

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