Women entrepreneurs in India can generate 150-170 million jobs by 2030, which is more than 25% of the new jobs required for the entire working-age population, according to a joint report released on Tuesday by Bain and Co. and Google titled Women Entrepreneurship in India—Powering the economy with her.
“There are an estimated 16 million women-owned and controlled enterprises, representing approximately 20% of all enterprises today that are creating direct employment for about 27 million people in India. However, if we focus on enabling women entrepreneurs to start up and scale, we will be able to increase direct employment by 50-60 million people, increase indirect and induced employment of another 100-110 million people, taking the total number of jobs to 150-170 million by 2030," said Megha Chawla, partner, Bain and Co., and the lead author of the report.
The report identifies six dominant segments of women entrepreneurs and says that despite India’s economic progress in the last decade, women’s participation in the labour force has declined and is expected to be under pressure because of labour trends, technological disruption, and constraining social barriers.
Unlocking entrepreneurship among women in India is a complex effort, but provides an unprecedented opportunity to change the economic and social trajectory of the country and its women for generations. This will drive tremendous job creation and also deliver transformational social and personal outcomes for women, said Chawla.
In many cases, women are named as owners for financial and administrative reasons with no active role to play, which overstates true entrepreneurship among women.
Of all women-owned enterprises, a majority are single person enterprises, with the largest group being rural non-farm home-based business owners at 38%, followed by urban self-employed women solopreneurs at 31%, who usually work from home.
The other dominant segments include rural agripreneurs who are farm-based business owners at 18% and small business owners at 14%, split across urban (6%) and rural (8%), employing less than 10 employees and contributing the most to employment generation. Finally, there are the scalers, who employ more than 10 people and account for less than 1%. In total, these women entrepreneurs provide direct employment to an estimated 22-27 million people today.
The report also points out that among other things, women need equal access to finance through broad-based gender responsiveness across the financing sector.