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This study was carried out with the aim to identify strategies and policies which could create an enabling environment for women entrepreneurs and/or would-be entrepreneurs in India. It aims to provide a set of practical and policy-worthy recommendations to promote the healthy growth of entrepreneurial activities and enterprises owned by women. The study was carried out based on existing research and secondary data, as well as the collection of primary data through a small-scale structured questionnaire of 63 women entrepreneurs in 12 states across India. Case studies of successful women entrepreneurs were also conducted and the information obtained supported the analysis of the environment in which women entrepreneurs operate in and the challenges they face. The study underscores that women’s entrepreneurship is an untapped source of economic growth in India, which has received scant policy attention so far. The study finds that sociocultural factors represent important barriers to women’s entrepreneurial activities, while combining work and family life is also a challenge for a majority of women entrepreneurs. According to the study, support for starting an enterprise came essentially from informal sources, with a very small proportion of women having sought help from Government schemes and programmes. The study concludes with a wide range of recommendations to promote a more enabling environment for women’s entrepreneurship in India.

This study was carried out with the aim to identify strategies and policies which could create an enabling environment for women entrepreneurs and/or would-be entrepreneurs in India. It aims to
provide a set of practical and policy-worthy recommendations to promote the healthy growth of entrepreneurial activities and enterprises owned by women. The study was carried out based on existing research and secondary data, as well as the collection of primary data through a small-scale structured questionnaire of 63 women entrepreneurs in 12 states across India. Case studies of successful women entrepreneurs were also conducted and the information obtained supported the analysis of the environment in which women entrepreneurs operate in and the challenges they face. The study underscores that women’s entrepreneurship is an untapped source of economic growth in India, which has received scant policy attention so far. The study finds that sociocultural factors represent important barriers to women’s entrepreneurial activities, while combining work and family life is also a challenge for a majority of women entrepreneurs. According to the study, support for starting an enterprise came essentially from informal sources, with a very small proportion of women having sought help from Government schemes and programmes. The study concludes with a wide range of recommendations to promote a more enabling environment for women’s entrepreneurship in India.

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