Entrepreneurship is our society seen as a part of male preservation. Women are either kept away from it or are not even allowed to have a job. There is a lack of entrepreneurial education, knowledge of the market, and basic skill training for women. Other reasons that add up as a barrier for women to start their own business are loans from banks, lack of start-up funds, caste, culture, lack of transport, and many more.
However, India has shown a rise in the number of female entrepreneurs, especially in small and medium industrial sectors. This was possible due to women’s enthusiasm and courage to learn new things by breaking the social barriers that take away their freedom to lead their lives how they want.
The Government Schemes for Women
The Government has recognized the importance of including women, who form about 50 percent of the total population, equally in the industrial sectors. The socio-economic challenges faced by them need to be addressed. Considering all these issues, the government of Uttar Pradesh has proposed the Women Entrepreneurship Promotion Scheme in 2014-15.
The scheme aims to empower women and make sure that they can also participate in the process of industrialization.
Several benefits are included under the Women Entrepreneurship Promotion Scheme, such as –
- Women who are unemployed can start their small enterprises as they are now eligible for accessible seed capital.
- Loans for purchasing machinery and plants will be provided by nationalized banks, the State Financial Corporations, or by the financial institutions.
- The beneficiaries have been entitled to Rs. Fifty thousand loans per year with an interest rate of five percent. This makes the beneficiaries to have a loan of Rs. 2,50,000 in five years.
- As defined by the Union MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise) ministry, the above scheme is eligible for both the service and manufacturing units.
- Under the scheme of cluster development, handicraft units, and the micro-level and individual traditional industries are being encouraged by the state government to form select purpose vehicles (SPV).
The government provided many other benefits that have empowered women who want to set up their businesses.
Women Entrepreneurs from Lucknow
Despite all the gendered and social challenges, many women from the city of Lucknow have held- up and unleashed their potential in entrepreneurship. Although they faced many obstacles on their way, their ideas and passion paved the way towards a successful business for them. Here are some of those inspiring women –
Pallavi has started a business called Real-Time Renewables that helps individuals, companies, and institutions recycle their wastewater. She is helping to recycle about 2 million liters of water every day.
This woman runs her bakery called the Buttercup Bungalow in a popular restaurant and café lounge. She does not have any formal training, yet she can prepare the best pastries, fondant cakes, waffles, and other new items that keep her clients wanting to come back again and again.
Dr. Nidhi Tandon
Dr. Nidhi Tandon has opened a first of its kind skin clinic called The Skin Art Clinic. She aims to provide those services in her very own city, Lucknow, for which people had to travel to metropolitan cities and, in some cases, even abroad.