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Profile of women entrepreneurs--a case study of Chandigarh.

Entrepreneur stop is an innovative and dynamic process, whereby, a new enterprise is created. It is an important segment of economic growth. Entrepreneur is a catalytic agent of change, which generates employment opportunities for others. Entrepreneurship amongst women is a recent phenomenon. When an enterprise is established and controlled by a women, it not only boosts economic growth, but also has many desirable outcomes. Jawahar Lal Nehru has remarked "when a women moves forward, the family moves, the village moves and the nation moves." Women entrepreneurship as defined by Government of India, the women entrepreneur is an entrepreneur, who runs an enterprise owned and controlled by her and having minimum financial interest up to 51 percent of capital and giving at least 51 percent of the employment to women." Women have innate flair for entrepreneurship. They are endured with intuition that helps them make right choices even in a situation where experience and logic fails. They are the natural net-workers and relationship builders, forging powerful bonds and nurturing relationship with clients and employees alike. In nutshell, they are as competent as their male counterparts if not better. Growth of women entrepreneurs can be a vehicle of their socio-economic empowerment. Socio-economic empowerment is a situation when women have control over her life and resources. A women entrepreneur can retain her income and use it at her own discretion at household level. Financial independence leads to social empowerment. Women entrepreneurs can play powerful role in confidence building and creating awareness in other women to promote self-reliance. On the other hand, women entrepreneurs have to face more problems than men entrepreneurs. In most of the cases, women do not have access to productive resources. Their risk taking ability is less. They have to devote time to the family and maintain a balance between their family responsibility and business. Hence, they need to be twice as persistent and assertive to make their presence felt in a predominantly male business world.

Over the years, there is a rapid growth of women entrepreneurs all over the world. In India, in the year 1981, only 5.2 percent of women to total were self employed, but as per Census 2001, this figure has risen to 11.2 percent and if the prevailing trend continues it is likely that in another ten years women will comprise 20 percent of the entrepreneurial force. Keeping this in mind, this study has been conducted in and around Chandigarh. Chandigarh is a Union-Territory with population of 9 lac out of which 8 lacs population resides in urban areas. It is a prosperous city (per capita income 33047 at 93-94 prices) with huge potential and opportunities. Female literacy rate is 76.5 percent as compared to national female literacy rate of 54.28 percent. Even with these comparatively better socio-economic parameters, the city cannot claim to be a champion of women cause as sex ratio is as low as 777 as compared to 933 at all India level.

Objectives of the study

The study has been conducted with the following objectives:

1. To portray a profile of women entrepreneurs;

2. To study the reasons for being in business i. e. motivational factors;

3. To study the attitude of family and society towards women entrepreneurs; and

4. To study the problems faced by women entrepreneurs.

Research Design and Methodology

Data Base: The study is based on primary data collected from Chandigarh (The City Beautiful).

Sample: A total of 135 women entrepreneurs were interviewed using structured questionnaire. Many of the questions were open ended so that the respondents have the opportunity to give variety of possible answers. Respondents were selected using convenient sampling.

Tools for Data Analysis: Data analysis was performed using simple frequency method. To interpret the data, pictorial presentation has been made.

This study is confined to the areas in and around Chandigarh, a modern city, therefore, it may not reflect the scenario prevailing in the rural India.

Business Profile

Type of the business in which the women entrepreneurs are engaged is quite diversified. Apparels, jewellery and ethnic goods (Duries) etc. are the most preferred business as 31.8 percent women are opting for these. Retail business include grocery, stationary, gift items and confectionary etc. are opted by 17 percent women entrepreneurs. Consultancy services like matrimonial, financial investments, etc. are run by 3.8 percent and 19.3 percent women are running beauty saloons. Computer and I. T. services are provided by 4.4 percent. Educational institutes like coaching centers are run by 8.1, percent whereas 4.4 percent are running factories like manufacturing of locks, wooden furniture and floor mills.

Age Profile of Women Entrepreneur

As per the survey, 20 percent of women fall in the age category of 20-30, 51 percent in the category of 30-40, 25 percent in the category of 40-50, only 4 percent of the respondents were above 50 years.

Maximum number of women have established business in their thirties. Most of them are graduates, so educational qualification is not a deterrent factor.

Reasons for Starting Business

Motivational factors considered very important in all theoretical models of entrepreneurial performance. It is necessary to identify what drives a women to initiate, organize, manage and assume responsibilities for a business, which is a challenge in itself. Gilad and Levine (1986) proposed two closely related explanation of entrepreneurial motivation--push theory and pull theory. Push theory argues that individuals are pushed into entrepreneurship by negative external factors like job dissatisfaction, difficulty in finding job, insufficient salary or inflexible hours. Pull theory suggests that individuals are attracted to entrepreneurial activity to seek independence self-fulfillment, wealth and other desirable outcomes.

It is evident from the above table that economic considerations are more important as far as reasons to start a business is concerned. Around 26.6 percent women respondents opined that they started business, because they wanted to be economically independent. Equal percentage of respondents think supplementing their family income as important factor 21 percent wanted to utilize their free time and 24 percent were desirous of satisfying their creative urge. 1.4 percent started business for self-satisfaction and only 0.7 percent inherited their business.

The most preferred reasons for business over job is independent ownership as responded by around 62.9 percent of women; where they are not supposed to be subordinate to someone. Philanthropist consideration are not very popular, as only eight percent of respondents are of the view that 'to serve society' one of their preferences for opting a business as compared to regular job. Another important reason is non-availability of job as evident from the response as high as 20 percent important advantage of flexible hours is given due consideration by nine percent of women.

On the basis of rank order method, the respondents revealed that the critical motivational factor as 'confidence in their abilities' followed by 'creative urge', then 'financial status'' and then' social status' is lowest ranked critical factor.

57 percent of women entrepreneurs raised their seed capital from their immediate family members. Financial help from relatives is being provided to 23 percent respondents. Banks and financial institutions were only approached by 13 percent and seven percent respectively. Although, they are aware of existing financial institutions which provide any kind of support to women entrepreneurs, yet no direct or indirect help is provided by any government agency. No one have ever attended an EDP (Entrepreneurial Development Programme).

Attitude of Society towards Women Entrepreneur

90 percent of respondents revealed that society has reacted in a positive manner, whereas, only 10 percent of respondents have to face the negative attitude of the society, but they have also stated that negative approach did not stop them from being entrepreneurs. Family members in majority of the cases are very encouraging and supportive.

Of the women involved in the entrepreneurship, 48.15 percent stated that they had marketing problems, 26.67 percent have to face financial problems. 15.56 percent were facing the managerial problems. Only 4.44 percent of women entrepreneurs are not able to cope up with some other problems like time factor, whereas 5.19 percent reported that they have no problem at all.

Perception Regarding their Success in Business

When women entrepreneurs were asked, if they found themselves as successful entrepreneur or not, 95 percent found themselves successful, only 5 percent reported that they have not attained desired level of success.

Quality attributed to their Success

Self confidence, 31.1 percent; relationship management, 27.4 percent; patience and modesty, 34.25 percent; and communication ability 16.3 percent are the most important individual characteristics that contributed to their success.

Which Quality of theirs' attributed to their success

Need to get Involved in Training Programmes

61.4 percent of women entrepreneur wanted to join training programmes, whereas negative response has been reported by 38.52 percent.

Expansion Plans

According to the present research, most of the respondents have future expansion plans, but they all are less ambitious. They take moderate and calculated risk. Their future plans were to expand business, increase quality, increase profit etc.

Results and Suggestions

* Maximum women have entered into business in thirties and most of them are married.

* Women are venturing into diversified fields. It seems that aesthetic goods i. e. handicrafts, designer clothes, jewellery is an area where women are more comfortable. Retail business is also very popular, as these are the areas in which limited business experience and knowledge is required.

* Computer, IT related and consultancy services are upcoming areas, so most popular amongst younger women.

* Most of the entrepreneurs are first generation entrepreneurs. Though in the coming years we may find women inheriting business of their mothers and mother-in-law. (for example: In this study it has been found in many case like Anaha jewelers where first generation entrepreneurs are involving second generation into the business).

* It is the pull factors i. e. their urge to be self-dependent, supplement family income, achieve social status, satisfy their creative urge have motivated them to be entrepreneurs, more than the push factors like non-availability of job, dissatisfaction in job, etc.

* Education, training and skill have played an important role in their being into business.

* Though they do not have any formal training in entrepreneurial development or management of small business, they are interested if given an opportunity.

* Marketing problems are a major hurdle in the expansion of their business.

* Women entrepreneurs like to expand their business, but they are contended with less money and would not like to grow to the extent that can jeopardize their family life.

* Role of government agencies in the growth of women entrepreneur is negligible.

Conclusions

It is evident from the study that women are ready to face the challenges associated with setting up of business. Society is very much receptive to the concept of women entrepreneur, so is the family. Papad, pickle are the things of the past, now with new and innovative business, women entrepreneurs are fast becoming a force to reckon with in the business world. Women are not into business for survival but to satisfy their inner urge of creativity and to prove their capabilities. Women education is contributing to a great extent to the social transformation. The future will see more women venturing into areas traditionally dominated by men.

Helpful References

Hisrich, R. d. and Brush, C. G. (1986): The Women Entrepreneur, Starting Financing and Managing a Successful New Business, Lexington Books, Toronto.

Chandra, S. K. (1991): Development of Women Entrepreneurship in India, a Study of Public Policies and Programmes, Mittal Publications, New Delhi.

Sundin, E and Holmqluist, C. (1991): The growth of women entrepreneurship: push or pull factors? In Recent Research in Entrepreneurship (Edited by LG, Davis and A. a. Gibb), Gowar Publishing Company, England.

Dhillon, P. K. and Malhotra, D (1993): Motives and Characteristics of successful women entrepreneurs. In Women Entrepreneurs, problems and prospects (Edited by P. K. Dhillon) Blaze Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi.

Johnson, S. and Storey, D. (1993): Women in Business, Perspectives on Women Entrepreneurs (Edited by S. Allen and C. Truman), Routledge, U. S. A.

Jayanthi, c. (2003): "Women Entrepreneurs in the New Wave Economic Development Programme", Yojana, vol. 47, Aug. 2003.

Shaik N. Meera and D. U. M. Rao, (2003): "IT for empowerment of Women" Yojana, February 2003.
Table 1: Types of Business Opted by Women Entrepreneurs

S. no. Types of Businesses Respondents Percentage

 1. Apparels, Jewellery
 and Ethnic goals 43 31.8
 2. Retail business 23 17.0
 3. Consultancy services 05 3.8
 4. Catering 15 11.8
 5. Beauty Saloons 26 19.3
 6. Computer and I.T.
 related services 06 4.4
 7. Coaching Centres 11 8.1
 8. Factories and Mills 06 4.4

Table 2: Reasons to Become an Entrepreneur

S. no. Reasons No. of Percentage
 Respondents

 1. To be economically independent 36 26.60
 2. To utilize free time 28 20.7
 3. To supplement family income 36 26.6
 4. To satisfy creative interest 32 23.7
 5. Family occupation 01 .07
 6. Self satisfaction 02 1.4

Table 3: Why Business is Preferred over a Job

S. no. Reasons No. of Percentage
 respondents

 1. Want independent ownership 85 62.9
 2. Want to serve society 11 8.1
 3. Non availability of job 26 19.3
 4. Flexible hours 12 8.8
 5. Others 01 0.7

Table 4: Critical Motivational Factors

Motivational factors Rank Total of rank
 of values
 I II III IV

Confidence building 39 40 35 21 1932
capabilities

Independent 39 34 29 33 2232
financial status

Social status 18 32 35 50 1820

Creative urge 39 29 31 31 2188

Motivational factors Avg. Adjusted
 values Avg.
 value

Confidence building 14.3 0.36(I)
capabilities

Independent 16.5 0.42 (III)
financial status

Social status 13.48 0.74(IV)

Creative urge 16.2 0.415(II)

Table 5: Raising of finance

Sources of finance Respondents Percentage

Family members 77 57
Relatives 31 23
Banks 18 13
Other financial institutions 09 07

Table 6: Problems faced by Women Entrepreneur

 Problems No. of Respondents Percentage

Financial 36 26.67
Marketing 65 48.15
Managerial 21 15.56
Others 06 4.44
No problems 07 5.19

Table 7: Urge for Training

Willingness to attend Respondents Percentage
an EDP Programme

Yes 83 61.48
No 52 38.52

Choice of Business by Women Entrepreneurs

* Series 1

Apparels, Jewellery & Ethnic goals 31.8
Retail business 17
Consultancy service 3.8
Catering 11.8
Beauty Saloons 19.3
Computer & I.T. Related Services 4.4
Coaching Centres 8.1
Factories & Mills 4.4

Note: Table made from bar graph.
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Author:Malik, Shiva; Rao, Taranjit Kaur
Publication:Political Economy Journal of India
Article Type:Case study
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jan 1, 2008
Words:2430
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