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Women entrepreneurs hold key to India's economic growth story

Last Updated: November 19, 2021, 09:52 IST

Women entrepreneurs hold key to India's economic growth story

Women entrepreneurs have the potential to be the biggest force in India's economic growth story.

Women entrepreneurs have the potential to be the biggest force in India’s economic growth story. The country’s economy could grow much faster if women were part of its workforce. As per McKinsey, the country could add up to $770 billion—more than 18%—to its GDP by 2025, simply by giving equal opportunities to women. Women can contribute to the economy not just as job seekers but also job creators such as via entrepreneurship, which is a space women are rapidly taking to across India. One big growth factor for this has been the power of women in small businesses who are leveraging the internet and using digital media to reach millions of customers.

According to India’s largest women’s platform SheThePeople women go beyond social responsibility and can have a positive impact on the economy. Women-owned companies lead to more jobs, and create substantial revenue and business growth. As an effort to reinforce the role of women in the economy, SheThePeople.TV organises the Digital Women Awards and Summit to celebrate talent, entrepreneurship, innovation and creation by and among women who are building businesses using the internet.

SheThePeople’s Founder, Shaili Chopra says, “Indian women make for half the country’s population and 10% of the world’s population. As a country, we have to find a way to employ and meaningful engage such a strong potential workforce. One big way of doing that is to encourage entrepreneurship among women."

Chopra adds, “COVID has forced people to think ‘disruption’ and women have shown agility and flexibility in taking on change by switching to digital and using it for enterprise and small business growth.” She adds, Indian women, half of our 1.4 billion population, have a significant potential to lift the economy into the next phase.

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“Women are great examples of leadership, excellence and entrepreneurship, all of which SheThePeople.TV stands for. Our mission is to continue to build this platform for future leaders who will shape the Indian digital eco-system and the Digital Women Awards is one of the key steps in achieving that goal."

The seventh edition of this breakthrough initiative is all set to roll from Nov 21st-23rd 2021. Power packed discussions and speaker perspectives from the likes of India’s minister for entrepreneurship and skills Rajeev Chandrasekhar, former PepsiCo boss Indra Nooyi, Sapna Chadha of Google, Harsh Mariwala of Marico, SheThePeople founder Shaili Chopra, Rajiv Anand of Axis Bank will be part of the initiative.

The summit and discussions will headline critical gaps women face while building business and explore how digital can be the answer to a bigger contribution of women to the Indian economy. It will spotlight how in a post-pandemic world, women entrepreneurs are leading the pivot of innovation and change.

The award this year will be given in eight categories, namely, Leadership, Disruption, Digital Marketing, Impact, Ecommerce, Content, COVID Pivot and Solopreneurs. As per the Sixth Economic Census of India, conducted by India’s National Sample Survey Office, women entrepreneurs own as many as 8.05 business establishments across the country. The digital medium has not only increased the ease of business for women, but also enabled them to come up with innovative business ideas and solutions that have changed the entrepreneurial landscape in India.

Sapna Chadha, Head of Marketing, Google India and South East Asia talks of why Google has committed to this initiative for women entrepreneurs for the last many years. “The internet is a levelling field. We have noticed as women understand digital, they become more confident. The Internet gives them a key source of information that they need and helps empower them.”

India has one of the biggest gender gaps on the internet. Through storytelling and putting women’s stories on the global map, Digital Women Awards and Summit inspires many to think of doing something of their own. “Our own programs such as Internet Saathi and the ones we do with partners like SheThePeople, sends out a great reminder of how women have the potential to empower change,” says Chadha.

Highlights to Watch

-Celebrating women entrepreneurs who pivoted during COVID to sustain and plan re-digitised future

-Spotlight on world women entrepreneurship day 2021

-Women are using entrepreneurship as a route to financial freedom and self reliance

-Keynote Address by Shri Smriti Irani, Minister for Women and Child Development

-Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Electronics and Information Technology of India, Rajeev Chandrasekhar to be keynote

Women entrepreneurs have ensured that neither location, nor the manpower, or lack of it, becomes a challenge, whit comes to business, because tech enables them to outsource and organise better. It has also helped women execute bold business and timely ideas- like cruelty free sustainable footwear, providing eco-friendly menstrual wellness solutions to urban women, or developing a website singularly dedicated to women’s rights and laws for women.

“The internet has completely opened up opportunities for women to contribute to the Indian economy," says Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State, MeiTY and Skill Development.

During the pandemic too, women entrepreneurs have used the power of tech for social good- be it development of specialised masks to aid frontline healthcare workers, or provide students from low-income families the access to online education during the pandemic.We believe women are bringing alive ideas for a new India with breakthroughs in digital and tech, transforming their lives and the nation’s potential. This new entrepreneurial energy is what can take India to the next level and put women at the forefront.

Talking of how women have worked around the stress of COVID impact on businesses, Chadha says “they have been very quick to adapt to the changing environment. They have been innovative by adding new products, services to their portfolios and in using digital media to grow their businesses.”

SheThePeople’s Chopra adds, “I want every woman who’s been told she can’t be her own boss and create her own business, to go out there and prove everyone wrong. Today digital is her biggest tool and ally.”

SheThePeople’s effort via Digital Women Awards is to recognise individuals and organisations who demonstrate a pioneering and sustainable approach to digital transformation across public, private and non-profit sectors. Through this three-day-long virtual get-together, we aim to celebrate individuals who are leveraging digital opportunities to transform India’s potential.

We will be talking about the pivot by women entrepreneurs, small to scale and taking Indian made to the world. We will be talking about how governments can interact better to offer women more meaningful and less intimidating skill programs.

SheThePeople, with its annual digital reach of 400 million, will present digital women entrepreneurs as a series of storytelling women from deep inside India leveraging the power of digital. “We hope that by showcasing stories of dynamic women entrepreneurs, the challenges they overcame and how they built their enterprises bit by bit will further inspire other women to spread their entrepreneurial wings and take that leap,” says Chopra.

This is a partnered post.

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first published:November 15, 2021, 10:52 IST
last updated:November 19, 2021, 09:52 IST