Mumbai

‘While looking at GDP, we must look towards women’

Jayashree Mundhe sharing her story at the We Connect conference.

Jayashree Mundhe sharing her story at the We Connect conference.  

IWN chairperson says female entrepreneurs in country struggle to find funding, mentors

The NITI Aayog should introduce policies to encourage participation of women in entrepreneurship said Kalpana Unadkat, chairperson, Indian Women Network (IWN), western region, of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).

Ms. Unadkat made the statement while speaking at the International Women’s Week at IWN’s We Connect conference in the city, which focused on women entrepreneurs, on Monday.

“A lot of women today have entered the field of entrepreneurship and are giving out job opportunities, while many of them are still struggling with issues like funding and mentoring. All the successful women entrepreneurs had fantastic ideas but lacked funding to reach the next level in their initial journey,” she said.

Ms. Unadkat said, “While looking at the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of our country, we need to look towards women, as the more women that are involved in entrepreneurial works, the more growth is ensured. Therefore, the government needs to produce women entrepreneurial academics and policies from the NITI Aayog to encourage participation.”

The conference also witnessed participation by Jayashree Mundhe, who runs a self-help group (SHG) with the Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal in Karad village in Parbhani district. Ms. Mundhe started in 2004 with a mixer that she bought with an SHG’s help and started grinding red chilli powder in her home. Today, she has her own business, grinding multiple spices in large grinding machines, and has even started an oil mill.

“Our family used to work as farmers before I started the grinding business. Initially, relatives and village residents discouraged me, as they preferred I work at our farm instead. Hence, in my initial years, I worked in the farms as well as in my business. Now, I operate out the spice grinding business only for two months a year, which still earns me in lakhs,” Ms. Mundhe said.

A panel discussion on ‘Taking The Entrepreneurial Stage’ was led by entrepreneurs from various fields. Meera Shenoy, founder of Youth4jobs, said parents of girls with disabilities worry about their marriage and not their professional career, while Jay Sayta, founder of Glaws.in said gaming is a largely male-dominated sector today and women gamers will be welcomed by all.

“Many eyebrows are raised when a nine-month pregnant woman enters a boardroom. This phenomenon needs to be changed by all of us together,” said Naiyya Saggi, founder, BabyChakra, an online platform for parenting services.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 4:43:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/while-looking-at-gdp-we-must-look-towards-women/article30976913.ece

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