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8 Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs in India While Managing a Business

Published on Jul 12, 2022Updated on Jan 29, 2024

8 Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs in India While Managing a Business

Gone are the days when women were conformed to the boundaries of household chores. Today, women are taking on the world and have transformed into an unstoppable force.

They have their footprints across every industry imaginable. Right from fields like aviation, military, science, technology, arts, entertainment and entrepreneurship – women are making their presence felt across the board.

That said, the journey has not been an easy one, especially for women entrepreneurs. Despite the aptitude, hunger, commitment and resilience, there are a number of challenges faced by female entrepreneurs.

Let’s take a look at what they are.

1. Problem of Funding the Business

Funding is the lifeblood of any business, be it a start-up or a large corporate house. That said, the majority of women entrepreneurs find it tremendously challenging to secure finance for their business ventures.

The primary reason for this is that they do have sufficient assets in their name to pledge as collateral for obtaining funds from prospective lenders. Moreover, most lenders do not provide loans to applicants who do not meet the eligibility criteria, which includes having an established business that is at least 2-3 years old, has the required documentation, and a CIBIL score of 750 or higher.

Therefore, budding women entrepreneurs who want to start a new business are largely dependent on their savings or a loan from family and friends to kickstart their business venture. On the plus side, reputed lenders are trying to provide special benefits and offers to encourage eligible female entrepreneurs by offering affordable business loans.

SMFG India Credit offers business loans for up to Rs 75 Lakhs* at preferential rates to eligible women entrepreneurs. Simply do a business loan eligibility check before you put forward your application.

2. Limited Access to Professional Networks

A survey by Google-Bain found that 45% of urban small businesses fail as they are unable to access avenues of network development.

Networking for any business owner is extremely important as it helps to scale their venture, reaching out to new markets and audiences. However, the same survey found that women entrepreneurs were less likely to be integrated with formal and/or informal professional networks.

Hence, there is a high probability of female business owners missing out on lucrative opportunities to expand their venture and identify the right vendors and collaborators to build social capital.

Must Read: 6 Quick Fundraising Ideas in India for a Startup

3. Limited Industry Knowledge

There are still a large number of sectors like manufacturing that are dominated by men. Women business owners find it difficult to break into these segments due to a lack of access to relevant industry contacts, knowledge of the industry, processes and mechanisms that should be in place to operate the business efficiently and successfully.

That said, there are cases when women have been able to break the barrier in sectors like engineering, and technology to start their ventures in this space. Digital literacy has also empowered women entrepreneurs in gaining the right knowledge and tools to start their businesses.

4. Lack of an Entrepreneurial Environment

Establishing a business requires learning and sometimes unlearning, domain know-how, upskilling along with access to networks and funds.

Sorting out your finances by taking out a business loan can be achieved easily with SMFG India Credit’s business loan. Simply run an eligibility check and submit the documents required for a business loan online.

That said, the current entrepreneurial landscape is not conducive to the needs of women business owners. It does not exuberate the entrepreneurial spirit that is necessary to be successful in any business venture.

This lack of a productive environment can have an adverse impact on women business owners. It acts as an impediment to learning opportunities and limits access to mentors and resources.

5. Pressure to Stick to Traditional Gender Roles

Women in India have to live in patriarchal conditions and play specific gender defined roles. They are expected to be responsible for the welfare of their family, and household chores and then balance them with their professional commitments.

This can be tremendously challenging, especially in a scenario where you are trying to establish a brand new business.

Hence, several women entrepreneurs are pressured by their families to give up on their start-up dreams and opt for conventional roles in order to prioritise focus on their families.

6. Lack of Business Education

First time women entrepreneurs may not have any formal business education or experience in running a business. There are several examples of successful women entrepreneurs in India who have founded successful ventures without formal credentials.

The lack of education should not be an impediment. However, society at large thinks that minus one or both can result in the venture not taking off at all.

It may be partially true but can vary on a case-by-case basis. Overall, this can be one of the key problems faced by women entrepreneurs in India.

7. Low Risk-Bearing Ability

Risk is an inherent factor in any business venture. Anyone establishing an enterprise must be able to take on this risk factor to ensure that the venture is profitable in the long run.

The expectation is not any different for women entrepreneurs.

However, the general Indian population prefers leading a sheltered life, often opting to go for traditional salaried careers rather than the high risk, high pressure roles of entrepreneurship. . This limits their ability to bear the risk when it comes to setting up and operating a business venture.

This can also result in low self-confidence to make independent business decisions that can possibly avert these risks.

8. Limited Mobility

Women entrepreneurs unlike their male counterparts have mobility issues in India. Families worry about them travelling solo which can be a problem for business owners who may be required to travel both domestically and internationally.

Must Read: 7 Unique Profitable Business Ideas for Housewives

Final Thoughts

Women entrepreneurs do face a number of challenges while managing their business in India. But the mindset is evolving, and more and more women are encouraged to start and manage their own ventures.

One of the core challenges of funding can be easily dealt with a business loan from SMFG India Credit. Business loans can be applied online by all female entrepreneurs. SMFG India Credit offers affordable business loan interest rates and flexible tenures upto 48 months*. 

Simply use the business loan calculator to find out your estimated monthly instalments. For more information, Apply online today or call our toll free number on 1800 103 6001 between 9 am and 7 pm Monday to Saturday (except Sundays, public holidays and 4th Saturday of the month) or send an email to  .

* Please note that this article is for your knowledge only. Loans are disbursed at the sole discretion of SMFG India Credit. Final approval, loan terms, disbursal process, foreclosure charges and foreclosure process will be subject to SMFG India Credit's policy at the time of loan application. If you wish to know more about our products and services, please contact us

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