Three points you will get to know in this article:
• Anu Acharya, MapMyGenome’s founder, told Bizz Buzz that startups in various fields, including medical and food technology, face the main hurdle of achieving visibility.
• The 2020 All India Higher Education Survey Report indicates a rise in female enrollment in STEM fields.
• Hyderabad’s women epitomize vital entrepreneurial qualities: patience in planning, skill in task and finance management, essential for startup success.
Hyderabad’s female populace embodies natural patience in planning, adeptness in managing tasks and finances – qualities essential for an entrepreneur aiming to establish and nurture a startup. Regrettably, these attributes often don’t seamlessly translate into securing financial backing. Investors tend to associate success in startups led by women founders primarily with business concepts revolving around beauty or food. Altering this investor perspective has presented a formidable challenge, according to women spearheading technology enterprises and startups.
The All India Survey on Higher Education Report (2020) show an increase in women’s enrollment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as a field of study. This has eventually led to an increase of women workforce in the technology and allied sectors. These experienced professionals are conclusively venturing out to start their business. Moreover, incubation centres at colleges are handholding students to convert ideas into successful startups. The matter in question here is what is holding back women from making it big.
Anu Acharya, the founder of MapMyGenome, shared with Bizz Buzz that startups in medical technology, food technology, and other domains exist; the primary challenge lies in gaining visibility. Notably, startups tend to receive attention when they achieve significant milestones. This poses the difficulty. In recent years, success has often been equated with securing funding, yet what holds greater significance is the sustainable and flourishing nature of the business. With some patience, we will witness triumphs emerging in this realm as well.
Conversely, amidst the turbulence faced by unicorns in recent times, a surge of business opportunities is emerging for upcoming women entrepreneurs. This heralds a new era where the focus shifts to building businesses correctly, as the stumble of unicorns prompts a reevaluation. This shift is expected to pave the way for an increased presence of women in the entrepreneurial landscape, as noted by Acharya.
A February 2023 report from the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) reveals that 18 percent of startups in India are led by at least one woman founder or co-founder. In the realm of technology-based startups, categorized under Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), an RBI survey encompassing 1,246 startups indicates that 5.9 percent were founded solely by females, in contrast to 55.5 percent founded solely by male entrepreneurs. Merely 38.6 percent boasted a combination of both male and female co-founders.
Chitralee Sarma, founder of Whatismygoal.com, calls for active cooperation of more entrepreneurs, including women in leadership positions, to further enhance the liveliness of the ecosystem. She maintains that more synergy is needed across the ecosystem for ideas to flow. NITI Aayog’s Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) in a study mentioned that businesses with at least one female founder have a more inclusive work culture, employ three times more women than men and generate 10 per cent more cumulative revenue.
Acharya further highlights a glaring dearth in the visible representation of women in leadership roles, attributing this to both the scarcity of illustrative examples and the evident gender-based funding disparity. The prevailing statistics indicate a discouragingly low proportion of women securing funding, a factor that dissuades many potential female entrepreneurs. Although there are ample instances showcasing women’s adeptness in financial management, this proficiency often fails to translate into commensurate funding, Acharya laments.
Aparna Bhogu, co-founder of Monitra Healthcare Pvt Ltd, boasts a seven-year tenure in the industry. She has secured grants from governmental agencies and raised substantial funds from private investors, amassing a remarkable total of Rs7.5 crore. This achievement underscores the potential for a distinctive and user-friendly approach, unburdened by duplications.
Hyderabad’s female entrepreneurs face the challenge of breaking traditional stereotypes and gaining visibility beyond conventional sectors. While the rise of women in STEM fields is promising, the need for a shift in investor perspectives and active collaboration within the entrepreneurial ecosystem is evident. With time, patience, and a focus on sustainable business growth, we can anticipate more women-led startups flourishing, contributing to a more diverse and inclusive entrepreneurial landscape in India
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