An increasing number of start-ups and new businesses have been founded in India over the last decade, majority of them by men. While many Indian women have entrepreneurial ambitions, it is often more difficult for them to succeed. Regardless of gender, starting a business is a difficult prospect. Key challenges for start-ups in India include generating funding, limited understanding of customers, penetrating the market, hiring qualified employees, and the complex regulatory environment. For women entrepreneurs, however, there are additional barriers which are part of a broader and more pronounced gender gap in the male-dominated society. They struggle with less favourable conditions, pronounced cultural biases, lack of business resources such as finances, training, and development, low confidence in business skills, lack of family support and child-care options.
The low rates of women entrepreneurship are reflected in a dismal score in the Index of Women Entrepreneurs, where India is ranked 52nd out of the 57 surveyed countries. The fact that few women own companies is part of a larger phenomenon of weak engagement of women in business. This further relates to a low female labour force participation rate as well as women having fewer opportunities to become business leaders, professionals and technical workers. Indeed, despite high economic growth rates as well as an increase in the proportion of working-age women in the population, the participation in the work force has decreased from 35 percent in 2005 to just 26 percent in 2018.
WE Lab (Women Entrepreneurship Lab), is an initiative which recognises the current gaps and intends to build a strong learning environment for women with entrepreneurial aspirations; a platform where women entrepreneurs would learn the right set of business skills and knowledge to excel at various entrepreneurial stages. An ecosystem that would ready women to partner and lead the business world in India and at a global level. They will be supported and trained under various programs and initiatives to gain business confidence, combat business challenges and chase their aspirations. WE Lab endeavours to ensure that all participants and members are coached and mentored by some successful business leaders as well such that they excel in their business domains A key component of the engagement will be focussed towards instilling self-confidence, help with formulation of business strategies, help design an execution framework and review their progress. Effort is to make women overcome their own perceived beliefs of being unable to compete on an equal platform and help them feel strongly confident about achieving their goals and aspirations in this well-crafted environment . WE Lab would also focus on driving a recognition platform to felicitate the achievements by bringing the family and society together to celebrate the efforts.
WE Lab’s mission is to harness the full potential of women entrepreneurs and help promote innovation, economic growth, and job creation. There are many barriers in between to achieve the above-mentioned objectives and overcoming these barriers is a matter of grit and passion of our executive team and individual women members themselves. Women entrepreneurs in India need better access to finance and networks. WE Lab acts as a catalyst and the accelerator for women entrepreneurship and will provide dedicated support by connecting them with relevant people in their industry.