One of the biggest barriers for women-led enterprises is significant challenges in the marketplace.
New Delhi: National level livelihood promoting organisation ACCESS Development Services, along with NITI Aayog hosted the Livelihoods India Summit on Monday. The keynote speakers present on the first day of the event talked in detail about the significance of the MSME sector in the Indian economy, along with the role of women entrepreneurs in the domestic MSME sector.
Mercy Epao, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), said in a statement, “If you look into the Ministry of MSME landscape, you will know that it is highly vibrant and we also contribute significantly to our GDP, exports and more. We are also trying to have stakeholder meetings with the industry leaders. We are also trying to tweak our policies to be relevant and serve our nation better.”
“95% of MSMEs are in the micro-segment and 4% in the small and less than 1% in the medium. We have recently introduced the SRI(Self Reliant India) Fund, which is an equity fund, to help MSMEs infuse the capital to get out of the MSME bracket,” Epao added.
The Livelihoods India Summit’s track two session discussed women’s economic empowerment and how it is essential to enable women’s participation in the labour force. There was a common view that the representation of women in enterprises could be much higher, with women-owned entrepreneurs forming only 20 percent of all MSME businesses in the country.
One of the biggest barriers for women-led enterprises is significant challenges in the marketplace. The existing literature cites factors such as women’s education and skill levels, access to critical resources such as credit, marketing and distribution networks, technical and managerial know-how; the nature of the business environment and how welcoming it is to women, and prevailing socio-cultural norms that limit whether and what type of paid work women can engage in.
Indian MSMEs account for more than 90% of total industries in the country, have a 45% contribution to industrial production, 40% to national export and 17% in GDP, proving that this sector is the backbone of the Indian economy.
“Government is trying very hard to bring in the MSMEs in the formal sector. For the same, they have initiated the UDYAM portal where MSMEs can register for free. More than 1.3 crore MSMEs are already registered in the UDYAM portal. 18% of those who registered in the UDYAM platform are women-owned MSMEs. We announced a program called SAMARTH, where we are focusing on helping women-owned MSMEs. 20% of all capacity training programs run by the Ministry of MSME will be reserved for women, including participation in domestic and international exhibitions and fairs. All the commercial schemes under National Small Industries Corporation will be reserved for women,” Epao said in the statement.
BB Swain, Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Mercy Epao, Joint Secretary, Small and Medium Enterprises, PVS Suryakumar, Deputy Managing Director, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), S Sivakumar, Group Head – Agri and IT Businesses, ITC Limited, and Saroj Kumar Mahapatra, Executive Director, PRADAN along with other dignitaries were present on the first day of the event.