Limited access to capital, gender bias biggest challenges for Indian women entrepreneurs

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Kolkata: Lack of access to capital, gender bias at work place and a weak infrastructure in capacity building for women to derive necessary skill sets are the “key challenges” in the way of women entrepreneurship in India, a US-based woman entrepreneur and investment banker said.

“In India despite all the pro women government schemes, the awareness of how to get access to capital is very limited. The women may manage to get the debt but the access to private equity in the form of venture funding or mid to late stage funding is minimal,” Accelerator Group LLC Managing Director Seema Chaturvedi said in a media round table organised by the US Consulate General Kolkata at the American Center here.

She also stated that the women are victims of gender bias at workplace across the world and are stereotyped primarily as care givers in the household.

“It came out during the workshops that whether the woman is from New York or from Coimbatore, there were slimier experiences of significant gender bias at the work place. These experience was not related to being an entrepreneur but is more related to being a woman,” she claimed.

In the run up to the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2017, Chaturvedi was in the city to engage with Global Links students, government officials, entrepreneurs, businessmen, start-ups, and NGOs for promoting entrepreneurship, innovation and business incubation through programmes.

Claiming that the capacity building for women skills is strongly missing in this country, she said a lot women entrepreneurs in India do not have an ability to access certain opportunities as they lack certain soft skills like pitching their ideas to the investors.

“A lot of women either do not have access or are not aware of the opportunities, Some of them do not know how to pitch. So the bottleneck is more societal,” she added.

Source: Firstpost

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