Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], Aug 22 (ANI): There is an urgent need "to increase sales and marketing channels" for women entrepreneurs in Bengaluru to run and scale up their businesses, and make them finance ready so that they can access capital, according to a study.
The study report released by Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME) and consulting firm Sattva also noted that there has been a sharp decline in their revenues due to COVID-19.
"The study finds that for women entrepreneurs in Bengaluru, to run and scale their businesses, there is an urgent need "to increase sales & marketing channels and make them finance ready" so that they can access capital. While women entrepreneurs in the region face formidable challenges, the combination of new market platforms, peer-support networks, capital will make women entrepreneurs a force to reckon with before the end of the decade," read the release by GAME.
The majority of the research participants were middle-aged, educated women entrepreneurs from lower-to-middle income households.
The purpose of the study across priority sectors like food, apparel, health and wellness and education in Bengaluru is to build a nuanced understanding of women-owned small businesses and to ensure that efforts made to enable growth are mapped to the differing needs of the segment.
At a time when COVID-19 has disrupted businesses across the world, women entrepreneurs in Bengaluru bear the brunt too as their revenues dipped by 60-80 per cent due to the pandemic, the study pointed out.
For all entrepreneurs, COVID has reduced their revenues by 60-80 per cent, the report highlighted. The study identified them into Solopreneurs (64 per cent) and Nanopreneurs (36 per cent). Solopreneurs are entrepreneurs who run their businesses on their own i.e. they do not hire paid employees or workers while Nanopreneurs employed at least 1 worker apart from themselves.
Of the interviewed entrepreneur pool, Strivers (Nanopreneurs earning less than Rs 60,000 a month and having grown their teams for business expansion) had an 80 per cent decline in revenue due to reduced customer footfall, the report underlined.
As per the study, 53 per cent of the participants had their monthly household income below Rs 50,000, 84 per cent women entrepreneurs use personal savings for capital needs and also tend to rely on friends and family, 97 per cent of the women entrepreneurs hired less than 5 paid employees/workers and 67 per cent entrepreneurs had been running their businesses for under 5 years.
Formalization is higher among nanopreneurs with 78 per cent of them having registered businesses versus 27 per cent solopreneurs.
The study pointed out that with limited financial literacy, 80 per cent of Seekers either maintain rough books of accounts or do not maintain any books while 46 per cent of Aspirants were able to make pivots in their business post-COVID by working on strengthening their online presence during this time.
"Nanopreneurs sub-segments - Strivers who employ between 1-5 people with business monthly revenue of less than Rs 60000 and Achievers with business monthly revenue between than Rs 60,000 and Rs 2,00,000. Nanopreneurs sub-segments - Strivers who employ between 1-5 people with business monthly revenue of less than Rs 60000 and Achievers with business monthly revenue between than Rs 60,000 and Rs 2,00,000," read the release.
A few findings of the Study have helped understand that there is a need to immediately help women entrepreneurs transition from building businesses using personal savings/borrowings to small sized affordable finance to expand the reach of their business, read the release.
Talking about the study, M Srinivas Rao, CEO, GAME said, "GAME's mission is to catalyse 10 million mass entrepreneurs in India by 2030, half of whom will be women. Our study in Bengaluru focused on the four sectors of Food, Apparel, Healthcare and Education that typically have more women entrepreneurs compared to other sectors."
"Noticeably, even across these four sectors, only 15% are women-owned and of these only, 4% employ greater than 5 people. This shows that we have a long way to go. The Study reinforces the sentiment that while women in Bengaluru have many opportunities to build entrepreneurial ventures, the ecosystem lacks in supplementing them with the adequate resources, infrastructure and freedom," he said.
Dr Rajeswari Ranganathan, President, Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Karnataka (AWAKE) said that Financial Literacy and Awareness, Technology and Digital Literacy and Nurturing of an entrepreneurial mindset are key areas of support for all categories of women entrepreneurs.
Aarti Mohan, Co-founder and Partner at Sattva Consulting said that COVID's impact has made lack of access to affordable credit, more so for women entrepreneurs, a central issue.
"Gendered factors in access impede these women entrepreneurs from applying to formal credit. The need of the hour is to bring them under a formal and affordable credit system to help them scale their business," she said.
"With COVID severely affecting businesses, women entrepreneurs need to relook at their business models. As an immediate recourse keeping in line with the new normal, they should be looking at online channels like social media and eCommerce platforms to sustain business. In the mid-to longer term, women need to access more government schemes and stimulus including financial assistance to recover from their negative cash flow," she added. (ANI)