India has always been known for its diversity, culture, and innovation. And now, there’s a new wave of innovation sweeping across the country, and it’s changing the face of entrepreneurship. With the help of technology, the Indian startup ecosystem is creating equity and access not just in urban areas but across the entire country. This has given rise to a new wave of entrepreneurs, who are not limited by geography, capital, or resources.
The cultural attitude toward entrepreneurship is also shifting, with more young people viewing it as a viable career option. And why not? The success of many young Indian entrepreneurs has served as an inspiration and motivator for many.
State of women entrepreneurs
In a landscape dominated by male entrepreneurs and investors, women-led startups in India need help to secure funding and break the glass ceiling. Shockingly, less than 1% of active angel investors in India are women, and women-founded startups receive just 1% of total funding. Furthermore, a staggering 60% of women entrepreneurs report experiencing bias in the past year alone.
However, there are glimmers of hope, with 15% of Indian unicorns boasting women co-founders, albeit only two with women CEOs. Despite these challenges, women entrepreneurs continue to persevere, driving innovation and growth in India’s startup ecosystem. It’s high time for investors and society at large to recognize and support their contributions.
Unveiling the Gap in Venture Funding
Between January and June of this year, startups with only women founders raised an impressive $118.4 million across 31 deals. This is a four-fold increase from last year’s period, where they raised $29.1 million across 17 deals. While this is undoubtedly causing for celebration, it is important to note that women-led startups only accounted for 9% of the total $17.1 billion raised in the first half of 2022.
There is still a long way to go. However, these women are unstoppable. They are breaking records, surpassing expectations, and making their mark in various sectors. The fintech industry led the way, with women-led startups raising a staggering $722.3 million. D2C startups closely followed this with $152.4 million, EdTech startups with $107.5 million, and SaaS startups with $99.2 million.
What can a startup ecosystem do?
- Provide access to funding: Help women entrepreneurs create more opportunities to access funding, such as offering mentorship programs, networking events, and pitching competitions specifically for women-led startups.
- Foster mentorship and networking: The ecosystem can help address this by creating more opportunities for women entrepreneurs to connect with and learn from successful female entrepreneurs and investors.
- Promote diversity and inclusion: The startup ecosystem needs to be more diverse and inclusive to better support women entrepreneurs.
- Provide educational resources: Women entrepreneurs may face unique challenges when it comes to starting and growing their businesses. The ecosystem can help by providing educational resources, such as workshops and online courses, that specifically address the needs of women entrepreneurs.
India’s startup ecosystem is experiencing a wave of innovation and entrepreneurship, fueled by technology and changing cultural attitudes. However, women-led startups continue to face significant barriers when it comes to securing funding and breaking through the glass ceiling. Despite these challenges, women entrepreneurs are making their mark, driving growth and innovation in various sectors. To create a more inclusive and supportive startup ecosystem, it is essential to provide women entrepreneurs with access to funding, mentorship, networking opportunities, and educational resources. Only by recognizing and supporting the contributions of women entrepreneurs can India’s startup ecosystem reach its full potential.
Women entrepreneurs in India are making strides despite facing significant barriers to funding and support. India’s startup ecosystem is changing, but it still needs to do more to support women entrepreneurs. Women-led startups in India are shaking things up and driving innovation, but they need more access to funding and resources. The future of entrepreneurship in India is diverse and inclusive, with women entrepreneurs leading the way. Women entrepreneurs in India are carving out their own path, breaking records, and making history.