We are in the second generation of start-ups in India, and yet women-led businesses are not even close to the number led by men founders. While incubators can give the right push and help in accelerating the growth and success of startups, initially these were also male-dominated. But today, there is a marked change and we see  successful entrepreneurs wanting to root for gender equality in the business world.

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Talking about impact of gender during the incubation process, COO of Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship, Priyanka Chopra said that all these are labels and an entrepreneur is an entrepreneur. “More than 10% of our portfolio is women entrepreneurs and I don’t see them any different in ambition or expertise or what they bring then men. I think what would help more is having more women role models and mentor networks because when women entrepreneurs go to meet suppliers and other partners, there could be a gender lens there. So women who have done it before and who can give back in terms of mentoring — that would really help.”

“But yes if you go into small, disintermediated individuals for fund raising in tier two tier three cities, I am sure it (gender bias) exists. So if you are a woman in tier one today and you have a good idea, then you should just believe that gender is not going to get in the way. And if it does, then you fight it”- Suchi Mukherjee of Limeroad

Suchi Mukherjee, founder of Limeroad, who is successfully leading an e-commerce business is also of the similar view. She says, “If you have a good business idea and a biggish market to go for, then gender bias is not as prevalent today when you go for the incubation process. It also depends on where you go for incubation. If you talk to the Indian Angel Network I don’t think there is gender inequality there. “

“But yes if you go into small, disintermediated individuals for fundraising in tier two tier three cities, I am sure it exists. So if you are a woman in tier one today and you have a good idea, then you should just believe that gender is not going to get in the way. And if it does, then you fight it,” she added.

However, Make My Trip founder Deep Kalra is of the view that India doesn’t have good women entrepreneurs. “It is the saddest part that we just don’t have enough. I don’t see why they are so less in number. Entrepreneurship is actually a very good option for women. They can take time off whenever they want and they can pace themselves. So it is probably better to do an entrepreneurial venture than working in a job where people do not understand. This is still one of the reasons why there are fewer women in high-pressure jobs,” says Kalra.

Education and having a support system could be the game-changer for women to see themselves as entrepreneurs. When we have more women aspiring to become founders, we will have more women founders.

More Stories by Poorvi Gupta

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