28 June 2017

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Harnessing Creative Energy of Women

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Mangaloreans Dr. Anjali Ganesh, an Assistant Professor from St. Joseph’s Engineering College, Vamanjoor along-with Robin Shinde, a Lecturer and Placement Coordinator, at the A. J Institute of Management, Kottara Chowki co-authored a well researched paper entitled “Harnessing Creative Energy of Women to be Entrepreneurs through Self Employment Training.” The study gives an overview of the factors that inspire women entrepreneurs to take up their own business, the problems faced by women entrepreneurs, significance of Entrepreneurship Development Programmes (EDP) and the insight garnered by women trainees who trained at RUDSET Institute-Ujire, Karnataka State, regarding the efficacy of self-employment training.

 In their introductory paragraph the researchers going on to quote President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s famous lines state “The only thing we need to fear is fear itself”.  According to them this statement too could be applied to individuals who leave their dreams unfulfilled due to fear of failure They are also sadly lacking in self confidence. However, now times are changing. Women have a greater urge to go in for self employment, as they have a unique position in society. The real development of the nation is impossible if women are not engaged in some productive activity.  Due to various reasons, small business offers the best opening for women entrepreneurs. However, identifying the creative skills of the women to convert them into entrepreneurs is definitely a difficult task though not impossible. But the most practical path to women empowerment is women entrepreneurship.  
 
Entrepreneurship Development Programmes (EDP) and self-employment training provided by institutions like say RUDSET Institute - Ujire are indeed unique services rendered to lessen redundancy of women’s work power. Most of the women attending these trainings do not have strong education background and few of them are illiterates too. But those not attending these trainings are definitely not on stronger ground to start their own ventures. The role of such institutes in promoting employment creation activities and instilling confidence amongst the trainees can never be underestimated. RUDSETI has indeed played a major role in transforming the mental perspective of the participants and developing co-operative attitude, necessary for Entrepreneurship Development. In fact the self employment training provided there, has opened the doors of vocational opportunity for the trainees.

The researchers have basically identified a few key problem areas pertaining to Indian women entrepreneurs. Topping the list is the fact that women are and have been living in a male dominated society, followed by women’s literacy rate, pre-conceived ideas and notions about her role in life, highly limited mobility, involvement of cumbersome procedures in starting an enterprise, regular scarcity of raw materials and necessary inputs, operational difficulties, un-reach ability of Government schemes and incentives, rampant male chauvinism, society’s lack of confidence  etc.

A sample size of 100 women was chosen out of 167 women, who were being trained in EDPs in the year 2006-07 from RUDSETI of Ujre.


The findings of the study are given below:

1. Training programmes attended and the possibility of starting a venture: Out of the 100 women who were trained in EDPs, about 38 per cent of them have already started their own business. This is a fairly good number, since barely three months have gone by since they underwent training and started their ventures. This shows that the EDPs at RUDSETI have practical penetration.


2. Motivating factors for taking up entrepreneurship:

Women are motivated to take entrepreneurship because of multiple factors. It could be either intrinsic factors (inherent) or extrinsic factors which trigger motivation amongst women to start any business on their own.


3.Perception regarding self-employment training and its effectiveness

Trainees are the best judges to evaluate the effectiveness of any training programme. Based on the perception and feedback of the trainees, one can understand the efficacy level of the training.

The researchers have highlighted certain key areas to be dealt with for strengthening women entrepreneurship. These are encapsulated below:

1. Constraints imposed by the traditional society have to be reversed. Socio- cultural attitudinal change is a must to increase the degree of acceptability of women entrepreneurs.

2. More vocational and technical training facilities have to be set up at micro as well as macro level to help women to develop more awareness.

3. Intensive entrepreneurship development training programmes and managerial skill improvement training programmes have to be delivered both in rural, semi-urban and urban areas to help women develop quick decision making skills

4. Development of women co-operative societies, women’s banks, and women entrepreneurial estates are essential to support and sustain the development of entrepreneurship among women.

5. Marketing support and tax concessions, subsidies are essential by the Government to help women entrepreneurs to face the competition and market forces.

6. Banks and other financial institutions should simplify their lending formalities especially for women entrepreneurs as an important part of their corporate social responsibility.

7. Women’s education and literacy requires to be concentrated on with special emphasis, in the best interest of the nation and also women should be given updates regarding the latest technological developments and environmental trends.

The researchers conclude their study by stating that the drive for entrepreneurship is as much present in women as in men. Self employment gives greater satisfaction and flexibility to women in their lives, as they have to perform multiple roles simultaneously. According to them, RUDSET Institute is rendering yeomen service in mitigating the problem of unemployment and also motivating women to take up self-employment, thereby becoming self reliant in life. Government and banking sector should co-operate with each other in replicating the RUDSETI model as they can play the role of catalysts in motivating more youth in general and women in particular, to take up entrepreneurship, advise the researchers.

 

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