In India, four out of five women wish to become entrepreneurs. By failing to not address the challenges that such women face, the country is missing out on 15.5 million new businesses and around 64 million additional jobs, claims a new study by Facebook. The study revealed that if 52% women start a business today, it will boost the economic growth as well and create new businesses and additional jobs as mentioned above by 2021.
With just a few days for the International Women's Day on March 8, Facebook has launched a program called SheLeadsTech. This program will give women founded or co-founded start-ups access to the tools resources, and mentorship in order to overcome a few barriers they face.
Aruna Sundarajan, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, stated that they are optimistic about the partnership with platforms such as Facebook in order to empower women. They are also in plans to forge partnerships with Google, Intel, and Cisco for the betterment of the lives of women via technology.
This year-long program includes the access to FBStart comprising of FBStart tools, mentorship and resources via a regular cadence of interactions with a set of mentors. As per the study, the most commonly cited reason preventing women from setting up their own business in the country is their family commitments and responsibilities accounting for 38%. Also, 29% of the same is due to the lack of access to finance, 30% is due to the worry related to personal financial security, and 30% is due to the lack of clarity regarding where to get started.
On the other hand, the small businesses on Facebook have a different story to tell. There are over 2 million small business pages that are active on Facebook. And, more number of women are using the same to grow or start successful businesses. There has been an 85% increase in the number of women-owned SMB pages on Facebook in the country in the last year.