"We know what we are, but know not what we may be. "
- William Shakespeare
What is Entrepreneurship?
If you are a self-starter with a strong business idea and have the wherewithal to convert your business plan into a viable solution, you have the basic entrepreneurial skills. If you can take risks and possess money management skills, you have it in you! An entrepreneur is self-motivated and enjoys the flexibility and capitalizes on the opportunities that come her way.
Rise of Women Entrepreneurs in this century
This century has been witnessing a growing number of women entrepreneurs. More women are looking to strike out on their own. They crave the flexibility and freedom that entrepreneurship offers. Of course, they have all carved their own journeys, overcome their phobia of failure, and scaled new heights.
Top examples of woman leaders
India has no dearth of inspiring passionate women entrepreneurs who have carved a path for themselves. They have shown the world that they can create and market world-class products and services and are second to none!
1.Kiran Mazumdar Shaw founded Biocon Industries in the 1970s and was among the first Indian companies to secure USFDA approval.
2.Priya Paul has been successfully running the Park Group of Hotels.
3.Ritu Kumar was among the first fashion designers who showcased the beauty of Indian fabric to the world. With her fashion label, she struck out to design evening dresses and bridal wear.
4.Nykaa is a brand that has become synonymous with online beauty and wellness products. The woman behind it, Falguni Nayyar nurtured this fledgling company to its current online status.
5.Online lingerie store Zivame is yet another path-breaking Indian success story. Spearheaded by Richa Kar, Zivame was a novel idea to cater to Indian women looking for innerwear options.
6.Vandana Luthra is the face behind the VLCC brand. She ventured into the beauty industry with a chain of beauty and slimming salons. Over time, it expanded into a grooming center with facilities such as full-body laser, hair care, and dermatological consultation.
Some tips for being a successful Entrepreneur
Being an entrepreneur involves foremost being a leader. As an entrepreneur, you will need to constantly make decisions. Arm yourself with information about your line of business. It is critical to understand your customers. Keep a keen ear to listen to what customers want. You can find your answers there.
Build long-term relationships with customers, suppliers, your team to grow and expand your business. Have a clear idea of what you are offering and what sets it aside from the rest. Are you addressing a new niche? Innovation in services, ideas, and ways of doing things is what will give you the edge over others.
Upgrade your skills
It is a fast-changing world and the best way to keep pace with it is to constantly learn. As a women entrepreneur, ensure that you have a skill update plan. There is no dearth of learning avenues today; all you need is the enthusiasm for learning. Upgrade your skills in your field of work. Keep updated with the latest technology or new ideas in your segment.
Have a Robust Business Plan?
To actualize your dreams and ideas into a successful venture, the first step is to create a well-researched business plan. This business plan is the bridge between your vision and a successful business. The business plan can outline the business viability.
Understanding the market is an important factor in a robust business plan. A clear study of the existing situation and the players already in the segment is vital to position your business and subsequent activities such as marketing and advertising.
It is only with a well-documented business plan that you can start sourcing financing. Be it a bank borrowing or venture capital, your business plan will guide the allocation of resources and structure of the venture.
List down potential sources of finance
Women entrepreneurs in India can avail of various funding schemes for the MSME sector. The Stree Shakti package from SBI, Annapurna Scheme from State Bank of Mysore, Stand-Up India by SIDBI and Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme by Punjab National Bank are some funding options. The Mudra Yojana Scheme for Women for women entrepreneurs is another potential source of finance.
Have well-defined short term and long-term goals
Goal setting can decide your path. Be it revenue goals or customer service goals, website traffic goals, or community outreach goals; be sure of your long-term and short-term goals.
While long-term goals can help you chart your general direction, your short-term goals are critical in day-to-day functioning.
If you have a certain revenue goal, you need to plan accordingly to be able to meet it. If it’s a long-term goal of gaining recognition in the community and involving social progress, then you need to plan your activities to make strides towards the goal.
Learn to conquer your fears
Our fears work as the brakes on our dreams. To be able to overcome the fear of failure, plan well so that you can be assured of success. Embrace the fear and conquer it with a positive mindset and consistent and focused hard work.
No ‘one size that fits all’. Each woman has to create her own path to entrepreneurship and success. It is fraught with challenges but what is critical is a surety of vision. With the right women leadership values, there are no boundaries to what you can achieve.