Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani on Wednesday called for enhanced participation of women entrepreneurs in growing mid-sized businesses into large enterprises. Speaking at the US-India Business Council’s (USIBC) India Ideas Summit 2022, Irani said while “the SME sector is flooded with women, it would be nice to have more women lead mid-size organisations and grow them into large corporations.”
“We need to know what kind of technological skills women need and support them in attaining those for the greater good of society,” Irani noted in her address. The minister also underscored the need for increased participation of women in the decision-making process at businesses and also becoming part of the administrative, marketing, and strategic teams of organisations.
“I would like to see more involvement from women in the boardrooms not just to fill quotas but to significantly contribute to organisational strategy,” she added.
The minister’s statement comes amid a growing chorus for improved participation of women in business and entrepreneurship to realise the government’s vision of a $5 trillion economy. Importantly, women entrepreneurs’ share at least in the MSME sector has been around 20 per cent only. According to the MSME Ministry’s 2021-22 annual report, out of 6.33 crore MSMEs (based on the National Sample Survey (NSS) 73rd round conducted in FY16), 6.08 crore were proprietary concerns with men owning 79.63 per cent of enterprises as compared to 20.37 per cent owned by women.
The low ratio of women entrepreneurs is also reflected in the new registration portal for MSMEs Udyam. According to the data shared by the Minister of State for MSMEs Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma in the Rajya Sabha in August this year, only 18 per cent of MSMEs registered on Udyam were owned by women entrepreneurs. The total MSME registration count on Udyam as of September 7 stood at 1.06 crore.