India’s already fast-growing economy could be supercharged by female entrepreneurship. Currently, only about 27% of women are pursuing a career or looking for work in India. The country could add up to $770 billion to the economy by addressing that gender inequality.
India’s government launched several programs to help women succeed in the world of startups. For example, the government introduced a startup-oriented loan program as part of Startup India.
The technology giants aren’t far behind the Indian government. Both Facebook and Google have recognized the role that Indian women could play in the tech boom. The companies have organized programs to support Indian women who want to launch their own startups.
However, merely investing in female-run startups won’t be enough to create the culture shift necessary for women’s entrepreneurship. The initiatives organized by private corporations as well as the Indian government will allow women to get their foot in the door, but they will not hold those doors open. It can be incredibly difficult for women to penetrate the market in a country where relatively few women work outside of the home. Indian women have the tremendous opportunity to re-write the world of startups, but it won’t be easy.
As Laurel Thatcher Ulrich said, “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” So, let’s hope that Indian women are ready to cast aside their manners to become the tech rebels that future generations need them to be.