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Business Ideas for Women in 2024

Created on 07 Jun 2023

Wraps up in 10 Min

Read by 6.4k people

Updated on 09 Mar 2024

In India, more than 20% of all businesses are now held by women. The number of women joining the workforce has soared during the last several decades. Women are entering businesses at an unprecedented rate which is a result of the development of the internet, the rise in the proportion of professionally qualified women, and the rising popularity of goods and services geared towards women, fueling this expansion.

Women are now present in all major areas of business-related sectors. More and more women are successfully running business organisations across all sectors, from manufacturing to services.

Business and economy in the nation have been attributed to the rising number of women entrepreneurs. Women-owned businesses are contributing significantly to society by creating jobs, changing the demographics of the nation, and motivating the next generation of female entrepreneurs.

Challenges faced by Women Entrepreneurs in India 

While the number of female entrepreneurs in India has seen an uptick in recent years, it is not an easy hill to climb. The growth in number despite these adversities is truly an ode to the gumption that these women have!

Running a business instead of going for a daily 9-5 has its own problems, but female entrepreneurs in India face a variety of challenges that are unique to their gender like the following:

Lack of Social and Institutional Support

The majority of women entrepreneurs need to receive the social support necessary to launch their businesses from their families, peers, and local communities. Another significant obstacle for women company owners in the nation is a lack of mentorship from the business community.

When it comes to institutional assistance, the situation is the same. Despite initiatives to support female entrepreneurs, many women report that authorities don't provide them with timely advice or assistance.

Poor Funding Prospects

As unjust as it may seem, there are significant gender biases in the Indian financing sector. Due to investor bias and other issues, women-owned firms in the nation lack access to funding. As per a report by Innoven Capital, only 12% of the businesses that got an investment have at least one female founder.

Balancing Responsibilities between Family & Business

Often, people think of families as an extension of women. Married women are expected to have children within a particular age and to be heavily involved in raising their offspring. Young moms are thus forced to put their families before their professions and take time off. Running a business requires a lot of work, which sometimes causes women to feel guilty about prioritising their business above their obligations to their families.

Safety Concerns

As a result of the law and order crisis, crime against women has grown. Women entrepreneurs who need mobility to manage their business ventures face significant obstacles in this hostile and risky environment. Restricted mobility is one of the major issues faced by women in India. They cannot travel by themselves or stay in hotels for work without being concerned about safety. This prevents the women from travelling to many places on their own. The environment can be made sufficiently safer for women trying to take on entrepreneurial roles with the help of significant legal reforms, vigilant law enforcement, and a strong judicial system.

Thus, establishing a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem that gives women access to resources, a safe and secure work environment, and social and institutional support is the best method to address the issue that women entrepreneurs confront.

Business idea suggestions for women 

Entrepreneurism requires the presence of a certain strain of creativity and capital, along with a massive appetite for risk, to truly master this domain. While a lot of our female entrepreneurial readers may have the latter two out of the three requisites, as a writer, I can vouch that creativity is not an ever-present skill.

So, whether you want to test through some businesses to hone your entrepreneurial skill or some low-hanging fruits to help fund that big pipe dream, here are a few business ideas to get you started.

Handmade or Customised Jewellery E-commerce Store

Women have always been drawn to jewellery that is handmade or uniquely designed. Consumers increasingly prefer handcrafted, one-of-a-kind items to mass-produced goods.

In 2024, opening an online store that sells handcrafted or unique jewellery may prove to be a successful business venture for women. Websites like FUBS, GIVA Pipabella, Rubans and more have grown to show that the idea is a sound one and can be a good idea to look into.

Catering and Food Delivery

Women have been stupidly linked to the kitchen as workers paid for the unpaid labour of love for too long. If we are truly being entrepreneurial here, women might as well earn some real ka-ching for the hard work they put in the kitchen!

Catering and food delivery businesses are excellent business ventures for women who love to cook and have a keen eye for aesthetics. People lead hectic lifestyles. Working while maintaining a healthy diet is challenging, especially if you have a family to support.  

There are several services you may offer in this area. The preparation of meals for special occasions and the delivery of prepared meals to customers' homes are a few examples.

Wedding Planning and Coordination Services

Providing wedding planning and coordinating services might be a successful business venture if you have an eye for organisation and planning. Planning a wedding involves a lot of stress and complexity. Some of you can identify with this. 

The wedding industry offers huge financial potential in addition to assisting couples in organising the wedding of their dreams. 

Mobile Beauty Services

Beauty parlours have been a pretty female-dominated segment historically. However, times have changed, and bigger entities are adding convenience to the services to steal the thunder.

Providing mobile beauty services is a practical and adaptable business idea. You can give clients who are short on time comfort and convenience by providing on-site services.

You can provide customised beauty packages that address the particular demands of each client to develop a devoted client base. People are prepared to spend a lot of money on products and services that make them feel and look their best. 

Start a blog

If you are really passionate about something and possess a good amount of knowledge regarding the field, sharing your expertise and abilities with the world is conceivable, and if you're lucky, you could even be able to monetise your blog through affiliate marketing or advertising and generate an income for yourself.

Content Marketing Strategist

The need for content marketing strategists is growing as firms place more emphasis on digital marketing. You may provide businesses with services that enable them to produce and distribute high-quality content that attracts and converts their target audience.

You can offer useful services that aid firms in achieving their marketing objectives if you are knowledgeable about content marketing, SEO, and social media. 

Boutique Clothing and Accessories Store

A fun and successful business venture if you love fashion is opening a boutique that sells apparel and accessories. A selection of distinctive and fashionable attire and accessories that appeal to your target market can be assembled.

A boutique clothes business has the advantage of not requiring a lot of floor space. Working with regional designers allows you to concentrate on carrying a small selection of designs and earning big bucks for them.

Florist

The Profession of floristry provides the chance to work with lovely and aromatic flowers. For weddings, business gatherings, or even regular events, you can provide floral arrangements.
Creativity and an understanding of flowers are required to become a florist.

However, the initial investment is not particularly high. All you require is a location to store and arrange flowers, as well as a solid working relationship with flower vendors.

Pet Grooming and Boarding Services

A gratifying business venture for women who enjoy working with animals is launching a pet grooming and boarding service.

For working professionals, boarding facilities and grooming services are in high demand. You can not only offer pet owners a useful service, but you can also demand a premium fee for it.

People will spend outrageous prices to guarantee their animals are receiving the greatest care possible if you can convince them that you provide a secure and loving environment for their pets.

In conclusion, it's never been simpler to launch a business. Regardless of your abilities and hobbies, there are countless opportunities. Many of these businesses can be launched from the comfort of your home with little capital.

Mobile apps nowadays can completely change your business by enabling you to engage with clients, sell goods, and provide services from anywhere in the world. There is a business concept out there for everyone, whether you want to create an online store, offer personalised coaching, or offer virtual services.

Schemes by the Government for Women Entrepreneurs 

Businesses need a lot from a singular person to run smoothly. Not only does a person need to sink more than the normal “8 hours a day”, but they also need more capital than is readily available, as well as constant upgradation.

Since no man or woman is an island, sometimes a little external help goes a long way. External help can be some funds that could be lent to you by a friend that can teach you something new. Hell, even a friend that listens can help. The government can sometimes play the friend’s role too! Here are some schemes by government departments for promoting women's participation in business:

Skill upgradation and Mahila Coir Yojana

The Ministry of MSME oversees this programme for Coir production, which entails removing fibre from a coconut’s outer husk to be used in the production of items like doormats, brushes, and mattresses.

It includes a training programme designed to assist female craftsmen working in the coir industry in developing their talents. Students who participate in this programme receive two months of coir spinning training. The candidates who complete this training receive a monthly stipend of ₹3000. Training artisans who want to start coir units can get assistance under the Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) scheme, and this is encouraged.

Eligibility: Women artisans in the rural regions producing coir fibre are eligible for this scheme.

Mudra Yojana for Women/Mahila Udhyami Yojana 

Managed by the Department of Financial Services of the Ministry of Finance, it offers flexible repayment terms and loans up to ₹10 lakh without any requirement for collateral to female business owners. Loans provided by the Mudra Yojana Scheme for Women can be used to launch a new business, grow an existing one, or update an existing one with the newest equipment and technology. Women have a maximum of 5 years to repay their loans and a minimum of 3 years.

Eligibility: Women company owners running manufacturing or production companies are qualified to receive unsecured loans up to ₹10 lakh. The maximum age for women to apply for loans under the Mudra scheme is 65 years old. The minimum age requirement is 18 years old.

Stand Up India 

The Stand-Up India (SUI) programme, which the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) facilitates, was introduced by the Hon. Prime Minister (PM) on April 5, 2016, to finance SC/ST and/or female entrepreneurs.

The motive of the SUI scheme is to provide bank loans from ₹10 lakh and ₹1 crore to at least one borrower from backward classes (ST & SC) and at least one woman borrower from every bank branch for setting up a greenfield enterprise.

Only Green Field Projects are eligible for loans under the programme. In this context, the term "Green Field" refers to the beneficiary's first effort into the manufacturing, service, agri-allied, or trading sectors. Non-individual enterprises need that 51% of the stock and controlling interest to be held by either SC/ST or female entrepreneurs.

The objective of the SUI scheme is to provide loans from the bank between the amount of ₹10 lakh to ₹1 crore. These loans are facilitated to at least one borrower from Scheduled Caste (SC) or Scheduled Tribe (ST), as well as one woman from each bank branch. 

Eligibility: SC/ST and/or female entrepreneurs who are at least 18 years old.

BIRAC-TiE WInER Awards

The BIRAC TiE Women In Entrepreneurial Research (WInER) scheme is managed by the Department of Biotechnology of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

In this scheme, 15 selected women entrepreneurs will receive seed funding of ₹5 lakhs each; access to the expert mentor network of TiE and BIRAC, one-year membership of TiE Delhi NCR, showcase opportunities at TiE, access to TiE Startup Accelerator programme, and the opportunity to go through an intensive accelerator programme.

Eligibility: A woman entrepreneur in the area of life sciences/ biotech/ pharma with an exciting entrepreneurial idea. The female entrepreneur should be a citizen of India and a promoter of an Indian company.

Credit Guarantee Scheme for Micro and Small Enterprises  

This scheme is provided by the Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises.

It assists with a credit facility up to ₹5 lakhs at a 1% interest rate, above ₹5 lakhs and up to ₹50 lakhs at a 1.35% interest rate and above ₹50 lakhs and up to ₹200 lakhs at a 1.80% interest rate to women, micro-enterprises, and units covered in the Northeast region.

Eligibility: Self Help Groups (SHGs), Agriculture, and other new or existing Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) involved in manufacturing or service activities. As of right now, the MSMED Act of 2006 defines any activities that take place in the service sector as being eligible for coverage under the programme.

The Bottom Line

With the rise of digitalisation and the government's focus on promoting entrepreneurship, it is an opportune time for women to start their own businesses. From e-commerce ventures to healthcare solutions, there is no shortage of business ideas for women to pursue. However, it is important to conduct thorough research and analysis before starting a business and to have a solid business plan in place.

Women entrepreneurs should also focus on building a strong network of mentors and peers who can provide guidance and support. With the right approach and a commitment to hard work and perseverance, women entrepreneurs can succeed in the Indian market and make a positive impact on society. The future is bright for women in business, and 2024 promises to be an exciting year for women entrepreneurs in India.

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