Women Entrepreneurship in Nagaland
by Ricky Ozukum
Entrepreneurship maybe considered as a male dominated role by many but let’s not forget that women entrepreneurs can play an important role just as any entrepreneurs, in the economy development of a state or a country. Gone are the days when businesses were considered as a male dominated area. The modern day women are fearless, confident and exert leadership qualities which can match any successful entrepreneurs. Women entrepreneurs in the country especially in our state have been on a rise since the wake of globalisation and liberalisation. According to Forbes, women entrepreneurs constitute of only 10 to 15 percent of the total number of entrepreneurs in India. Although there is no concrete data on the percentage of women entrepreneurs in Nagaland, there is no denying the fact that women entrepreneurs have steadily grown over the last one decade. Before we delve further, let me highlight literally the definition of women entrepreneurs – “those women who think of a business venture, initiate it, organise and combine the factors of production, operate the venture and undertake risks and handle economic uncertainty involved in running a business enterprise are called Women Entrepreneurs.”
One of the obvious reasons why I want to stress on women entrepreneurship in Nagaland is that they control the vast majority of the household spending. Unless, one’s business is solely focused on men, women are more likely to understand customer perspective which is one of the most important factors for any businesses to flourish and grow. Another reason would be that women are often better at building long term relationship than men. And let me tell you, lasting relationships can benefit a business tremendously. I have come across and interacted with few women entrepreneurs who are thriving successfully. Some has very huge ventures whereas many have smaller ventures which normally starts from one’s home and has sustain over the years towards their household expenses. Let’s face it; we live in a very high demanding and developed generation. In many families, a husband’s salary is not enough to maintain their expenses whether it is the children’s education, household expenses etc. Ironically, to have both parents in a full time career can be taxing for the family. Thus, the viable answer can be seen in many housewives and quite fair to mention husband who venture out their creativity into sustainable businesses which can be worked out from home and that it will not demand the 9-5 job requirements. In many cases, it has proven feasible for many women entrepreneurs.
We live in a generation where women in the corporate world are leading tremendously. Similarly, as a business person, women also have shown their capability to compete with the men. Conversely, once a woman starts a family, it becomes difficult to give their entire time into running a business. From that perspective, I feel that it is quite fair on my part to share some few business ideas which can be practical for women who wants to venture out from their home and at a low cost:
Event Planning: Whether you love to coordinate small get-togethers or plan larger events such as weddings and conventions, you can use your keen eye for detail and ability to juggle multiple tasks to start an event-planning business.
Craft Making/Craft Store: A person having a hobby of crafts making, creating home needs/decoration items can have an excellent crafts making business. Not only can this venture be started and run from a home based location, but this business is also very inexpensive to initiate. Creative home and office decoration products are always in high demand.
Blogging: In today’s world Blogs are most powerful ways for both individuals and businesses to communicate information distinctively online. People having certain hobbies can make money by creating blog and posting articles based on the subject. By investing only Rs 1000 onwards you can start blog business. There are many young women who are successful bloggers. They earn money from companies to post and write about their products/services. This venture can be a fun business. But, one should be passionate enough to thrive in this business.
Creche: There has an increased of working career women which creates an opportunity for convenience services like a crèche. One of the highly profitable business ideas for women entrepreneurs and it can be initiated from home location.
Interior designing: Having knowledge and experience in interior designing a woman entrepreneur can initiate this venture from a home location with low capital investment. One does not need educational qualification for this. If one has a keen eye for colours, decorating, designs than this can be a right choice to venture out.
Jewellery Making: A person having creative mind, knowledge about current fashion trend and passionate about jewellery can start jewellery making business. One can start this self rewarding business home-based with comparatively low startup capital. But, it is advisable to have some special training in jewellery making techniques before starting the business.
Basket weaving, flower nursery, pickle making, catering services are also worth mentioning for any women to start their business ventures. In a very positive side, women can avail financial assistance at a very low interest rates and subsidy from central, state government and Commercial banks. There are many women friendly govt. schemes like WEDS from NEDFi, Stand up India for ST/SC (www.standupmitra.in) from SIDBI. There are schemes and incentives for self help groups which can be availed from financial institutions and different state government departments .
However, for anyone to succeed in their business one has to remember that passion, determination and commitment to turn one’s ideas into a reality is the key. One has to remember that consistency remains the key factor for a business to sustain. It is tough to be a women entrepreneur especially when one has a family to run too. Thus, these few habits and practices can be applied to make you into a successful women entrepreneur: to cultivate passion and grit, to ignore gender bias, to choose the right people to do business with, to achieve balance in your work as well as private life, to learn to delegate work and responsibilities and finally, never be afraid to fail.