Entrepreneurship and Women

Entrepreneurship is the activity of setting up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit. Approximately 1/3rd of the entrepreneurs in the world are women entrepreneurs. Some decide to take up entrepreneurship as choice while others inherit it from their family.
Before you decide to take this road, there are a number of factors which you need to consider.

Business Aspects

When you start a business it is with one of the two end results:

  • Either you are able to solve a problem which had no solution till now
  • Or you have a better way to solve an existing problem (with their existing solutions)

If you know exactly what your new service or product will do, it will give a lot of clarity on how to target your end customers and grow your business.

If you are not sure of your business idea or how to go about implementing your business plan, it would be a good idea to become a part of some of the Women Entrepreneur Associations around you. Some popular ones include TiE Stree Shakti (TSS)Sheroes and Federation of Indian Women Entrepreneurs (FIWE) among others.

Finances – All the Number Crunching

Before you start any venture, you need to get the Finances right.
How much money do I need for my business?

This would consist of the amount required to start the business which includes entity set up costs, regulatory registration costs, cost of Plant, Machinery & Equipment among others. The second part, generally not factored in by many entrepreneurs, would be the running costs or the Working Capital requirements of the business.

Once you have figured out how much money you need, the next question is from where you are going to get the money. The money can come from your past savings, from family & friends or you can decide to approach the formal banking channels to extend you a loan. If your business idea/product is scalable and has mass application you can approach the formal equity channels like Angel Investors or Venture Capital funds.

You may want to check your eligibility under some of the schemes of the government for Women Entrepreneurs like Trade related entrepreneurship assistance and development (TREAD) scheme for womenSupport to Training and Employment Programme for Women (STEP) and Swayam Siddha. There are a number of schemes launched by the State Governments as well to support the Women Entrepreneurs.

Regulatory overhang

Each business attracts a number of regulators depending on the nature of the business, the location of the business, the entity structure in which the business is being run etc. Apart from filing your Income Tax Return against the profits made, some of the common laws applicable to most businesses are:

  • Service Tax, if you provide services (to be replaced with GST from July 1, 2017)
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) or Central Sales Tax (CST), if you sell goods (to be replaced with GST from July 1, 2017)
  • Deducting tax at source (TDS) on payments to service providers
  • Profession Tax (PTRC) levied on all professions, trades, callings and employments
  • Profession Tax (PTEC), if you have employees
  • Shop Act Registration, if you have moved your business out of your home
  • FSSAI registration, if you are dealing with food products

It would augur well for you to have a partner / advisor to help you navigate through the various non core parameters so that you can focus on the business.