It’s the biggest such meeting of startups ever. #StartUpIndia initiative is bringing together some of the most successful and vibrant startup owners in the country under one room along with investors, incubators, government officials, policy makers and media. On January 16th, #StartUpIndia promises to put out an action plan to encourage entrepreneurship in India. Women entrepreneurs are much a part of this successful ecosystem, growing and scaling profitable businesses. SheThePeople conducted a detailed survey with startup owners on what is impacting their business environment right now.
Funding and team talent remain the biggest challenges of companies as they setup and grow. Most surveyed believed these two key factors could make or break their business chance. 60% said building the team was the biggest challenge in their startup journey. “Understanding the business, getting to know unknown things from the scratch,” says Bidisha Basu, founder of Leaping Windows Cafe. “And most importantly in India getting connected with trustworthy staff was a huge period. Hire quality staffs, train them, get to know them was a big responsibility”
BUILDING THE TEAM
“We had to build a support eco-system which is very important and often, an overlooked part of entrepreneurship,” said Pramad Jandhyala, co-founder of LatentView Analytics.
Rupali Samat, Founder of ‘Choc Le’ says she had to initially struggle to get a good balance in her team to create a professional setup. “Ensuring every employee is driven to match the vision at Choc Le’ was a challenge in the initial years.”
Most women startup owners admitted that financial support remains a significant challenge but not the most important one. Most women are self-funded as per the survey. Their either take funds from family or pump in their own savings. On 14% said they sought investors, and 16% of the women polled said they went to banks for borrowings.
CAN THE GOVERNMENT HELP?
An overwhelming majority of the women polled said they wanted to have less compliances for startups as most of their time was spent in meeting the needs of bookkeeping and filings.
However 30% insisted that government should open up a way for funding upcoming startups in different ways. “Not only would this bring scale but also allow many of us to get access to government’s collaborative infrastructure,” said Ruchi Chopra of AnySurpriseAnyPlace.
PASSION FOR THE TOUGH TIMES
There is no dearth of passion and perseverance in the startup world. Entrepreneurs are willing to taste failure and begin again. Nidhi Agarwal of Kaaryah (fashion clothing for odd sized women) was declined by over a 100 investors before she got funded by Ratan Tata and Saha Fund. All women entrepreneurs surveyed voted for passion as their key driver in challenging times.
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