An Analytical Study of Rural Women Entrepreneurship to Enhance Income in Punjab
Sangeet and Parminder Kaur
In India, women constitute around 48 per cent of the population but their participation in the economic activities is only 34 per cent. In rural India, the male work participation rate (WPR) is 53 per cent while that for female is only 30 per cent indicating that female workforce remains unutilized. In rural Punjab the female WPR was only 18.7 per cent in 2001which further declined to13.9 per cent during 2011 (the lowest in the country).An economy can move on to higher levels of growth through planned development by developing human resources to their brimming utilization. Women entrepreneurship has been recognized during the last decade as an important untapped source of economic growth. A total of one hundred and five respondents were selected for the study who had got trainings from KVK, Moga. The sample consisted of rural farm women/girls. Both primary as well as secondary data was used. There was a significant increase in the income of the respondents after entering the enterprise. Decrease in the value of Gini ratio from 0.63 to 0.36 shows that the income inequality between the entrepreneurs has increased after entering the enterprise. It was observed lack of finance to carry on business was mentioned as the major problem by the respondents (73.06 per cent) followed by other factors of marketing (67.11 per cent), social barriers (56.91 per cent), hesitation due to lack of risk bearing ability, un ability to make decisions independently, illiteracy (31.69 per cent) and forgetfulness (30.31 per cent). It is very true that rural entrepreneurship cannot be developed without proper training. Therefore, it is necessary to provide more training to rural women to enhance their entrepreneurial skill giving a path of success to rural women through Government institutes like KVKs. They need capacity building and training in functional areas such as finance, literacy skills, marketing, production and managerial skills. Entrepreneur network must be encouraged. Therefore government subsidies and credit facilities can help them for ball rolling of the new enterprises. Special credit cum debt account for the rural women can be started in local banks so that women can get better benefit of the various subsidies. There is a need for early dissemination of entrepreneurship education in the schools for timely exploration of entrepreneurial capabilities. Encouragement and assistance should be provided to rural entrepreneurs for setting up marketing co-operatives, and Self Help Groups to adopt collective approach.