Family Motivates 78% Women Entrepreneurs

Tide commits to launch Tide Women in Business Ensemble (TWIBE) across North, North-East, East, West & South to provide network support

Gurjodhpal Singh (left), India CEO, Tide India with Dr Oliver Prill, Global CEO, Tide

FinTech BizNews Service    

Mumbai, April 24, 2024: Tide in India, the business financial platform, is launching the first Bharat Women Aspiration Index (BWAI), to champion women-led small businesses in India. The index highlights the motivations, aspirations and challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in India's tier II and beyond cities. Tide in India has committed to the establishment of Peer Community Groups - Tide Women in Business Ensemble (TWIBE) in North, North-East, East, West & South to provide offline & online networking opportunities for women entrepreneurs. TWIBE aims at boosting support for women-led small businesses, which typically employ between 0 - 10 people.

The company commitment stems from the findings of the first report i.e. 63% of women said that they benefited from mentorship while building their business. Tide India surveyed over 1,200 new and existing business owners across age groups of 18-55 years of age from tier II and cities for its first BWAI.

BWAI is a unique initiative as it sets out to understand the aspirations of women business owners from smaller towns and cities instead of their counterparts from metropolitan and entrepreneurial centres such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata.

Key findings from the first edition of BWAI

1.   Family IS the biggest driver & support for women pursuing entrepreneurs: Around 31% women want a better future for their family and 28% wish to support their family with ‘additional income’. 78% rank family as the most important factor when starting a business. The majority, 77%, say that family has been the ‘key factor’ behind their success.

2.   Access to credit exists, BUT with a high degree of informal borrowing: About 52% of women entrepreneurs have access to financial credit, indicating that 1 in 2 entrepreneurs has access to finance, while c. 47% said they face challenges. Nearly all, 95%, of women say they are unaware of existing government financial schemes or initiatives to leverage for their business. This indicates women are turning to the informal sector for access to credit. Interestingly, c. 80% of women agree that tailored financial programmes can make their entrepreneurial journey easy.

3.   Peer group fast-tracks entrepreneurial journeys and successes, though structured mentoring is missing: Around 63% women claim to have access to mentorship to guide them in their businesses. However, c.90% cite names of relatives, or close friends / family network as ‘peers’, indicating lack of structured programmes for women to network and upskill with business know-how.

4.   Atmanirbhar women business owners think digital literacy is a must have : Around 80% of women recognise digital literacy is an important enabler. Around 51%, or 1 in 2, business owners face hurdles in accessing digital tools for business.

5.   Women Entrepreneurs are vocal for local: With family and community at the heart of the aspirations of women in business, entrepreneurs from Bharat are keen on building their businesses locally. Around 38% of women feel that accessing the customer is easier, while c.31% felt that first mover advantage in the local market gives them a competitive edge in business and talent hunting.

6.   Cultural barriers in Bharat are disappearing, work life balance is a major challenge: Only 13% of women reported cultural barriers to their entrepreneurial pursuits indicating a dramatic shift in societal support for women to become ‘earning members’. The much talked about urban gripe of poor work life balance resonates with women entrepreneurs from smaller cities, with c.72% wanting better support systems.

Oliver Prill, Global CEO, Tide said, “Tide’s mission is to formalise over 700,000 women small business owners globally by the end of 2027. As a committed partner in our global initiative to support women in business, we believe that targeted initiatives help eliminate the barriers to successful business. On the back of one such finding of Tide’s first Bharat Women Aspiration Index, we are delighted to announce that India will be our first market where Tide will be launching Peer Community Groups in every region of the country to offer offline and online networking to ‌women members.”

One of the biggest barriers to financial institutions supporting women entrepreneurs is the lack of reliable data by gender and region (especially Tier 2 towns and beyond). The lack of awareness, data and other insights into the trends of women entrepreneurs in semi-urban and rural areas translates into a broader impact where targeted action and support either financial or mentorship can be lacking. A regional study about the women-owned small business community is to provide a contextual background and to design country-specific strategies.

Gurjodhpal Singh, CEO, Tide India said, “BWAI's findings have highlighted the aspirations, motivations, and challenges women in smaller cities face. The findings have inspired us to be a key partner in their success stories. Access to funding, mentors, and digital tools for doing business are tightly interwoven and interdependent. While women entrepreneurs from small towns report that they have access to credit, a large gap in their understanding of financial systems points to the presence of informal money lending channels that may not be in their best interest. Tide’s customised digital tools help women entrepreneurs become part of the formal economy, providing them with structured solutions for payments, administration, taxation, credit and more.”

The BWAI serves as a roadmap for stakeholders including policymakers, businesses, and NGOs to create a more supportive ecosystem for women entrepreneurs. The report identifies opportunities for targeted initiatives, policy advocacy, and collective action to address challenges related to access to finance, mentorship, digital literacy, and work-life balance.

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