Assistant Professor Department of Commerce
St. Joseph’s College (NAAC Accreditated)
Historically women in Nagaland had no equal opportunities with men. But comparatively, Naga women do enjoy certain advantages over other women in India. With the advance of Christianity and the introduction of education in the state, many young Naga girls had the opportunity to learn and grow through their education. With education and knowledge, women too are aware of the need for economic independence, status in the society and need for achievement in life.
Women have received worldwide recognition and efforts to increase and improve or enhance their ability, creativity as well as their contribution in the society. There has been an increase in female literacy rate as well as a reduction of gender based inequalities in the 21st century even in India and particularly in Nagaland too. Women are becoming more independent economically and socially. There have been examples of outstanding performance and contribution of women in almost all fields be it science, technology, engineering, social science, music or industry, trade and commerce. These examples have brought to light the potentials and capabilities of women, which needed to be nurtured in the male dominated society not only to liberate women but also to harness their abilities for the overall development of the country as a whole and particularly the state. However, the fact that woman has certain characteristics which differ from their male counterparts and the fact that family or social balance need to be kept in mind.
The process of entrepreneurship is not an easy task whether it is undertaken by women or men, entrepreneurship is endowed with problems. Entrepreneurs face a number of hurdles in the process of starting their enterprises or running them successfully. Women entrepreneurs also possess the same entrepreneurial characteristics as men. In fact, when women and men are compared, women are challenged on more grounds then men. In other words, it is observed through various studies that women entrepreneurs are endowed with some extra qualities such as ability, dedication to work, tolerance and patience to undertake an unknown task.
The Government of Nagaland has declared the year 2010 as the “Year of Entrepreneur” so as to encourage the youth in Nagaland to undertake entrepreneurial activities in the state. The Morung Express, 1st May 2010 further reports that the declaration envisaged providing assistance in the form of training for capacity building, subsidized power connection, easy loans and land to establish their business. As per data collected by the researcher from the Directorate of Industries and Commerce, Nagaland, 2012, reveals that 1000 youths have been selected under this program, whereas only 128 individuals were provided with assistance by the Government through this program. Out of the 128 beneficiaries 108 were male entrepreneurs and 20 were female entrepreneurs. These 20 female entrepreneurs were engaged in piggery, floriculture, T-shirt making, cyber-café and beauty parlour.
Amin, Mir. M (2008) in his study “Entrepreneurship development- An Approach to economic empowerment of women”- when women have economic power defined as control of income and capital they gain more equality and control over their own lives, contributing directly to the growth of nations’ income.
Mandal, Deepali(2008) mentioned in the paper on “Women Entrepreneurship in the North East Region for Economic Development”- Girls today need to be exposed to the new value system that will enable them to emerge as ‘new women’……Women have predominant role to play in our country/society and there is a need to bring them into mainstream of economic development, which is possible by indicating entrepreneurship culture amongst them.
In a recent study conducted where 70 respondents were randomly selected, it was revealed that women entrepreneurs of the State are engaged as vegetable vendors, traditional cloths and items, beauty parlors, dress making and tailoring, readymade goods, hotels and restaurants, and other shops selling different varieties of items, beads manufacturing, candle making, florist, etc. It was also observe that those women with lower educational qualifications were running their units profitably if not better than those women with higher educational qualifications. Furthermore, it was analyzed interesting that 86% of sample respondents’ i.e.60 women out the 70 women respondents were main bread earners of their respective families.
Some of the problems that were analyzed in the study are:
1. Lack of economic independence & autonomy to start business.
2. Lack of encouragement & support from family.
3. Lack of access to land, properties and other resources.
4. Family obligations affecting the business.
5. Problems due to low level of education.
6. Limited choice of activities due to limited knowledge.
7. Problems exist due to lack of financial assistance.
8. Lack of experience in business management.
9. Lack of marketing infrastructural facilities.
10. Lack of marketing assistance & support.
11. Presence of conflict due to family-work balance.
12. Lack of opportunities for growth and expansion of business.
13. Lack of governmental & support agencies for women.
14. Lack of advice whenever/wherever required.
15. Lack of mobility whenever required.
Overcoming the above problems would mean success in running their businesses. The extend of need felt for infrastructural facility in the State, lack of knowledge of existing support system as well as the lack of awareness among women on the availability of different schemes for the development of women entrepreneurship. Banking and other financial institutions have to create awareness about the availability of loans particularly to women entrepreneurs. Government machineries and other developmental agencies also have a very important role to play in supporting as well as encouraging women in starting and running their enterprises.
“Entrepreneurship is an occupational enterprise taken at a personal level”