Socio-Economic challenges faced by women entrepreneurs from the slums of Chennai city
S John Kaviarasu, P Jai Prakash, Dr. C Francis
For the developing country like India, one of the major challenges is the alleviation of poverty. Though we have the good and successive initiation and implementation of Five Year Plans in India from the year 1951, the problem of poverty is not still uprooted to a greater extent. But it has been reduced to some extent. One of the best and effective ways of handling, tackling and embarking upon the poverty elimination is through providing sustainable livelihood opportunities to poor. Engaging the women to actively involve in micro enterprises has been a significant approach in this context, because it creates employment opportunities and this paves the way for economic growth. For the last two decades, women have been earning to support their family, besides doing their household chores. A sizable number of married women have taken up entrepreneurial activity, particularly in micro enterprise sectors. Though with willingness and commitment, women take bold steps to come of their house, they fail to sustain in the journey of entrepreneurship. They key objective of this study is to elicit and enumerate the problems faced by women entrepreneurs, specifically from the slums of Chennai. This study documents both primary and secondary data. Using a non-probability sampling, convenient sampling method was adopted to collect the primary data from 50 women in slums, doing entrepreneurial activities to primarily eke out their livelihood. The study comes out with the conclusion that women in the slums of Chennai operate micro enterprises within the boundaries of their local areas. The pertinent fact here is that age factor does not put any impact on the women entrepreneurs, but then these women are having entrepreneurial problems and also the numerous problems like personal, financial, knowledge, marketing, social and psychological. Most of the women are not aware of various Policies and Programmes of the government to support their entrepreneurship. It is very evident that family income has no association with the problems of the women entrepreneurs in slums. Whether they have less or more family income, the problems encountered by them are manifold which cannot be merely explained in words, but rather NGOs and Government has to come to their doorstep to help them ease their problems and make them to be successful small entrepreneurs in their localities.