Northeast

How hostile, risky environment pose challenges to women entrepreneurs in Manipur

Several local entrepreneurs are of the opinion that entrepreneurship is a challenge and even more so if you are a woman.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 28 May 2022, 6:24 pm

(PHOTO: IFP)
(PHOTO: IFP)

The emergence of several successful women entrepreneurs is visible in Manipur and their overall contribution to the state economy is significant. However, the hostile and risky environment poses serious challenges for women entrepreneurs. They need mobility to manage their business ventures, observed several women entrepreneurs of the state.

The concern was raied during a one-day seminar on ‘problems and prospects of women entrepreneurs in Manipur’. It was organised by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Manipur at the Manipur Press Club.

Several local entrepreneurs are of the opinion that entrepreneurship is a challenge and even more so if you are a woman. Juggling familial and professional responsibilities and attempting to find a balance is a challenge in itself, and even more so when you set out to build a brand, they said.

UNACCO School Managing director Ningombam Irabanta said that one should know what being an entrepreneur really means to become a real entrepreneur. Every entrepreneur should think that entrepreneurship is Manipur’s future, he said.

“No woman remains silent without work. There is a disadvantage of women as entrepreneurs, but product producing competition is open market,” Irabanta said.

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He pointed out that there is an open market for the competition in making products, but women entrepreneurs face disadvantages as there is no quota for women’s products.  He cautioned entrepreneurs not to expand their businesses without maintaining stability.

Managing director of Thangjam Agro Industries Private Limited Thangjam Joykumar said that women entrepreneurs, despite being a recent phenomenon, are gaining momentum in the state.

Some move ahead from traditional local trading to national and international platforms and have explored all kinds of social and economic activities. However, women entrepreneurs still face the challenge of limitation on free movement, he said.

Oinam assembly constituency MLA Irengbam Nalini Devi appreciated women entrepreneurs and encouraged them. She said that women entrepreneurs ought to be respected.  

Professor N Mohendro said that women control 20 trillion in annual consumer’s spending globally. They perform 75 per cent of the world's unpaid work, largely subsidising the world economy, he said.  Women continue to earn, on an average 60-70 per cent of what men earn, he added.

He mentioned that at 17 per cent of gross domestic product accounted for by female workers, the economic contribution is less than half of the global average of India. The position of Manipur is not so bad with economic participation of 40 per cent in 2011. But the rise of marginal workers from 1, 88, 860 in 2001 to 2, 06, 174 in 2011 has a deeper implication of a worsening situation, he said.

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Development of Manipur economy may be possible without sustained development of handloom and agricultural sectors which represent the regional character and strength, he said.

Manipur should now act vigorously on innovative skilling and livelihood with sectoral skill councils in a new environment prepared through the strategy of area development approach, Mohendro said.

He further said that women empowerment through financial independence could be, perhaps, the most viable strategy for which the state has to identify industrial potentials of women in the state.

During the seminar, IDS felicitated Padma Shree Awardee, 2022, Moirangthem Muktamani Devi.

In academic session of the seminar, Ngairangbam Bimolata Devi (National awardee), proprietor of Ningthibee Collection, Imphal spoke on ‘problems and prospects of women entrepreneurs’; Oinam Indira Devi (International Awardee), secretary of women income generation centre spoke on ‘marketing and its problems’.

Bijiyashanti Tongbram , proprietor of Sanajing Sana Thambal, spoke on ‘waste to wealth’; Roshinikumar Yambem, managing director of Globizs Web Solution Private Limited explained ‘digital marketing for small business’, and secretary of All Manipur Bank Employee’s Union, Soibam Indrakumar highlighted ‘financial problems faced by women entrepreneurs in Manipur: how to solve with the help of banks’.

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First published:28 May 2022, 2:55 pm

Tags:

businesswomen empowermentwomen entrepreneur

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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