To meet the needs of a growing number of business women in India, several associations are being formed, centering on their unique needs and niches. As the number of women in business organizations increase, the nature of women’s business associations also become more sophisticated.
The key issues that these organizations deal with are:
• Access to markets
• Access to finance
• Access to training
• Access to information
• Influence on policymakers
With more public awareness, these women’s business associations can build up to become a powerful medium for lobbying purposes. Such national associations of women business owners started cropping up in countries like the United States a few decades ago.
Now, Indian businesswomen are also catching up fast. They have also understood the importance of having a nationalized forum to address several important issues that continually plague the Indian business scenario (especially for women).
Though the overall outlook of different women’s business associations may vary, some of the core issues that are addressed remain the same. They are:
• Networking opportunities and getting more member support
• Promoting more women business owners and addressing their issues
• Effective advocacy and lobbying
• Training, education and overall professional development.
An important element of female empowerment (which is still a hypothetical concept in many parts of India), can be achieved if more such national associations of women business owners are established around the country.
By this, not only will the economic awareness of the Indian women increase, but a strong network of financially independent women will develop. This is sure to affect the socio-economic scenario of the nation in long-term. Simultaneously, existing organizations should also be given the media publicity and support they need to make their presence felt to the general population.
There are some very effective women’s business associations in India, today. Only a few of them are included in the list below with a brief description of what they do.
It is a public platform developed by corporate giant, Accenture, for the Indian business women of today. The members here share their ideas and opinions about everything related to their fields of expertise, contribute their own inspiring stories, etc. to develop leadership skills and general awareness.
- TiE Stree Shakti (TSS)
Launched by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) as aa women entrepreneurship platform, it aims to provide Training & Education to women who run micro, medium and large-scale enterprises across manufacturing, services and social sectors, to help them improve their business skills.
- School of Inspired Leadership (SOIL)
SOIL is a kind of finishing school for the corporate women of today. SOIL offers a one-year part-time program targeted to brush your leadership and management skills and make a complete career woman out of you.
- Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Karnataka (AWAKE)
This is a Government of Karnataka recognized platform for women in business organizations, which is completely engaged to provide entrepreneurial development to all the future women leaders.
- Indian Franchise Association
Franchising opens up a lot of avenues for business people. Lot of these avenues are women-dominated; like, fitness centers, salons, health care, interior decoration, food, etc. Members of this organization can exchange their own ideas and experiences and help each other set up their own businesses.
Do you know of or operate a business association for women in India? Do comment below and let us know about it.