Women Entrepreneurship in Uttarakhand
Entrepreneurship is an innovative and dynamic process, whereby, a new enterprise is created. Entrepreneur is a catalytic agent of change, which generates employment opportunities for others. The emergence of entrepreneurs in a society depends to a great extent on the economic, social, religious, cultural and psychological factor prevailing in the society. Entrepreneurship amongst women is a recent phenomenon. When an enterprise is established and controlled by a woman, it not only boosts economic growth, but also has many desirable outcomes. First prime minister of India Jawahar Lal Nehru has remarked "when a woman moves forward, the family moves, the village moves and the nation moves." It is estimated that presently women entrepreneurs comprise about 10 percent of the total entrepreneurs in India and this percentage is growing every year. If prevailing trends continue, it is not unlikely that in another five years, women will comprise about 20 percentage of the entrepreneurial force in India. Pooja Nayyar et el. (2007), Women entrepreneurship is a recent phenomenon in India and in this process there are various problems.
Uttarakhand is a newly created state with 64 per cent of its total area coming under hills. The economy of Uttarakhand is predominantly agrarian. More than 80 per cent of working population is engaged in agriculture whereas only 25 per cent of the total area of Uttarakhand is under agriculture.Uttarakhand stands out as one of the few states in India where an overwhelming number of women have always been a part of active workforce, due to their total involvement with agriculture, forest production, cattle care and dairying. In spite of her major contribution in hill economy she still has less say in major family decisions because of the patriarchal nature of the hill society. Even the education of girls has not led to any significant changes in their socio-economic status; the educated daughter-in-law is expected to work hard in the fields and forest.By and large women are still dependent upon money order economy. Therefore, the women of Uttarakhand need to have more avenues for income generation if they have to be freed from dependence on men. Entrepreneurship among women has come a long way in Uttarakhand.