A Bird’s Eye View of Women Entrepreneurs in Tamil Nadu

Research Team: John Victor Arunkumar, Mridulya Narasimhan, Ankur Gautam, Nidhi Punmia
Focus Area: Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; Gender
Project Geography: 32 districts of Tamil Nadu, India
Partner: Entrepreneurship Development and Innovation Institute (EDII) at Government of Tamil Nadu
Status: Completed


In spite of the significant contribution of enterprises run by women to employment and economic output in India, they continue to face a number of barriers to sustainable growth. This study assesses the ecosystem for women-run micro, small and medium enterprises in Tamil Nadu, with a focus on the needs of women entrepreneurs, and identifies strategies to furthering their development. It also evaluates the impact of pro-women MSME policies in the state, and ranks Tamil Nadu’s 32 districts based on their entrepreneurial environment.

A total of 808 women entrepreneurs from 32 districts of Tamil Nadu were surveyed via telephonic interviews to gather information on indicators such as the availability of resources required to run their business, their aspirations, key challenges to growth, cultural perceptions, barriers, and so on . A scorecard was developed for each district based on the six key entrepreneurial determinants identified under the OECD-EIP framework including Regulatory Framework, Culture, Access to Finance etc. Each entrepreneur was assigned a score for each of these determinants. These scores were thereafter used to rank districts across a variety of parameters that influence entrepreneurship, and identify trends, in variations in entrepreneurial activity and performance across Tamil Nadu.

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