March marks the International Women’s Day and this day of recognition and collective action is as important now as it has ever been. Even though we have come a long way in our fight for gender balance and the efforts have reaped tangible outcomes, the gender divide in terms of number of male and female entrepreneurs is still the order of the day.

NSSO, in its 6th Economic Census, revealed that only 14% of business establishments in India are owned by women and most of the women-run enterprises are small-scale. This alludes to the fact that SME industry provide an enabling environment for women to start up, perceptibly because of the less amount of investment required.

A study by McKinsey predicts that India can add $770 Billion to its annual GDP by 2025 by advancing women equality. To help India unlock the potential power of parity, SME industry can nurture women by dismantling gender biases in hiring process, providing skill training to female employees, closing gender gap in leadership roles, promoting flexible working and by rolling out digital literacy initiatives at workplace. Besides this, SMEs can train and equip women as entrepreneurs in their supply chains and distribution channels.

We, at SMBConnect, are dedicated to encourage women entrepreneurs in order to create a gender-diverse business world that fosters innovation and creativity. Successful launch of Advaita-Women Entrepreneur Awards bears testimony to our commitment towards diversity and inclusion. We have planned to organise the subsequent chapters of Advaita awards in various states this year starting with Punjab, Chandigarh & Haryana, the nominations for which are currently open.

I thank all the wonderful women who are associated with SMBConnect and who work alongside us to make the world a more balanced place. Let’s continue to collectively advocate for change, to challenge stereotypes and to push for tangible action.

Best Regards,
Sandipan Ray

Ask Guru
Digitalisation and Tech-adoption as the Key to Improving Productivity of SMEs Across Business Functions
Himanshu Singla
Founder- Online Trouble Shooters
Webmaster at People's Blog -
Systematic approach and centralized architecture can speed up the growth of SMEs. SMEs can increase efficiency, can go to global markets, save money on products, maintain a high quality standard. Technological change and adapting new technology is a must for a growing organization despite its size....
Factors Impeding The Productivity Of Indian SMEs
Anjana Ashok
Founder and CEO o- Anjana Jewels & MOAH
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) hold a very important place in the economic development of India. SMEs in India employ about 40 percent of the workforce providing an opportunity for livelihood to a large number of Indians. However, their contribution to India's GDP is only around 17%. This shows that productivity is a cause for concern for a majority of Indian SMEs...
Mentors’ Mantra
Five Ways to Boost Productivity of SMEs in India
Arun Bhardwaj
Managing Partner – Recalibrate
Author - The Xtraordinary Entrepreneur

MSMEs employ more than 40% of the total workforce in India but they contribute only 8% to the Indian GDP. “Productivity is, above all, a state of mind. It is an attitude that seeks the continuous improvement of what exists. It is a conviction that one can do better today than yesterday, and that tomorrow will be better than today”,

Ritu Kaushik

Owner - Ritupal Collections

My name is Ritu Kaushik. I was born in Rai, a small village in the Sonipat District of Haryana in a middle class family. At the age of 16 yrs. I was married. When I asked my parents about my future studies, they denied. But my husband supported me in undertaking my graduation and helped me get admission in IGNOU

Industry Focus
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Satya MicroCapital reaches over 2.25 lakh entrepreneurs
Keeping up with the post-demonetisation tide, the company’s focus on lending using digital financial solutions to women entrepreneurs specially has also been well-received.

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