Digitisation is the best thing to happen for gender parity. Technology has the potential to give women unprecedented levels of economic and social autonomy by lowering the barriers to learning, work and entrepreneurship. Research has found that Indian women find it hard to start and expand their own businesses due to lack of dedicated time, limited access to capital, and restricted mobility. Hence it is no wonder that women own only less than 10 % of all micro enterprises in the country. However, the last decade witnessed an online revolution which given platforms to thousands of micro-entrepreneurs, particularly women who now had a chance to be financially independent for the first time.
On World Social Justice Day, let’s celebrate the theme of 2021 of Digital Economy by highlighting platforms that are making it easy for women to become financially independent. TC46 applauds all the aspiring entrepreneur bharatiya naaris climbing the ladder of success and gaining economic independence!
5 Platforms That Help Women Entrepreneurs, Homepreneurs & Mompreneurs Make Money
Envisioned as a digitally native brand, Shopify India is revolutionising the e-commerce space. With ‘vocal for local’ initiatives helping small businesses blossom, a reliable online store platform is just what new brands need to test the market with their goods and price points. Before you start setting up your store, say, for example, if you’re using Shopify as a platform, it’s important to understand your goals. Ask yourself basic questions about your store.
For example, do you want to sell your products both online and in-person? Do you want to sell your products through social media channels like Facebook? This can help you to focus your attention and speed up your setup process. You might also want to think about which pricing plan meets your needs. However, you don’t need to choose a plan until the end of your 14-day free trial. The platform offers a wealth of guides and other resources to help merchants get started which are available on the website.
Founded in 2015 by IIT-Delhi alumni Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal, Meesho is a social commerce platform. This social commerce platform enables anyone to start their business with zero investment. Once you register as a seller on Meesho, instead of buying the inventory, you can share the stock to your contacts through social media channels and/or WhatsApp, and make a commission you desire for each sale. Meesho takes care of the logistics, delivery, and payment related to the sale.
There are over two million resellers on the Meesho platform today, 90 % of them women. Meesho has a range of products in the fashion and lifestyle category, and its app is available in seven local languages as well as English.
If you pick up your phone right now, chances are Instagram is the first thing you have opened. The endless list of stores on this social media platform made it go from a mere app to upload selfies on to the hub for several small-scale businesses to set up shop. From jewellery to fashion, accessories to shoes and so much more, this site has it all. While some of these stores have converted into e-commerce businesses with websites and more, most are going absolutely great by selling on the platform only.
All you need to do is create an Instagram account for your business, post pictures of the products or services you offer, take orders via DMs or link your WhatsApp account and get paid in a variety of ways. A minimal delivery fee can cover your shipping charges and reposting customer posts and stories make up for great marketing tactics!
4. Amazon Saheli
E-commerce giant Amazon announced in 2017, the launch of ‘The Saheli Store’ for products curated by women entrepreneurs in India. It is a partnership between SEWA (Self Employed Women Association), Impulse Social Enterprise and Amazon created for boosting women entrepreneurship in the country. In collaboration with its partner organisations, Amazon Saheli enables women entrepreneurs with access to customers on its Indian online marketplace.
The dedicated storefront features items produced locally by these women entrepreneurs, mostly in the lifestyle category. Amazon enables access to logistics and fulfilment facilities for these women, along with free imaging and cataloguing during launch, account management and post-launch support. Amazon Saheli also offers training and skill development workshops in online selling to help women entrepreneurs to help them grow their business on Amazon.
A popular platform for homepreneurs, the US-based online marketplace for handcrafted goods Etsy launched in India in 2018. It helps local entrepreneurs sell their unique and handcrafted goods across the world. Although the platform does not undertake logistics and delivery on behalf of the users, they often provide assistance to the sellers in this regard. For sellers who are not adept at articulating themselves, the platform also provides content writers to help convey their stories, thereby using content marketing feasibly.
Founded in 2005, Etsy has about two million sellers and around 35 million customers from across the globe registered on its site. About 87 % of sellers registered on Etsy are women. Etsy’s product categories include fashion, lifestyle, entertainment, and vintage collectables.
Women have always had the skills and talents required to make it big and chase their dreams. With the introduction of digital platforms, becoming economically independent for them is no longer difficult. Your financial freedom is in your hands and there are a ton of easily accessible platforms to launch your ventures. On World Social Justice Day, make it a point to share this with your friend who has the vision to start a business or a bua, mami, chachi, mausi who needs just the right push to make it big!