“I believe this is the best time to be born a woman. We at the UN Women, while working with NITI Aayog and other partners on the cause of women’s entrepreneurship, are witness to so much energy around,” said Kanta Singh, Deputy Country Representative, UN Women India.
Kanta was delivering a keynote address at SheSparks 2023, a one-day event but a year-long commitment to empower, enable and encourage women, at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi.
With over 20 years of multicultural experience, Kanta spearheads programmes of UN Women India and also provides policy advice to central and state governments. Kanta has also led a major national programme on education, employment and entrepreneurship for young women.
No better time than right now to be an entrepreneur
There is absolutely nothing, believes Kanta, that a woman cannot do today. This can be vouched by the fact that women are increasingly taking up male-dominated roles and breaking gender stereotypes across sectors.
Kanta further emphasises that it is also a great time to be a woman entrepreneur “When women venture into a business, It is instinctive that they are thinking about creating a positive impact for the future generations,” she added.
Talking about challenges faced by young women entrepreneurs, Kanta shared, “Finance is just one of the challenges. We have to incentivise young entrepreneurs, especially from Tier 2, 3 cities and encourage them to take advantage of platforms by NITI Aayog and venture into formal entrepreneurial space.”
Women and social entrepreneurship
One of the highlights of Kanta’s address was the focus on social entrepreneurship. She encourages women in positions of authority to talk to young girls to better understand their dreams and aspirations. The job to build a bright future for young girls has to start today.
It is also equally important to spend some time with young women in rural areas. “Your dreams are only as big as your exposure, if you don’t know what your options are, your dreams will be limited. For women in rural areas the outlook has to expand for them to dream big,” shared Kanta.
“The future of work will be determined by what and who we invest in today. So, as entrepreneurs and most importantly as humans we have a responsibility towards young women,” she concluded.