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Women Entrepreneurship in the Indian Middle Class: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Jeemol Unni (Author) Vanita Yadav (Author) Ravikiran Naik (Author) Ors. (Author)

‘Entrepreneurship can result from necessity as well as opportunity,

and women entrepreneurs pursue goals beyond economic gains.’

‘There is no gender differential in drivers of business expansion. The small scale

of business does not inhibit women-owned micro enterprises from expanding.’

In Women Entrepreneurship in the Indian Middle Class, Unni, Yadav, Naik and Dutta explore entrepreneurship using a gender and class lens from multidisciplinary perspectives. They examine the evolution of the field and uncover factors impacting women's participation in entrepreneurship. Defining entrepreneurship broadly to include not just ‘new economic activity’ but operations of all economic enterprises, the authors attempt to understand: What motivates women in India to operate enterprises ranging from small and medium to large enterprises? What is the nature of occupations and entrepreneurship within segments of the middle classes? What kind of opportunities do women pursue? 

Using a novel macro and micro research approach, the authors propose an enabling framework of women entrepreneurship ecosystem in India and highlight the way forward.

The insights from this book will help policymakers formulate appropriate ‘nudge’ techniques to encourage productive entrepreneurship. This book is a must-read for researchers and aspiring women entrepreneurs for grasping the dynamics of this emerging area.

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About the author

Jeemol Unni

Jeemol Unni is a Professor of Economics at the Gujarat Institute of Development Research, Ahmedabad. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics and an M.Phil. in Applied Economics. She was a post-doctoral Fellow at the Economic Growth Center, Department of Economics, Yale University, USA, during 1991 to 1993.

She has carried out extensive research on issues concerning rural and urban labour markets in developing countries. Her special focus in this area is on the informalisation of labour and production systems and the gender implications of this process. In addition, her research addresses issues of social protection to informal workers including both social and economic securities. She has also worked in the area of education addressing issues of differential returns to education across gender, economic activity, wage and self-employment, and ethnic groups.

She actively collaborates with national and international NGOs in addressing issues related to workers in the informal sector, particularly women. She is an active member in the Statistics and Social Protection Groups, of Women in Informal Employment and Globalising and Organising, (WIEGO), an international coalition of academics, activists, trade unions and NGOs. She has worked as a consultant to the World Bank, International Labour Organisation, UNESCAP, to donor agencies such as the International Development Research Center, Canada and to the NABARD and SIDBI, specialized banks in India. She was a Senior Research Fellow (1993) and later a Guest Lecturer (2005) at the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands. She was also a Ford Fellow at the International Center for Research on Women, Washington DC (2002).

She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Journal of the Indian Society of Labour Economics, New Delhi. She has been a member of many national and international committees discussing issues related to the informal sector. She has published four books and 45 articles in national and international journals and edited volumes. She is currently with the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector, New Delhi as a special invitee and International Labour Organisation (ILO), Consultant. “Globalization and Securing Rights for Women Informal Workers in Asia”, Journal of Human Development, 5(3), November, 2004. "Employment"  In Tim Dyson, Robert Cassen and Leela Visaria (edited), Twenty First Century India: Population, Economy, Human Development and Environment, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004.  With Kirsty McNay and Robert Cassen. Informal Economy Centrestage : New Structures of Employment, New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2003.  Co-edited with Renana Jhabvala and Ratna M. Sudarshan. “Social Protection for Informal Workers: Insecurities, Instruments and Institutional Mechanisms”, Development and Change, 30(1), January 2003. With Uma Rani. “Subcontracted Women Workers in the Garment Industry in India”, With Namrata Bali, in Radhika Balakrishnan (edited), The Hidden Assembly Line: Gender Dynamics of Subcontracted Work in a Global Economy, Kumarian Press Inc., Connecticut, USA, 2002. “Education and Women’s Labour Market Outcomes in India”, Education Economics, 9(2), 2001. With Geeta G. Kingdon.

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Bibliographic information

Title Women Entrepreneurship in the Indian Middle Class: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Format Softcover
Date published: 06.04.2022
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9789354421457
length 292p.