India low among countries that foster women entrepreneurship

India ranks in the bottom five of 30 countries surveyed for fostering high potential women entrepreneurs according to the Gender-GEDI Index for 2014 compiled by Washington based Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute (GEDI). The ranking is topped by the US followed by Australia and Sweden, while India ranked 26th followed by Uganda & Egypt, Bangladesh and Pakistan at the bottom. High potential women entrepreneurs are those who through job creation and widening of markets can boost economic growth. Sadly however facts show that women entrepreneurs are a rarity. A recent Indian economic survey by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development showed that the highest participation of women entrepreneurs was in the service sector, but the percentage stands at just 6%. In India the gender bias in the workplace continues to play out in the field of entrepreneurship as only a few women have tackled this bias including Geetha Devi, a chemical engineer and now CEO of Gradus Engineers, who as an intern was not allowed in the plant of a petrochemical company. To break the barriers she set up her own company in January 2011. The OECD has pointed out that by narrowing the gender gap, including in entrepreneurial space, India can grow its GDP by two percentage points each year. However, long term all-encompassing solutions are required to enable women to succeed.