The women building and shaping India

Illustration: Ashish Asthana/Mint

India is finally becoming a nation that embraces its entrepreneurs and founders as a force for good. Families take pride in saying their children work at a start-up, or even better, is the founder of a start-up. It’s a change that has taken a long time to come. The caricature of the evil businessman from bad movies of our past has made way for a national sensibility that supports, and has begun to celebrate, the striver, the dreamer and the risktaker.

But there’s a skew in perception. The archetype of the start-up founder, in popular imagination, is that of the socially awkward but genius male engineering graduate—think Silicon Valley’s Richard Hendricks. It’s something of a self-reinforcing perception. Because we are conditioned to look for them, we tend to include them and find them everywhere—in the media, at events, at policy consultations. And we conclude—there just aren’t enough women founders, alas.

This list—in no particular order or by no particular filter—is an effort to change this narrative and celebrate the stories of 100 women entrepreneurs and founders who belong every bit in the public imagination as anyone else. It’s only fitting that we are publishing this on Women’s Entrepreneurship Day.

This is not a conclusive list. This is the beginning of a movement. A movement to celebrate women entrepreneurs, their efforts and their achievements. With the recognition that this gap in perception is only symptomatic of the disproportionate battles they have to fight. It’s rooted in the hope that a change in the narrative will also help level the playing field.

Invest India, The Good Glamm Group, Ladies who Lead, and Mint partnered to put together this list. This is intended as a start. Do share stories of the women entrepreneurs you admire on social media with a link to this report and the hashtag #ChangeTheNarrativeIndia.

Read full report: Changing the Narrative: 100 Women Entrepreneurs Building & Shaping India

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