According to previously published data, 17 to 19.3 million women became unemployed in India during the March-April 2020 lockdowns. This happened just during the first wave. The second wave was far more damaging to the economy in 2021.
This has only served to make us realise that the pandemic is not gender blind and has ravaged everyone equally.
In fact, it has disproportionately affected women across the globe. The impact being in the form of more unpaid chores for women and more job losses for them compared to their male counterparts. On top of that, women-led businesses too were unequally affected by the crisis.
Unfortunately, there is little or no clear data on how many women must have gone bankrupt or shut their firms or lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic. However, many organisations have studied and documented this aspect of things.
According to a Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) research, women entrepreneurs in India appear to have felt the strongest impact due to the pandemic as compared to those from the other countries in this region, with two thirds of them attributing their recent business closures to the pandemic.
However, there is always a bright side.
Despite the challenges, women entrepreneurs are forging ahead in spite of the sea-changes brought about by the pandemic.
Today, women entrepreneurs account for roughly one-third of all growth-oriented entrepreneurs in the world. And the established business ownership rate for women is 5.6 per cent, representing one in three established women globally, reports GEM.
One out of the many trends has been a slow shift in the numbers regarding women entrepreneurs. Globally, women and men were more or less on par in reporting that the pandemic provided new business opportunities to them (40.6 per cent vs 42.2 per cent).
The same trend can be seen in India, where female entrepreneurs are expanding the start-up ecosystem. As we approach 2022, we spoke with a few female entrepreneurs about how 2021 went for them and asked them about their plans for 2022.
2022 will see a rise in the alternative assets class: Aashraya Rau
2021 was a year of constant evolution, comments Aashraya Rau.
She is the founder of YuGenie, an app-based social network focused on modernising the social welfare industry. In short, the platform is there for discovering and connecting with social organisations and for people who are passionate about social causes.
“As an impact-focused tech company, coming out of 2020, we fortunately navigated through the pandemic. We helped non-profits to jump through supply chain bottlenecks and focused on building an impact-content driven platform. Also, we are educating millennials & Gen-Z about what is happening around the world and bringing attention to the critical issues in our country, through YuGenie’s media channels,” she tells us.
2021 was also the year for new things says the blockchain enthusiast. “We tested the limits on what we can achieve by leveraging the DLT technology and the possibilities for YuGenie,” Rau says.
“We were able to successfully evolve our product and are now preparing to launch our web 2 & web 3 products simultaneously. Blockchain technology has seen a year of tremendous growth for digital assets, especially crypto, NFTs, tokens, DeFi tools …….