Women Entrepreneurship in the Indian Middle Class: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Jeemol Unni, Vanita Yadav, Ravikiran Naik and Swati Dutta
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Orient BlackSwan

‘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.

JEEMOL UNNI is Professor, Economics and Public Policy, Ahmedabad University, Ahmedabad, India.
VANITA YADAV is Fulbright Fellow (MIT) and Lecturer, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, School of Business and Law, Central Queensland University, Australia.
RAVIKIRAN NAIK is Assistant Professor, Economics, Department of Data Science, Christ (Deemed to be University), Lavasa Campus, Pune, Maharashtra, India.
SWATI DUTTA is Associate Fellow, Institute for Human Development, New Delhi, India.

List of Abbreviations

List of Tables and Figures



I. Management View of Women Entrepreneurship

II. Multidisciplinary View of Women Entrepreneurship

III. Entrepreneurship and the Middle Class in India: Emerging Evidence

IV. Low Return Entrepreneurship and Small Business: Do Behavioural Traits Matter?

V. Dualistic Structure of Industry and Growth of Firms: Do Institutions Matter?

VI. Attitudes and Perceptions of Youth towards Women Entrepreneurship

VII. Women Entrepreneurship: Going Forward 



1. Book Review | Published in the Contemporary South Asia, 16 March 2023.
2. Book Review | Published in the Indian Journal of Gender Studies, 6 December 2022.
3. Book Review | Published in The Journal of Entrepreneurship, 6 December 2022.
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