Emerging Entrepreneurs

Out of every 100 start-ups, only 6 are founded by women: RBI survey

Our Bureau | Updated on January 06, 2020

An RBI pilot survey of Indian start-ups has confirmed what everybody knew – that women entrepreneurs are a very small group in the country.

According to the survey, in which 1,246 start-ups participated, 5.9 per cent was founded by only females compared with 55.5 per cent by only male founders. The remaining 38.6 per cent of the start-ups had both male and female as co-founders.

The RBI conducted the survey during November 2018 to April 2019 to collect information about start-ups – geographical, institutional and age profile; academic, professional and gender profile of the founders; motivational factors; turnover; workforce; target markets; types of products, technology used; sources of funds; and, plans. These are some of the findings of the survey:

Nearly three-fourths of the participants were from Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Delhi and Tamil Nadu

Nearly 88 per cent of the founders had academic qualification of at least a bachelor’s degree. Over 10 per cent were below 25 years of age and 55 per cent n the 25-40 years age group

A third of the founders had an academic background in engineering, a majority of the founders had professional experience and 7.3 per cent of the founders were still students

Around half the start-ups dealt in innovative products, over 20 per cent had filed patents and another 27 per cent planned to file for patents


Only 14 per cent of the start-ups had more than 10 employees in the first six months, but as the sector matured this increased to 40 per cent

Families and friends emerged the largest source of funding at around 43 per cent; about 13 per cent start-ups received international funding; over three-fourths had up to ₹1 crore capital investment; nearly three-fourths had working capital requirements of more than ₹10 lakh a year



49 per cent of the respondents were n early stage of revenue generation, another 31 per cent in growing stage. A fourth of the respondents reported annual turnover of up to ₹10 lakh, a fifth above ₹1 crore and nearly quarter did not report any turnover

Nearly 58 per cent of the start-ups planned to get listed on the Indian stock exchanges in the next five years. Most of them were in health, software development, IT consulting/solution and were less than three years old

About 24 per cent of the respondents intended to seek acquisition; over 63 per cent planned to hire at least 20 employees in 2-3 years; a tenth of the respondents intended to exit with funding requirement and market conditions being cited as the reasons.

Published on January 06, 2020

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