Side Business Ideas For Ladies: Let Your Inner Entrepreneur Shine

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When it comes to earning income, it is still considered the norm for men to be the breadwinners while women are expected to be stay-at-home wives or to work for a lower salary in many places all over India. Societal prejudice aside, as an individual, it is important to have financial stability for your well-being and independence.

Side businesses allow women from various social strata to earn income on their own time. The process of starting a business, and eventually expanding it, can be very fulfilling on its own. It is truly inspiring to see the growth of women entrepreneurs in various industries and sectors of India.

Why Do Women Entrepreneurs Matter?

Women have been involved with entrepreneurship since the 19th century. They’ve run businesses out of their own household to large-scale organizations. Women entrepreneurs create more jobs, earn substantial revenue, and focus on business growth.

But even beyond individual needs, women entrepreneurs have a pivotal role in the nation.

India stands to gain $770 billion in its GDP by 2025 just by providing equal opportunities to women. India is one of the quickest emerging economies and entrepreneurship is a key driving factor behind that.

However, it isn’t simple for women to enter this male-dominated field. There are a lot of factors that can limit the opportunities available for women. In India specifically, the lack of sufficient infrastructure, demographic dividend, social norms, and even lack of education could pose barriers for female entrepreneurs.

Even among established entrepreneurs, women tend to face challenges in the form of unconscious biases, low confidence in business abilities, financial difficulties, issues networking, safety, and lack of familial support. A common criticism of women running a business is that they are neglectful of their household duties and child care.

These challenges are largely based on norms and biases that have been passed down through generations. Beyond policymaking, the best way to change this perspective is by having more women entrepreneurs under the spotlight. The ambitions of women in business should be considered the new norm as the world continues to work towards gender equality.

What is the Need for a Side Hustle for Women in India?

1. Grants Control Over Your Life

If you are not a working woman, then chances are that you feel sidelined when it comes to making large financial decisions. When you start your own side hustle, you not only being to understand finances better but also spend your hard-earned money as you desire without anybody’s consent!

Further, a side hustle empowers you to set your own prices for products or services that you offer instead of working for another company with salaries dictated by them. Having secondary or multiple sources of income lets you utilize your time in a productive manner. Your side hustle runs on your schedule and yours only. This lets you make time for the things that you love, letting you have an ideal work-life balance.

2. Reduces Debt Quicker

A key reason why people often start side businesses is to reduce their debt. It is difficult to keep up with the interests across multiple debt sources. It can even feel impossible at times.

With side businesses, you can get amazing returns on your investment. You can either reinvest this back into your business or use the profits to pay off your debt. What would have taken several years to accomplish, you can aim to be debt-free in less time as your business grows.

3. Provides Financial Stability

The pandemic stunted the economy and forced a lot of businesses to close down leading to massive job losses. 1.5 million people lost their jobs in the month of August alone. Job security isn’t so secure anymore as the economy continues to recover.

While the average salary in India is 31,900 rupees per month, the average cost of living comes up to 23,832 rupees without rent. These figures vary depending on the industry you work in or where you live, but the difference between the averages alone show that you would earn just enough to make it through a month.

It can be incredibly stressful, even as an employed individual living paycheck to paycheck. One unforeseen expense or emergency could end up as an immense burden.

A side hustle can give you that extra income that you can invest or save for your future needs like emergencies, retirement, or property. With the job market being so turbulent, job security isn’t what it used to be. You won’t need to worry about making ends meet if your primary income is cut off since you have your own business to rely on.

4. Empowers to Follow Your Passion

Side businesses are a great opportunity to turn your hobbies or passions into a revenue stream. Cooking, tailoring, Mehendi art, wedding planning, and interior design are some of the common interests of women in India that turned into business ventures.

When these talents are invested in and marketed right, women can turn their love for these activities into an additional source of income. You can share your skills and expertise with others who will appreciate your knack.

Working at something you care about and enjoy is much more satisfying than staying in a job that’s simply a means to make ends meet.

6 Side Business Ideas for Women Based On Skills & Investment

The opportunities for side businesses are endless. While we can go on to list hundreds, we are limiting ourselves to 6 ideas that can get you up and running from day one!

Let’s divide some of these business ideas into two categories. Side business ideas for women based on their skills can be easier to get into if you already know where your talents lie and have very little to invest in the business.

If you have the means to invest more, then other business ideas may provide suitable returns.

Side Business Ideas Based on Skills

The following side business ideas for women require more skill than investment. So, if you want to start small with minimal investment and test the waters, then these are some very good frontiers to explore!

Tutor

In India, home tutors grow in demand as education gets increasingly competitive. When it comes to education, you can teach kids from kindergarten level to university level, depending on your knowledge. You can even tutor in subjects that aren’t traditionally educational, like handicrafts and cooking.

The key skills required to make this venture successful are communication and your expertise in the subject. It can also be easier to grow your business as satisfied students will recommend you to their peers and family.

To get started, you can hand out flyers in your neighbourhood or simply use word-of-mouth to inform people in your area that you are offering tuition services. Additionally, you can also register on freelance websites to teach online. This will let you expand your reach and make it easier to reach your clients.

Content Writer

The need for freelance content writers is growing as companies begin to understand the importance of their online presence. If you have a knack for penning down your thoughts and storytelling, then this might be the side business for you.

You need to be adept at research and SEO optimization to draw in clients. It is also important to note that originality is important as plagiarism is not tolerant for content writing. You will need to create brand new content as per your client’s needs and adhere to deadlines.

Embroidery Work

Women who have learned embroidery or stitching can use their skills to make custom designs for clients. This side business is ideal for women from rural areas as it doesn’t require any formal education, and these skills are often passed down in their families.

Handwork is unique and takes a lot of time and effort. Therefore, it is a highly valued skill that women can use. They can sell their work in traditional markets or even online. Offering custom designs can let you cater to exactly what the customer needs.

Side Business Ideas Based on Investment

The side business ideas for women listed here demand considerable investment if you wish to get the momentum going. So, if you have the means to invest and are passionate about your idea, then go ahead and try them out!

Bakery

You just need to have knowledge about your food and entrepreneurial skills to keep the business going. The best place for start-up bakeries is social media.

Creating a business plan is extremely important before you start any business. It helps you to define your objectives, goals and opportunities for moving forward. It creates a blueprint for your business model and acts as an anchor so that you don’t lose sight of what’s in store for your business.

Develop your brand, create an online page, and price your goods appropriately. With support from your loved ones, you can get customers in no time.

Event Planner

Grand celebrations are a staple in India. Whether it’s weddings, baby showers, birthdays, or just a promotion, we want to celebrate it in style. But behind the success of all events lies an event planner.

If you have an eye for detail and love organizing events, this is the side hustle for you. You’ll need to network and build connections to get the best deals for your events and stay within budget.

Photography

A passion for photography can lead to a solid side business. Thanks to advancements in technology, you can click professional photos with minimal equipment. The return on your investment will be quite profitable if you choose this path.

To start with, create a social media page to showcase your work. Interested clients can message you directly and you can discuss the details. Photography allows you to set your timings while also taking on projects you truly care about.

Successful Businesses that Started Out as Side Hustles

1. Wed Me Good

Founded in 2014, Wed Me Good is a portal that helps brides and grooms find all the resources they need to plan a wedding. Having previous success on her blog peachesandblush.com, co-founder Mehak Sagar noticed the lack of a curated portal for wedding planning in India. The company is now a go-to site for all things wedding-related.

2. The Mumum.Co

The brand focuses on giving babies and toddlers healthy yet fun foods to consume. The lack of healthy options for their kids inspired the co-founders Shreya Lamba and Farah Nathani Menzies to start the business. The company has an approximate net worth of 3.4 crore rupees.

3. Little Black Book

What started out as a Tumblr blog for recommendations in Delhi, the Little Black Book application now has over a million users daily. The app helps users discover local businesses. The business has secured over $7 million in funding from venture capitalists.

Famous Women Entrepreneurs

  1. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw – The founder of Biocon Limited, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw earned the title of 65th powerful woman in the world in 2019.
  2. Ritu Kumar – Ritu is the first mainstream fashion designer to win the Padma Shri award in 2013.
  3. Falguni Nayar – The founder of Nykaa, Business Today titled her “Most Powerful Business”.
  4. Vandana Luthra –  Founder of VLCC and runs the NGO “Khushii” to help provide free education to the underprivileged.
  5. Suchi Mukherjee – Won Unicorn Start-Up Award by NDTV as the founder of Limeroad.
  6. Vani Kola – Venture capitalist who founded Kalaari Capital, won Woman of Worth award for entrepreneurship
  7. Radhika Ghai – The co-founder of Shopclues.com, India’s largest fully managed marketplace.

Conclusion

Financial independence is a privilege that every person should have. The benefits are infinite. And there are only a few ways to earn it in this day and age.

A side business in India can be incredibly profitable as the consumer base is one of the largest in the world. The government also has various schemes in place to support women entrepreneurs in their journey.

We hope this article inspired you to start your own side hustle not just for financial independence but for the sheer joy of making a living out of what you truly love doing!

This post is also available in: English Hindi Tamil

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