Women in entrepreneurial roles and women at work have garnered a whole lot of literature and attention recently. Women’s Entrepreneurship as a space in focus – both for discourse and action planning will not only boost the body of work but also provide examples to scores of women considering the entrepreneurial path.
The book begins with a reference to Steve Jobs and his entrepreneurial vision. True, that Steve rules the imagination of many entrepreneurial dreams. He also epitomizes the male-driven tech scene, where women have minimal role to play. Apple executive team has no women on it. Moreover, when you propel the conversation by referencing one of world’s most cash-rich, market leading firm, the expectation moves to similar ground. References to the Mckinsey literature on the subject belittle Mridula’s own effort, which is far more contextual and original.
The beauty of the book (buy from Pothi) is that the entrepreneurial journeys are endearing, especially ones like MAYA Care. They are also easy to read and contain no heavy jargon or concepts. A great read for anyone seeking to explore the space, find some inspiration and also understand the landscape a little more. There is a warm-personalized touch to each story and each conversation.
What Mridula has managed to do is bring out consistent threads of information via her questions from each entrepreneur she spoke with. One can see some patterns emerging through the book. These include:
- Majority of entrepreneurs work with co-founders and many are husband-wife co-founder teams
- Removal from core sectors like manufacturing
- Entrepreneurial triggers include motherhood, need for alternate formats and keen interest or specializations.
- Huge amount of personal motivation from each of the entrepreneurs
One of the revelations of the book is how success is defined differently by and for men and women entrepreneurs. Absolute removal from critical questions of scale, market share and strategic intent is visible. However, one does also notice the fact the patterns of balancing personal-professional aspirations emerges.
What one is left wondering about the scale and scope of each business and like often, this time too financials and scale are not delved into in detail. It would have been interesting to see a comparative on geography, sector and demographic as a concluding chapter.
However, that does not take away from the fact it is an easy and interesting read for anyone interested in learning about women and entrepreneurial roles.
The book does not meet the expectations of language and grammar purists, with much left to be desired towards editorial finesse. A visual element would have been welcome too.
Books like these play an important part in highlighting streaks of innovation and change, which typically get little attention in mainstream writing. Overall an easy and simple read especially for anyone interested in the subject. However, if you seek path-breaking research or intellectual stimulation, one needs to find it elsewhere.
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