The purpose of this paper is to examine the motives and the business model canvas adopted by urban poor women to set up microenterprises in the informal sector.
The qualitative analysis used in the paper is based on empirical findings from field work conducted in Mumbai and Pune district in the state of Maharashtra situation on the western coast of the Indian sub-continent. In total, 63 women microentrepreneurs were interviewed using an interview guide, which contained open-ended questions regarding choices made to become an entrepreneur, business canvas mechanics, family and community support to start and manage their businesses. The paper presents findings across the sample and two selected case studies.
In contrast to the view that women’s informal sector micro entrepreneurship is a result of “involuntary exclusion” or “poverty”, this paper found that women’s motives are a result of a wide variety of factors including supplementing family income, gain social recognition and a variety of other reasons. The business canvas of the entrepreneurs focussed on key partners, resource planning, customer orientation and sales promotion.
The limitation of the study is that it focussed on women micro entrepreneurs in the urban informal sector in Mumbai and Pune. Similar studies can be carried out in other mega-metro cities with a large urban poor population in India.
Venturing in the microenterprise sector is an important way for employment generation amongst women from the low-income groups in the urban informal sector. Women are becoming important players in the microenterprise sector and have tremendous relevance in India as the contribution of this sector to the Indian economy is significant.
There are very few studies in the Indian context, which focus upon the business canvas of women micro entrepreneurs in the urban informal sector. This study, therefore, presents new knowledge around women’s micro entrepreneurship in India.
Mukherjee, S. (2023), "The business model canvas of women owned micro enterprises in the urban informal sector", Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 398-418. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEC-05-2021-0068
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