To read this content please select one of the options below:

I mean business: exploring women entrepreneurs’ journey in India from an emancipation perspective

Subhadip Roy (Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad, India)
Subhalaxmi Mohapatra (Anant National University, Ahmedabad, India)
Dina Banerjee (Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur, India)

Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies

ISSN: 2053-4604

Article publication date: 4 August 2021

Issue publication date: 1 December 2022




This study aims to explore the process of women entrepreneurship in India from a social perspective using the concept of entrepreneurship as emancipation.


An interpretive approach is applied to address the study objectives, and based on an inductive method, the non-economic antecedents that led women to start entrepreneurship ventures are explored using 33 in-depth interviews. The study explores beyond the motivations and investigates the social process through which a women entrepreneur passes through after taking the decision to start a business venture.


Major findings indicate entrepreneurship as a change process where changes in both the entrepreneur and her social surroundings are observed with time. More detailed analysis reveal opposing (the entrepreneur) social forces in the initiation phase but more supportive social set up in the later phases of the entrepreneurship. The results support the process of entrepreneurship as emancipation (with stages such as seeking autonomy, authoring and declaring).

Research limitations/implications

The present study supports the concept of entrepreneurship as an emancipation process, and how it unfolds as a gendered process in a society where women (in general) are still not treated as equals.

Practical implications

The study has practical implications for entrepreneurs and their stakeholder networks.

Social implications

The findings have novel social implications on how a broader social structure has an influence on the entrepreneurship journey of a woman.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to explore the phenomenon of entrepreneurship as an emancipation for women entrepreneurs of elite families in a developing nation who have started their business from non-economic needs.



Roy, S., Mohapatra, S. and Banerjee, D. (2022), "I mean business: exploring women entrepreneurs’ journey in India from an emancipation perspective", Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, Vol. 14 No. 6, pp. 1072-1095.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles