Women Entrepreneur’s Boutique Business In Sub-Urban Kolkata Amidst Corona Pandemic: The Socio-Economic Determinants, Challenges Encountered & Survival Strategies
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Women entrepreneurs in India have the potential to escalate economic growth that has yet to be realized. In addition, entrepreneurship can boost women's empowerment, which has a multiplier effect on their own lives, families, and society. Corona pandemic has had a grim impact on all types of businesses worldwide, including women entrepreneurs running small and medium-sized businesses in India. Sixty-three female entrepreneurs operating boutique businesses in sub-urban Kolkata were interviewed for this study. The study employs a multiple regression model to investigate how various socio-economic factors have impacted the revenue earning of these entrepreneurs during this corona pandemic. Moreover, the study also explores the challenges these entrepreneurs faced and their strategies to survive the pandemic. According to the survey, revenue earning has grown with increasing experience, education level, and married women entrepreneurs. The research also reveals how lack of client orders, supply chain disruptions, reduced worker availability, financial crunch, and additional household duties during the pandemic harmed their business. Furthermore, the study also portrays how these entrepreneurs have adapted to this unprecedented time by realigning their business model to meet immediate needs, such as releasing new products like face masks, hand gloves, head caps, PPE kits, etc.; embracing digital sales and delivery channels; leveraging WhatsApp and Facebook as a marketing tool; reorienting supply chains, and ensuring home delivery of products by maintaining all hygienic protocols. The study offers valuable suggestions to policymakers for developing effective policies to support women entrepreneurs in reviving their businesses.