Microenterprises have been the engines of job growth in the majority of dynamic economies. India is home to thousands of microenterprise clusters as well as millions of distributed entrepreneurs who can become job creators. Fostering of such mass-entrepreneurship is key to addressing India’s employment challenge.
Case studies of clusters in general, and of women entrepreneurs in particular, show that if key factors such as collective action, infrastructure, credit, and market linkages are in place, returns to entrepreneurship are vastly improved. Inspirational stories are also emerging in the use of fourth industrial revolution technologies to improve access to markets and enter global value chains in a way that awards greater agency to women entrepreneurs.
Our aim in this report is to provide information and analysis that can assist policy-makers and the microentrepreneurial ecosystem at large to develop tools required to help this sector flourish. The study looks at non-farm microenterprises that employ less than 20 workers. We analyse various dimensions such as geographical distribution, demographics, gender (employment and enterprise ownership), industrial distribution, labour productivity, and wages. The analysis is based on Economic Census and National Sample Survey data.