Women work at home, and at the workplace too. However, is their work at home recognised or measured? Consider this. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data, women in India currently spend up to 352 minutes per day on domestic work, 577 percent more than men who spend 52 minutes. The way we measure economies is skewed because we do not take into account these “invisible” workers and their contributions.
But this is the reality we are living with.
Women shoulder a huge part of household responsibilities but continue to be unpaid and unappreciated. A large number of them do not choose to work outside because of various factors – inadequate help at home, caregiving or even limited opportunities in places they live in.
However, with technology and internet reaching even in remote areas of the country, women can opt to work from the comfort of their homes, and be financially independent.
Here are five business ideas for women looking to startup.
Online marketplaces and ecommerce has given women the opportunity to sell everything from organic products, jewellery, sarees, clothing, to home decor that they can make or source and sell from their homes. While Priya Shanmuga used WhatsApp to become a saree reseller, Ritu Kaushik built a successful business through Flipkart. There are hundreds of women who are selling products online and making a profit. Whether you change cities, or move abroad you can still continue to run your venture seamlessly. You can also use Flipkart or Amazon to your advantage or use social media like Facebook or Instagram to sell your products.
It is a misconception that bloggers and storytellers don’t make money. Fashion and lifestyle bloggers Masoom Minawala and Aayushi Bangur started small and have become major influencers for fashion houses and brands.
Freelance content writing is also an option, if you have good writing skills. Once you decide upon a sector or broad theme then all you need to do is pick a domain name and a hosting provider of your choice, and start blogging.
Bed and breakfast
Airbnb, a global online marketplace and hospitality service has now made it possible for women to open up their homes to travellers from across the world. All you need to do is sign up Airbnb and become a host. Not only are you assured of your safety and the safety of your property but you can also choose your guests, lay out the rules etc.
There are other travel aggregators such as MakeMyTrip that list homestays too. So what are you waiting for? Time to play host, use the extra space you have and earn some money.
Catering, cooking, home baking
Whether it is home baking or catering, the food industry is a lucrative space. Often home bakers are perceived as women pursuing a hobby. So you can put your culinary skills to good use and turn into a revenue stream. And it's not just about the profit, but also scale and growth. In fact many home bakers have started small and grown into cake shops, cafes and baking schools. Use your local flea markets and fetes to try your skills and products or leverage platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook. There are marketplaces like HomeBakers.co.in, which entrepreneurs Anuradha Kambi and Anjana Lath created for home bakers to connect with their customers.
You can also run tiffin services from home, provided you meet all the quality and hygiene requirements. Start small with a few orders and then gradually scale the business.
Online tutorials and classes
From personal finances to meal prepping to self-development books, YouTuber Saloni Srivastava has a massive following on YouTube. More and more women are using YouTube to get their careers rolling. Whether it is saree draping, teaching Maths, makeup tutorials recipes, videos for mothers and kids, you can become popular and make money if you are quirky, different and engaging.
It you have a knack for online gaming and can hone your skills then this
So what are you waiting for? Find out where your passion lies and then get started. It may take time to find a rhythm but once you do, you will only scale and grow.