Gender equality figures as the fifth goal in the list of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiated by the United Nations. Women's empowerment thus remains central to gender mainstreaming as well as economic, social, environmental and political development. Dasarathi views women's empowerment in two ways – the 'general and specific'. In the 'general sense' it is the process of accessing 'opportunities' and 'freedom' to become 'self-dependent'. In the 'specific sense' it refers to 'enhancing their position in the power structure of society'. Thus, control over economic resources, improved social status and political participation, along with control over their own lives 'enables them to move from the periphery to the centre stage' (Bhuyan, Dasarathi: Empowerment of Indian Women: A Challenge of 21st Century. Orissa Review, January – 2006).
EdelGive Foundation through its different women empowerment and livelihood programmes has realised that entrepreneurship enables multiple positive outcomes for women themselves, families and the nation. These experiences suggest that Women Entrepreneurship develops women's capabilities to access economic opportunities, nurture their decision-making abilities and taking control over financial and nonfinancial resources.
In order to develop further insights and data points about the pathway of entrepreneurship for young women from semi-urban and rural areas, EdelGive has initiated a national level landscape study covering Women Entrepreneurs (WEs) from different states in India. The study is expected to provide a comprehensive view of the challenges with respect to women's access and opportunities to resources for enterprise development and sustenance.