Kerala state’s startup scene is making impressive progress with women entrepreneurs as a study estimates that at least 25% of the SMEs registered in the state are promoted by women.

This means that one in four SMEs in the state is owned by a woman. Kerala is the only state in the country which registers the highest growth rate of 12% in the MSME sector for the past three years, claims the study.

According to the fourth Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises census, four states including Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, together has a 51.9% share in women-owned businesses.

“We are performing very well in the MSME sector in the country. Even though states like Maharashtra are way ahead of us in terms of number of units, Kerala has the highest growth rate in the segment. Another positive development in the sector is that more and more women are coming forward to start their own enterprises,” said Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty.

How The Kerala Govt Is Providing A Helping-hand

The state government of Kerala bears the entire interest for loans up to Rs 5 lac, under the interest subvention scheme for woman entrepreneurs.

Other incentives for women entrepreneurs include:

  • Free training with stipend for selected women entrepreneurs
  • 5% grace marks for girl students in colleges who form entrepreneurship societies
  • Help in getting bank loans for up to 80 per cent of the project cost
  • 50% subsidy for stalls/advertisements in shopping festivals organised by Government / Quasi Government Institutions and help in marketing of the products.

“Even though women in Kerala are way ahead in education, their participation in work force is lower. The case is the same in entrepreneurship also. But now statistics show that more women in Kerala are starting their own businesses. This is a positive sign and the state government, with its many initiatives, are really encouraging the fair sex,” said Patricia Barandun, UN Women-India’ deputy representative.

[Source]

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