More women in leadership roles of Kerala start-ups; State inching closer to global average


R Roshan

Kochi: The involvement of women in start-ups registered in Kerala is on the rise. Interestingly, 15 per cent of the 3,100 start-ups registered in the state has at least one woman in leadership role. It is important to note that with this track record, Kerala is inching closer to global average. According to popular business information platform Crunchbase, the global average of woman co-founders in start-ups is 20 per cent.

Similarly, in the last three years, the tech start-up sector in Kerala witnessed a five-fold growth of women enterprises. In those start-ups, at least one founder is a woman. In 2018, the number of such start-ups was 31, while the number now is 152. Apart from this, there are Malayali woman co-founders in major start-up hubs of India including those in Bengaluru.

Interestingly, tech start-up Open Financial Technology, which has two women founders among four, clinched Unicorn title this year with a valuation of Rs 100 dollars (around Rs 7,500 crore).

Another interesting data is that, in the Rs 1,890 crore capital investment received by Kerala start-ups, almost half of them are enterprises with women co-founders.

Supportive projects

The main reason which attracts more women to entrepreneurship is the favourable start-up ecosystem. The projects of both the union and state government is a support for women who are determined to prove their mark in entrepreneurship. This includes offerings such as incubation facility, primary capital assistance and business support.

Through the ‘Stand UP India’ scheme, union government aims to uplift women and SC/ST communities into entrepreneurship. Bank loans worth Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 crore are sanctioned under this scheme. There is another scheme called ‘Start-up India’ which is devised to make Indian start-up sector a global hub.

Meanwhile, Kerala government is also in the forefront for promoting women entrepreneurs. It has devised many projects and schemes in this regard. Incubation, seed funding, grant, patent assistance, R&D grant, accessibility to international trade fairs are some facilities offered.


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