Women-led startups in Kerala, which stands about 13 per cent in the state, stand to gain much, with the Kerala Government announcing a slew of attractive incentives, including pre-incubation, marketing and product exposure support, to further strengthen woman entrepreneurship in the start-up ecosystem.

The Government, endorsing a set of proposals submitted by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), has issued the notification in this regard, giving effect to the unique scheme.

Dr Saji Gopinath, CEO, KSUM, had submitted the proposals of the scheme, to be implemented under the ‘Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme’.

As per the initiative, free pre-incubation support will be extended to the startups led by women at the early stages. This will be for a period of three months with incubation, mentorship and technical support. Two cohorts of 10 startups exclusively for women shall be taken as part of this scheme.

Moreover, KSUM will support women founders who have a valid startup product to exhibit in national and international events by bearing the registration cost. Travel tickets will be provided for one founder for national and international business meets, which can be availed four times in the startup life cycle subject to review of the startup.

KSUM will also endorse marketing activities up to a ceiling of Rs 5 lakh per startup per year, with a validity of two year. The moratorium on the Seed Funding Support scheme of the KSUM will be extended to two years from one year.

Other highlights of the scheme include fast track soft loan against purchase order, fast track soft loan as advance for projects received from the Government departments and technology transfer support for women-led startups with a ceiling of Rs10 lakh. About 10 per cent seats will be earmarked for women in International Exposure Programmes.

 KSUM, the nodal agency of Kerala Government to promote entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state, seeks to further strengthen empowerment of women in high-tech areas through these measures.

By Manoj

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