Hong Kong body picks Kerala startup for world women entrepreneurs award

KSUM-incubated startup eWe was chosen for the laurel for its adherence to UN’s sustainable development goals that aim at curbing climate change.

The Junior Chamber International Hong Kong (JCIHK), which provides development opportunities for youngsters, has chosen Kerala’s Sangeetha Abhayan for the World Women Entrepreneurs’ Award. The award came calling for Sangeetha, the CEO of eweworld.com from upstate Kasaragod district, from more than 225 female entrepreneurs from across the world.

The handloom and handicrafts startup’s performance was picked for being in tune with the United Nation’s sustainable development goals (SDGs). Based out of Nileshwar, 40 km south of Kasaragod city, eveworld.com won the international recognition for creating social changes and financial stability among women entrepreneurs.

Kerala startup eWe topped among competitors

The online platform, whose name eWe is an abbreviation of Empowering Women Entrepreneurs, received the JCIHK award at a virtual event held at Hong Kong. The jury noted that eWe topped among the competitors for its adherence to UN’s sustainable development goals that aim at curbing climate change as well.

The 2017-founded company, which is grooming under Mizone Incubation Centre under the Kerala government’s Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), led in sessions, pitching and interview phases of the global contest. The KSUM had provided eWe scale-up grant and seed fund in the initial phase. KSUM is the nodal agency of the Kerala government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.

The startup has been carrying out online sales of products in ways that empower traditional handloom and handicrafts employees working in rural Kerala and outside. Besides producing handmade clothes and interior-decoration items out of bamboo, clay, plantain fiber, eWe facilitates the systematic marketing of such sustainable items.

Sangeetha, aged 35, who post-graduated in biotechnology, said her startup aspires to bring “exemplary” designs onto Khadi and handloom textiles and, in the process, make best use of the talent of traditional workers in the field so as to boost their global market.

eWe platform empowers women

 “In fact, eWe’s use of technology in stages from manufacture to marketing made us a startup with enormous growth prospects.  Soon we won the recognition of Startup India as well as KSUM,” she pointed out.

Currently, the platform is engaged in lending novel designs to clothes allied to the traditional Kannur handloom and Payyannur Khadi. “To ensure quality, we oversee production and reach our brands in the market,” said Sangeetha. “Women carry out the sales. Any female with entrepreneurial capabilities and basic knowledge of technology can own an eWe virtual shop. We provide them training, too.” The platform has been getting purchase orders from abroad as well.

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