J&K’s women entrepreneurs reshaping business landscape

SRINAGAR, NOV 02: Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing a remarkable transformation as a growing number of women entrepreneurs are taking the lead in pioneering diverse business ventures across the Union Territory.
These women are breaking traditional barriers and setting high standards in various sectors, backed by encouraging support and financial assistance from the UT government.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration, as per the officials has introduced a range of schemes and incentives to foster female entrepreneurship, providing a platform for enterprising women to expand their horizons and contribute to the region’s economic development.
One such highly successful initiative is the ‘UMEED’ scheme, launched by the JK Rural Livelihood Mission (JKRLM). UMEED aims to alleviate poverty at the grassroots level by engaging local communities in the production of goods using readily available resources, thereby creating employment opportunities.
The program has formed hundreds of Self-Help Groups (SHGs), one of the top officials of the government, said, adding that to ensure the active participation of women in UT’s youth programs and missions, the government is offering a range of benefits.
“Under the guidance of JKRLM UMEED, women are receiving entrepreneurship training and are producing items like jams, pickles, sauces, chutneys, and concentrates. The Mission has also supported these women in establishing processing and preservation units in their homes. Subsidized raw materials, interest-free loans, and free marketing of their products through government agencies have ignited a spirit of entrepreneurship and given rural women a renewed sense of purpose,” the official said.
He said fairs and exhibitions held across Jammu and Kashmir, as well as in major Indian cities, have provided a platform for these women to showcase their skills. Through UMEED, their products are available on e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, and Meesho, he added.
The outstanding achievements of women entrepreneurs in the ‘SAATH’ scheme (Rural Enterprises Acceleration Program) have also received recognition,” he said.
Furthermore, special scholarship schemes like the ‘Pragati’ and ‘Saksham’ Scheme are being offered to exceptional female scholars.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has emphasized the importance of empowering women, stating that the progress of a society hinges on the empowerment of its women. He stressed the need for skill training and re-skilling programs for women.
In Jammu as per the officials, women entrepreneurs have also been part of the UMEED scheme, benefiting from training and soft loans.
“The government is promoting the ‘one district one product’ approach and providing institutional credit to women, especially in priority sectors like horticulture and handicrafts. Handicraft skills are being imparted to women in remote areas through centrally sponsored schemes, including embroidery, crewel, tailoring, and stitching,” an official said.
He said handloom centres have thrived in several areas, providing employment opportunities for women. These centres not only offer training but also provide a regular stipend to women and girls, enabling them to set up and run units from their own homes after one or two years of training, he said.
Artisans and weavers receive support through schemes like the Mudra Scheme for financial assistance and the Artisan Credit Card Scheme.
In addition to business, women in Jammu and Kashmir are encouraged to pursue sports, hobbies, and creative outlets for their health and well-being. The government is proactively creating facilities to encourage women’s participation in governance, business, and other sectors while fostering a gender-inclusive ecosystem to ensure women’s omnipresent representation and empowerment.
The journey of these women entrepreneurs in the Jammu and Kashmir Union territory showcases their determination, resilience, and the transformative power of government support. It highlights their role in reshaping the region’s economic landscape and fostering gender equality and empowerment.

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