Kerala’s Sangeetha Abhayan won the World Women Entrepreneurs’ Award instituted by the Junior Chamber International Hong Kong (JCIHK) for her handloom and handicrafts startup’s performance in tune with the United Nation’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).
JCIHK, which provides development opportunities for youngsters, chose Sangeetha, who is CEO of eveworld.com from upstate Kasaragod district, from more than 225 female entrepreneurs from across the world, organisers said. 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.
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 on Sunday (August 7). The jury noted that eWe topped among the competitors for its adherence to UN’s SDGs that aim at curbing climate changes as well. The 2017-founded company, which is grooming under Mizone Incubation Centre under the government’s Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), led in sessions, pitching and interview phases of the global contest. The KSUM provided eWe scale-up grant and seed fund in the initial phase.
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, 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. “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,” revealed 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.
KSUM is the nodal agency of the Kerala government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.