CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu has the maximum number of woman entrepreneurs in the country, says the latest economic census. The state is home to 10.9 lakh (13.5%) women entrepreneurs, most of whom operate their enterprises with their own funds or with donations from NGOs and other sources. Kerala comes next with 11.3% of the country’s women entrepreneurs.
“Many women in Tamil Nadu head households as men migrate for work. After Kerala, many men from Tamil Nadu work in Gulf countries,” said business economist Raman Mahadevan.
According to the 2011 census, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have maximum number of households headed by single women. “While on their own, women start small businesses like rolling beedis or manu facturing masalas. This is one of the prime reasons for the state having such a huge number of women entrepreneurs,” said Mahadevan.
Women entrepreneurs also include those who head self-help groups. “Women-led SHGs in the state are involved in handlooms, detergent making and in the leather industry,” said Mahadevan. They invest their savings and seek support from family or friends,” he said.
Radha Daga, 74, is an exam ple of such an entrepreneur.The founder and managing director of instant meal company Triguni Foods set up the venture in 2010 to satisfy her lifelong love for food. Until then, she was running a garments business as a social venture to employ underprivileged women. Today, Triguni Foods, which counts Indigo Airlines as a customer, produces 1.6 lakh tubs a month, and is seeing almost 100% growth year-on-year. “I started Triguni Foods without a single employee and built it up slowly,” she said.
She seems to fit another statistic that the census throws up: Of the 10.9 lakh women entrepreneurs in Tamil Nadu, 7.9 lakh do not employ anyone. This number is also the highest among all states.
COURTESY : TOI