Srinagar: A few years back, Asifa, 28, tried her hand at handicrafts.
She started designing shawls with the finest embroidery and selling them to dealers across the country.
In just three years, she created a network of women who became financially independent and supported their families.
“Now, many women who live in the vicinity have started designing and stitching shawls. They earn a good sum since they sell shawls in bulk to the dealers from Srinagar and other districts,” said Asifa, whose unit is making brisk business in Baramulla.
Like Asifa, scores of women are setting up their enterprises in various sectors to become financially independent.
From agriculture to handicrafts and hospitality, Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed several women choosing unconventional fields to become financially independent.
Figures accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveal that in the past four years, 20,691 women-owned enterprises have come up in Jammu and Kashmir.
These businesses were established as part of the Prime Minister Employment Generation Program (PMEGP).
Up till November 30, 3901 female-owned businesses had opened in Jammu & Kashmir this year.
According to data from the previous year, women in Jammu & Kashmir founded 5035 business units.
In 2021 and 2020, 8520 and 3235 enterprises have come up in Jammu and Kashmir under PMEGP which are owned by women.
Documents said that one of the driving factors behind this positive trend is the concerted efforts by the government and various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to promote and support women in business.
Officials said schemes and initiatives tailored to provide financial assistance, skill development, and mentorship have played a pivotal role in encouraging women to take the entrepreneurial plunge.
“Low-interest loans, skill development programs, and mentorship initiatives have played a pivotal role in empowering women to step into the world of entrepreneurship. Women empowerment schemes like Hausla, Tejaswani, etc are proving game changers in empowering the women folk of Jammu and Kashmir,” they said.