From government employment to entrepreneurship, highly educated youth are trying start-ups to earn their living in Jammu and Kashmir. As many as 64 new start-ups were registered by Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) in the union territory last year despite lockdown. This is nearly 50 percent more than 2019. In 2019, only 38 start-ups were registered in Jammu and Kashmir. So far this year, 25 new start-ups have been registered by the EDI. From beekeeping to e-commerce and from food processing to handicrafts, youth are trying everything to become self-reliant in Jammu and Kashmir. Maharashtra tops the list of leading 10 states with 8327 registered start-ups followed by Karnataka (5979), Delhi (5557), Uttar Pradesh(3857), Gujarat (2586), Haryana(2475), Tamil Nadu (2329), Kerala (2040) Rajasthan (1334) and West Bengal (1272). Jammu and Kashmir ranks at 21st number in the list of states with maximum start-ups. So far,191 start-ups have been registered in the union territory. According to the 2011 census, more than 70% of the population in J&K is below 35 years of age. However, unemployment and under-employment have been at the heart of the crisis. A study conducted by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has revealed that the unemployment rate in Jammu and Kashmir was 11.10 percent in August 2020, which is more than the national ratio of 8.35 percent. Conservative estimates reveal that 2.5 lakh educated youth are unemployed in Jammu and Kashmir. Kashmir is at a disadvantageous position as far as setting-up big industries are concerned. Being landlocked with no interstate rail connectivity, industry particularly the manufacturing sector has never prospered in Kashmir. Economic survey 2021 has revealed that the slowdown in the manufacturing sector poses a risk in the economic recovery of the union territory. Most of the businesses in Kashmir are banking on the service sector, horticulture, and handicrafts. But two back-to-back lockdowns have dealt a killer blow to the business in Kashmir. A preliminary assessment conducted by the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) has pegged the business losses at over Rs 40,000 crore, while five lakh people have lost jobs from August 5 2019 to August 2020. Start-ups, however, has kindled hope of better days ahead for the business. The government of India has announced Rs 945-crore Start-up India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS), which will be operational from April 1, 2021, to 2025 to promote and boost the ecosystem across the country. It will support an estimated 3,600 entrepreneurs through 300 incubators in the next 4 years. The scheme has been notified on 28 January 2021. Start-ups are exempted from taxation as per provision of Section 56, (2) (vii b) of the Income Tax Act 1961. Jammu and Kashmir government too needs to create a favourable ecosystem for the young entrepreneurs. To start with, a single-window system for clearance would prove the biggest confidence-building measure. Banks too should be forthcoming in lending money to budding entrepreneurs at the lowest interest rates. SIDCO and other agencies should provide a marketing back-up for start-ups. Time is not far away when our youth will become job givers rather than job seekers.