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IANS

Around 40 per cent of the startups registered in Odisha are led by women entrepreneurs, an official said, highlighting the state government's efforts.

The number is higher than the ambitious target set by the Naveen Patnaik administration to have at least 33 per cent of the startups formed by women as a founder or co-founder.

"Odisha has more than 1,300 startups, out of which nearly 500 are run by women," Startup Odisha evangelist Sanjukta Badhei said at an event in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.

Elaborating on the various initiatives under the Startup Odisha for women, Badhei said special funding and capacity-building programmes were in place to help such entrepreneurs to nurture their ideas.

"We have a monthly allowance of Rs 22,000 for promoting women entrepreneurship," she said at the seminar on growth of women entrepreneurs and their contribution to Odisha's socioeconomic scenario.

A grant of up to Rs 16 lakh is available for supporting the process of product building and taking it to the market.

There is also travel assistance for startups to showcase their products and services at various events, according to the official.

The Odisha government has set up a Rs 100-crore fund to provide large-scale investment to the startups, she said.

"We're also inviting alternative investment funds and semi-registered investors to invest in Odisha-based startups," Badhei added.

Odisha Rural Development And Marketing Society chief executive officer Poonam Guha urged entrepreneurs to visit peer producer groups to learn new techniques and for exchange of tools and ideas.

"As Odisha is home to 62 tribal groups, we have many opportunities on their specific products like harida, bahada, broom and others," Guha said.

Women can set up enterprises collectively to sell these products to a larger consumer base. There is a lot of scope to market the agriculture products also, she added.

The seminar is a part of the Propack Odisha, which was organised by the Odisha Association of Small and Medium Enterprises at the Janata Maidan.

More than 40 companies from the packaging and food processing sector participated in the four-day expo. Over 100 SMEs from across Odisha are also taking part in the exhibition, which concluded on Sunday.

The expo aims to showcase new business and networking opportunities to the state MSMEs and support the creation of new markets and business channels for exhibitors.

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