Kerala has undergone a tremendous amount of growth over the past few years due to a wide variety of startups, and female-led startups have totally changed how things are done in Kerala. There is no doubt that Kerala's women have repeatedly demonstrated that they are capable of standing alongside their contemporaries, armed with brilliant ideas and boundless enthusiasm, and they have done so by rewriting the rules of the startup world all over again. It is obvious that Kerala, a state where gender is unbounded, is leading the nation when it comes to startups, especially with the central government dishing out loans worth Rs. 19 lakh crore to small businesses nationwide, with 70% of those loans going to female entrepreneurs!
Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) offers a soft loan scheme to help startups launch their businesses. Under this program, startups that have been approved by DPIIT and have been issued KSUM-issued unique IDs could qualify for seed funding of up to Rs 15 lakh. There is a need to ensure that a majority of the company is owned by the female co-founder, and that the company is registered in Kerala in order to achieve greater representation. We have compiled a list of women-led startups leading the charge in the startup world in 2023, and here are some of them!
OureanSoul Pvt Ltd
Anooja Bashir’s Ourea was first founded in 2013, long before startups were just coming out, let alone female-led businesses. Ourea didn’t make it big as the team had hoped; however, four years later, when Kerala was riding high and tall in the startup wave, Anooja relaunched her brand as OureanSoul Pvt. Ltd., which is now a successful branding and IT domain! This full-service business management firm specializes in branding and design and offers comprehensive solutions to a variety of clients. For startups, corporations, and organizations, OureanSoul Pvt. Ltd. also offers industrial training, business mentoring, and coaching services. It also offers expert corporate solutions and cutting-edge information to help you plan the expansion of your business.
Despite the fact that entrepreneurs have always faced difficulties, Anooja's story is quite motivating for all those who are going through difficult times as a result of the severe difficulties the economy has thrown their way!
ByLin Medtech Private Limited
Founded in the year 2020, Dr. Lini Basil’s medtech startup sure secures a spot on our list of Kerala’s booming female-led startups! An IIM-C alumnus, Dr. Lini Basil’s USP has to be their hydrating patch for people who suffer from dry mouth. ByLin Medtech develops indigenous products that support one's health with an R&D team that is primarily made up of women. ByLin Medtech offers collaborative and innovative platforms for professionals in the fields of medicine, engineering, research, and public health.
This Kochi-based healthcare startup is making its rounds on social media and for good reason too! Speech-language pathologist Elizabeth Thomas founded Phonologix in 2020 with the goal of making speech therapy available to everyone in the world. The company uses a digital platform with automated and gamified content as well as integrated live online sessions by speech pathologists. Phonologix provides online occupational therapy, special education, speech and language therapy, voice and stammering therapy, therapy for social communication, and counseling services for kids and adults in India and abroad.
For effectively addressing these issues, Phonoligx has attracted a lot of attention, paving their path to being one of the top 6 finalists of the Stanford Seed Spark Program and the global finalist from India at the She Loves Tech 2022 competition!
The Social Town
Neenu Rathin’s The Social Town has helped open both Kochi's and India’s eyes to making social work easily accessible! The Social Town is a platform that uses technology to help individuals and groups working in social development and offers everything needed to make a positive impact on society under one roof, including knowledge, opportunities, volunteers, connections, and more. Neenu's multi-stakeholder approach, which enables her to bring together various stakeholders to solve social problems collaboratively, demonstrates her belief that working together can help India tackle social issues more effectively.
The Social Town was also selected by IIM-B and Stanford Seed Spark as a shining example of a female-led startup, inspiring Neenu Rithin's entrepreneurial endeavors and resulting in her becoming a TEDx speaker!
This Kochi-based femtech startup was founded by Noureen Aysha and her husband with the intention of making discussions about feminine wellness and hygiene less taboo. Launched in 2020, FemiSafe offers a range of period care and grooming products. Due to the difficulties associated with disposing of sanitary napkins and the subsequent menstrual health problems, Femisafe was created as a result of the limited access to sanitary napkins. Femisafe set out to make these crucial conversations a topic of conversation after realizing the social stigma associated with female hygiene and periods. Femisafe has been able to establish a successful business in south India and is a member of the Stanford Seed Spark program as well.
Being the face of a fem-tech startup, Noureen Aysha has made Femisafe a one-stop platform for all things feminine!
Indians have been obsessed with straight hair since the beginning of time, and Hinshara Habeeb and Yuba Mohammed’s curly-hair venture is here to bring life to every curly-haired goddess out there! Manetain is an online retailer of hair care products and hair styling options, focusing on women with curly hair. 2018 saw the launch of heat caps, followed by the introduction of silk and satin products. The co-wash and conditioner, the brand's first offering in the category of hair care products, were well-received by Indian women when they were first introduced in 2021. With this shark-tank-approved product, Manetain,’s aim is to help women embrace their uniqueness and femininity and stay true to who they are.
Who runs the world?
Ultimately, the startup landscape in Kerala is a testament to how Kerala's women have been able to fiercely tackle and revert to the challenges society has thrown their way. These startups have surely paved the way for future SHE-E-O’s where ideas know no boundaries! These inspirational women have surpassed expectations, broken glass ceilings, and definitely altered what success looks like! They have demonstrated that innovation knows no gender and the entrepreneurial spirit knows no bounds with their unwavering determination, unwavering spirit, and unwavering belief in their dreams.
While there is still a long way to go in terms of representation, one can hope that as time goes on, the playing field will become more leveled and there will be equal opportunities for everyone. Celebrating these extraordinary women, their willingness to dream big, and their unwavering dedication to building a better future, we do believe that surely the sky isn’t the limit after all!