It goes without saying that women entrepreneurs are an important part of our society. Their contribution in terms of economic development as well as social well-being, cannot be
This was reinforced in the state of Maharashtra, when The Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture (MACCIA) launched a women entrepreneurs’ development programme from Nashik, in April 2022, basically to promote start-ups and businesses headed by women. The aim was “to encourage women entrepreneurs and to increase the representation of women entrepreneurs in start-ups and entrepreneurship sectors”, said Mr Nawab Malik, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister.
So, the road ahead looks very positive. Here we celebrate some prominent women entrepreneurs of Maharashtra.
> Shifa Shaikh, Founder, VEDICLUSH
VEDICLUSH, which manufactures organic skin and hair care Handmade solutions, was founded in 2014, by Shifa Shaikh. Here we can see how beauty is moving towards sustainability and Indian Ayurveda. They have actually given a makeover to the ancient beauty therapy by adapting to modern needs of Skin and Haircare solutions, created with organic and natural ingredients. Most importantly, all their products are Sulphate, Paraben and Cruelty-Free. They
have gained consumer trust and have successfully built their goodwill too.
> Nehal Nimit Kothari, Founder Institute of Design (IOD)
Nehal, Interior & Fashion designer is originally from Kharagpur, West Bengal. She is the founder of Institute of Design, which she operates from Jalgaon. She explains this as the first step, taken towards achieving her passion to establish her career in the field of interior design and fashion design. Their mission is to convert creative people into creative professionals with world-class training and experiential learning; and their vision for the future is to be the foundation head of creative talent for every designing industry that is pursuing their dreams.
> Rekha Chirnerkar, Director, AapliBucketlist
Rekha Chirnerkar, the director of AapliBucketlist, operates a unique platform for women, with a tagline – “Every Woman’s Rights Platform”. To elaborate, AapliBucketlist works around 5 principles – entertainment, workshops, business prosperity, job guidance and self-identification.
So far, many fashion shows, gettogethers, exhibitions, various business trainings,
entrepreneurship fairs, etc many such initiatives have been implemented. Women from various
districts like Thane, Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Raigad have joined this company; and many
women have access to financial opportunities through these various initiatives too.
Besides, Rekha Chirnerkar has been honoured with many awards too, most recently
Dhanalakshmi Sakhi Sanman and Parineeta Sakhi Sanman.
> Yamini Matkar, Founder, Mini’s Handmade
Yamini Matkar belongs to Thane, with a Masters in statistics (Mumbai University) but, significantly, her interest always inclined towards art. After working in an MNC for few months,
she moved to freelancing work, as she loved to make new things and handmade miniature stuff. In 2015 she started her small business named Mini’s Handmade. Her speciality is that she makes different types of chocolates & she also started making hand-made gifts, as the saying goes – gift is best way to express your love for someone very special.
> VaidehiBagul, Founder, Karavishkar
VaidehiBagul, Founder of Karavishkar Handmade Maharashtrian Jewellery had done a dedicated jewellery course (with her sister), during college, but had no plans for what to do next. After completing the course, they started getting orders from college, and their confidence got a boost. Then everything changed, with Covid. But, fortunately after the pandemic, they also got orders through social media. Now the scene is very promising – as they run their business both offline and online too.
> Bhakti Harchekar, Founder, S3 Associate Interior Designing Company
Bhakti Harchekar’s startup is called – S3 Associate Interior Designing Company and she is also the founder of Swadishta Ruchigandha Masala. Her love and passion for Art saw her converting it into a career.
S3 Associate strives to achieve excellence by infusing creativity, and using the latest technology. This principle was responsible for the growth of S3 Associate into a dynamic interior designing firm, and the company is taking rapid strides ahead – to match international class design. They undertake all types of interior projects like residential, commercial, corporates, hospitality, design, contracting and turnkey projects in pan-India.