Oh well, the title may sound a bit too exaggerated but sometimes it does help to get the attention!
In this edition, I would like to bring your attention to the importance of promoting women entrepreneurship among qualified women in our country.
In 2018, I met Ms.Indulekha for the first time when she came as a trainee for our C2C (Comeback 2 Career) Fellowship training program. She was found to be a bit timid, yet someone who kept chattering mostly about her husband and her kids during the entire workshop period. Yes, they were her world and are still. However, today if you speak to her, she will also talk about the pricing of products, the profitability of a business and the e-commerce potentials of her business. She thoroughly enjoys her indoor plants business – “Plants Interio” which she set up after the training in 2018. What makes this business special is the fact that she has never done any business nor any job before!
Founder of Plant interio
& The Green Shelf
Despite having got a Post-graduation qualification, she ended up being a housewife to tender to the needs of the family for 17 Years. Yesterday when I spoke to her, she was thrilled in conveying to me that she is setting up her second retail outlet of Plants Interio at a premium mall that’s coming up in Trivandrum.
Ms. Sarumathi S
Owner Of Brand Labelssarumathi
Fast forward to March 2019, I was the lead faculty for a Women Entrepreneurship workshop named Startup Maza. Ms.Sarumathi was a participant who was a Tamilian and a BTech holder who got settled in Kochi due to her husband’s IT job. She was found to be enthusiastic and despite the language barriers, she networked well with all participants. She wanted to be an entrepreneur but did not have much idea about how to sell or launch a brand. She tried selling garments online and was not sure how to launch it as a proper business. After the workshop, she identified her niche – cotton and Linen materials. She launched her brand, LabelSSarumathi focusing on sustainable and natural dye-based garments and fabrics. Today, she sells her brand through multiple channels between Kerala and Tamilnadu. Apart from her brand, she is also leading the Operations of Pracol.com and is a busy girl throughout the day and night!
Well, these are not examples of celebrated entrepreneurs yet who gets invited to speaking at premium Women Entrepreneurship Summits or Award Nights where the same women keep getting awards for their enterprises which was built by their husband or family every year! These are women who started something from scratch, out of passion and the will to succeed and also are the ones who believe in sustainability despite all the odds or delays in their lives. Both of them are just two of the hundreds of women entrepreneur stories that we at Prayaana are proud of today! They are also sellers at our onlinee-commerce platform www.pracol.com where we feature, nurture and train our sellers regularly on branding and promotions of products, apart from various business skills. Being part of Prayaana and Pracol have helped these budding entrepreneurs gain confidence and scale up their business easily. They are now dreaming of doing things that they wished in their lives. They are also building dreams for their children and also supporting more women in this journey. They provide employment to various segments of people – mostly women.
Pracol – Prayaana Collective aims at bringing together more and more women like Indu and Saru who are talented and are willing to put in their hard work and also believe in ethical and sustainable businesses. Whenever you shop at www.pracol.com, you can be sure of the quality and most importantly the love and care given by these women entrepreneurs.
Yes, it’s time for us to look deeper into Women entrepreneurship and how to nurture it better. It is a known fact that fewer women engage in unethical business practices and look at the business with a more humane, more sustainable fashion than men. For eg: In the research conducted by Ahmed & Seet (2010), it was found that women perceived ethics and social responsibility conducts as more important than their male counterparts in managing their business. Yes, Women entrepreneurs bring in more passion, customer care and less corruption into the business world.
Now, Imagine a world where we have more and more women leadership and entrepreneurship engaging in sustainable and impact entrepreneurship. Just as the great poet Rabindranath Tagore prayed in his poem, “where the mind is without fear”, I pray to the almighty to Let my country awake into that land of equality and recognition for the untapped potentials of half of its population!
Cheers to Women Entrepreneurship, Cheers to Nation building!
Ahmad, N. H., & Seet, P. S. (2010). Gender Variations In Ethical And Socially Responsible Considerations Among Sme Entrepreneurs In Malaysia. International Journal Of Business & Society, 11(1).
#CeeVee is the brand name of Dr. Chandra Vadhana.