Entrepreneurship is characterised by diverse components like investment, economic sustainability, potential, marketing trends and margins.

If minting profits make sense for most women entrepreneurs, V. Kamakshi is concerned about crafting eco-friendly products while empowering women.

Her three-year-old dream of setting up a paper bag manufacturing unit came true last year. After getting technically trained in District Industries Centre, Kamakshi’s next step was to empower women. “More than providing employment, I am keen to enhance their survival skills. Financial independence and learning the technicalities of the craft go a long way to empower women,” she said.

Today she has three women, two housewives and a young woman apart from a male operator, assisting her in designing both handmade and machine made paper bags at the centre established in Muralinagar under the brand name SS Paper Industries. “With a bank loan of Rs.20 lakh, I was able to install the unit at a subsidised rate through Association of Lady Entrepreneurs of Andhra Pradesh,” Kamakshi said.

Challenges

Though showrooms and East Coast Railway have become her regular clients, the orders are not sufficient to continue the operation for the entire month.

However, with a running cost of Rs.50,000 per month, Kamakshi is quite confident about her future. She said: “My son and sister help me with the marketing requirements. We want to improve the dealership in Vizianagaram, Srikakulam, Vijayawada and other places. Our next move is to increase our clientele and reduce our running cost by shifting our premises to Industrial Estate. And by doing so, we intend to empower more women,” she concluded.

And the women working there say that the skill builds their confidence and helps in different ways.

“I need extra money for my higher education and what better way I could find than learning a skill and pursue my studies simultaneously” says one of the workers G. Jayashree. For the two housewives -- M. Padmaja and K. Sesharatnam – supporting their family financially matters a lot and they said that they enjoy learning the art.

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