To set up one's own business is not easy. And sustaining is even more difficult. To help those who have the talent but are not bold enough or do not possess enough knowledge to run a business, the Entrepreneurship Development Cell of Stella Maris College recently conducted a Women Entrepreneurship Development Programme.
Dr. Geetha Swaminathan, project advisor, Entrepreneurship Development Cell (EDC), said, “Funds are allotted by the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, to run a programme for training women from various backgrounds at Stella Maris College.”
They were given inputs about becoming successful entrepreneurs by personalities from varied walks of life. Highlights of the sessions were about entry barriers, importance of goal setting, team building, identifying the entrepreneurial opportunities in today's scenario and marketing strategies. The experts taught them how to build self-confidence, develop leadership qualities and self analysis.
Many of them were unaware about the different marketing strategies and the kinds of loans given by banks and other NGOs. Officers from banks, MSME (Ministry of Small Micro & Medium Enterprise) interacted with the participants. Also successful entrepreneurs and a few of them who had participated last year (launched new projects now) visited the programme and encouraged the participants about starting new ventures.
The participants were taken to factories begun in a small way but now run very successfully by entrepreneurs. They visited MBI-Kits in T. Nagar, Thejus Gold Decorative Platings and Diet Aqua packaged drinking water plant at Sriperumbudur. From all these places they obtained a fair idea of how one can set up a factory and build a good business.
Skill development training was also given _ to process fruits and vegetables and to make juices and jam out of them. Hands-on training about making jams, pickles and quash was given and they were given a demonstration about using juicer-pulpers.
Other products that were prepared at the training programme include pain balms, foot care creams, face lotions, herbal shampoo, artificial jewellery, paper bags and screen printing.
The assignments, homework and projects that were submitted by the participants were assessed by experts.
Angel, a beautician, has learnt the art of jewellery making here and she plans to start a small place for gift items (earrings, necklace and bracelets). Similarly, Vanmathi has been motivated to turn into a beautician with the knowledge she has gained to make herbal products. Says Vanmanthi: We have been trained in a number of subjects. With the expertise obtained from this course, I have a fair idea about the right kind of herb for different problems such as hair fall, dandruff, cracking heels and etc.
Padmini of Royapettah plans to take up screen printing. I want to take up orders for bags (marriages, temples and textile shops) and run a business.
Paper bag making is a new venture of the college. S. Kavitha of Ayanavaram wants to take it up on a large scale. “It is an eco-friendly item and the need for it will always be there. Moreover, there will be a huge demand for them from marriage contractors, showrooms and shops,” says Kavitha.