Joint efforts of Centre for Women's Studies and TIDITSSIA
TIRUCHI: With a view to facilitating prospective women entrepreneurs to meet their requirements through collective representation, the Centre for Women's Studies (CWS) of the Bharathidasan University floated an exclusive forum, `Women Entrepreneurs' Association' (WEA) in collaboration with Tiruchi District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association (TIDITSSIA).
On the background research involved for the process, the Director of CWS, N. Manimekalai, said a survey conducted by the University revealed that 150 women entrepreneurs in and around Tiruchi were engaged predominantly in a micro-scale operation. Their business depended on non-formal credits with very high interest rates, which brought down their profit margin. Also, they lacked knowledge on standardisation of products, its value-addition, marketing skills, marketing competency and technological acumen. The CWS felt the need for an exclusive forum to voice for their cause and explain their odds. Hence the Association in collaboration with TIDITSSIA through its organ, Science and Technology Entrepreneur Development (STED), volunteered to lend a helping hand, she said.
The Mayor, Sarubala R. Tondaiman, in her presidential address, urged the entrepreneurs to avail themselves of the subsidy-based programmes being implemented by the Corporation. Every year, the Corporation sanctioned a subsidy of Rs.45 lakhs in the cause of the economically weaker sections. Women were innately blessed with entrepreneurship skills, she said.
In his inaugural address, the Vice-Chancellor of Bharathidasan University, C. Thangamuthu, referred to the achievements of the various successful women entrepreneurs and said the women should take innovative steps to enhance the business, not depending merely on financial support. Intra-marketing of end products among the association members would pave way for economic independence and promote profitability.
Earlier, the vice-president of the WEA, Vasantha listed out its charter of demands for allocation of shops at markets, bus stands besides enhanced subsidy component for loans.