Empowering Women through Entrepreneurship Program in the New Normal

 

We were on the ground with the mentoring team during a project visit earlier this month. And like always, our most awaited bullet point on the agenda was to meet the women entrepreneurs and their families. We wish we could feature all of them in this update but alas that will have to wait. Let’s begin with the inspiring and heartwarming story of Satya – a woman of determination, vigor and strength.

When the pandemic knocked the doors our usual ways of doing business went upside down. Many who lost their jobs or livelihood are still finding it hard to bounce back, forced to look for other opportunities. ETASHA Society, through its Women Entrepreneurship Program (WEP), for women with specific skill set or willing to start their entrepreneurial journey, rushed to support them. Women taking part in this program are up skilled women based on their skills and interests, mentored, given financial support and hand hold till they gain full control of their business.

Satya is the owner of a Momo stall in Sangam Vihar, New Delhi. Before the pandemic, she had a flourishing fast food business at a prominent location in Sangam Vihar and her husband was working as a technical support in a workshop. The duo was running the family well and giving a good life to their two daughters. Series of lockdown jolted them badly, her business came to a closure and husband too lost his job. After a couple of months they were hand to mouth with all the source of income dried and savings depleted. In the second wave of the pandemic in India, her husband went down with the virus which squeezed out the last ounce of the resource.

During the new normal, Satya desperately started to look for new avenues of livelihood; meanwhile her husband was still recovering from the post Covid symptoms. Satya came to know about ETASHA’s women entrepreneurship program through a mobilization campaign and soon her business proposal was approved and interest free loan was dispersed. She started with an ordinary wooden stall and earned Rs.150/- on the first day of her venture. It was far less than the past but good enough to fuel her passion. With passing of each day the business grew stronger and soon she reached the breakeven point. Nowadays, she is sells Momos and earns Rs.1200/day, some days even more.

“I had lost all my hopes to restart my business and was ready for any livelihood opportunity when ETASHA recognized my skill and showed confidence. Today, with the guidance and mentoring of ETASHA and support of my husband and daughters, I am successfully running a Momo stall and adding new customers every day. We are planning to scale up by business in the coming days.” Satya couldn’t stop thanking us but it is she and her family’s commitment, patience and persistence that have paid off. Satya has paid back the initial loan amount to ETASHA and plans to apply for the second loan to expand her business.

In India, there are millions of women who are equally talented and passionate and want to financially support their families. They are just waiting for the right opportunity. At ETASHA Society we want to impact the lives of such women. Would you consider helping us keep empowering them?