Life was going well for Smt. G. Sreelatha. She was a freelance part-time journalist in ETV, the popular regional channel. But life is forever uncertain; a cruel blow was her husband’s death. Suddenly, she had to take on the responsibility of running the house and ensuring the future of her two kids. It was an uphill task, but Sreelatha was a fighter, and she kept trying various options to ensure a stable life for the family. She heard from a colleague about training in Jute Technologies being provided by National Institute of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (NIMSME).
She enrolled herself for a 45-day course and in addition to the core jute knowledge, went through detailed sessions on Stand-Up India.
The training also included interactions with various banks in the city and the process through which the loan can be applied.
Stand-Up India is exactly the right programme, providing the perfect platform for situations like this. Women, SC/ST, aspiring entrepreneurs who need that little bit of hand holding, capital money in easy loans and some confidence lifters, benefit immensely from this programme. Smt. Sreelatha did exactly that. After testing the markets and demand for jute products, she started out small.
The response from the market gave her the confidence to start dreaming big and she approached the Andhra Bank, produced her credentials which she earned at the NIMSME, submitted her project report, which was prepared with the constant inputs from the various stakeholders and secured a loan of Rs. 10 lakhs, as cost of machinery and Rs. 6 lakhs as working capital. She started her unit, the GSL enterprises, for making products from jute.
She trained and employed 8-10 needy women to take care of the operations, while she concentrated on finding markets and developing business. The orders are flowing in from various directions, the general bazaars, petty vendors, institutions (like the very bank which financed her), medium retailers, individuals and groups for specific events and functions, etc.
She is operating with a healthy margin even after the repayment of all the monthly installments of the loan and working capital payments. It clearly is a case for further expansion, and the district administration is constantly encouraging her to expand.
This story of Sreelatha, a resilient young woman, standing up and not only taking control of her life but also lending a helping hand to 10 other women like her, while contributing to the productivity of the country, is the story of Stand-Up India.