Began With Rs 10 & Constructed 6 Ventures, Helps 5000 Girls Begin Micro Biz

Married off at 17, Kamal Kumbhar realised the significance of monetary independence very early on, she says. Born in Hinglajwadi village in Maharashtra, she needed to drop out after Class 10 resulting from relentless poverty. 

“I bought married in 1993 and for the primary few years, we struggled for cash to steer a good life. I actually wished to contribute to our household’s livelihood, however didn’t understand how,” she tells The Higher India. 

In 2001, she attended an occasion organised in her village by Swayam Shikshan Prayog, an NGO primarily based in Pune that goals to assist feminine entrepreneurs in areas reminiscent of agriculture, well being and sanitation. She quickly grew to become related to him and with their steerage, she began her first micro enterprise in 2002 — a bangle making enterprise. 

This marked the start of her profitable entrepreneurship journey. Finally, she bought into a number of companies and now earns round Rs 30,000 in simply three days, she says. “I began my bangle enterprise with the Rs 10 I obtained from a self-help group within the locality. Their assist continued and I began pitching in more cash.” 

Alongside the bangle enterprise, she put collectively different ventures together with these to promote sarees, stationery, and lightweight bulbs, in addition to a large number. She bought the merchandise by going door to door in close by villages. 

“Till 2012, this was my routine. Together with promoting, I inspired the ladies of every family to start out one thing related of their very own to change into financially impartial. I launched them to authorities schemes and loans obtainable for micro enterprises they usually have been redirected to some self-help teams within the villages,” she recollects. 

In 2015, Kamal took up poultry farming. She selected the sphere after visiting villages and researching which enterprise would work greatest. 

“By that point, the bangle enterprise grew to become so prevalent. With extra girls getting into the sphere, virtually all micro companies have been lined and I considered launching one thing huge, but totally different. The poultry enterprise, particularly goat breeding, appeared like a brand new and profitable possibility. I went ahead to launch Kamal Poultry and later Ekta Sakhi Producer Firm, a poultry-cum-hatchery enterprise,” she explains.

In the present day Kamal manages six totally different enterprises of her personal, together with an natural farming enterprise, compost enterprise, mess for varsity youngsters, gentle bulb enterprise and the 2 poultry ventures. All of those are positioned in and round Osmanabad, her native place.

kamal kumbhar entrepreneur story
Kamal in her natural farm.

When girls assist one another

For Kamal, coaching village girls to start out their very own enterprise comes equal to operating her ventures. Additionally, a majority of the workers in her enterprises are rural girls.

“Whereas I inspired girls throughout home visits to take up companies, some others approached me immediately for steerage. The numbers expanded once they linked with different girls from close by villages.” 

“As there have been many ladies, I began charging Rs 100/month as charges to coach them. The coaching is for 10 months and contains particulars about tips on how to begin a checking account, what enterprise they like, tips on how to do market analysis, how a lot web value shall be obtained and extra. I additionally inform them in regards to the obtainable authorities schemes in order that they will register and get advantages,” says Kamal. 

kamal kumbhar entrepreneurship story
Kamal in considered one of her coaching classes.

Kamal says she has skilled 70 girls in her village alone and a complete of 5,000 in all of Maharashtra. “Males, too, participate typically, however it’s largely girls,” she provides.

Shaheen Babasheik, a 35-year-old entrepreneur, says, “Kamal and I hail from the identical village. I used to be conscious of the actions she has been doing. I approached her, sharing my want to start a enterprise of my very own. After a quick market analysis, she helped me in opening a checking account and shared particulars in regards to the loans obtainable. In 2000, I launched into bangle making and the subsequent 12 months into jewelry making. This continued for 10 years and after my marriage in 2010, I additionally began stitching garments.”

She continues, “I’m able to earn upto Rs 15,000 from all these companies, because of Kamal.”

Kamal notes, “Their revenue goes upto Rs 50,000 per 30 days, primarily based on the enterprise they’re concerned in. I’m joyful that they’re making a livelihood of their very own, whether or not or not they obtain assist from the household or not. Additionally, they proceed to empower different girls from their locality, which is the perfect a part of all of it.” 

Bringing solar energy to rural houses

Kamal has been collaborating with an organisation known as Urja in 20-25 villages of Maharashtra. She labored with the mortgage crew of the group, who go from home to accommodate and inform girls how a lot and what sort of mortgage to take whereas beginning a enterprise. 

“It was throughout these visits that I realised that many of the localities face energy minimize points and other people complained that their children are unable to check after college resulting from this. This made me take into consideration solar energy, by which at the least primary electrical tools can work in a family. This wanted nice funding, which I couldn’t make. Thus, with the assist of the identical organisation, I distributed photo voltaic lights to three,000 households of Maharashtra,” she explains.

For her contributions in the direction of girls empowerment and entrepreneurship, Kamal has been recognised by a number of organisations and the federal government. She gained the Confederation of Indian Business (CII) Basis’s Girl Exemplar Award from former president Pranab Mukherjee in 2017. The identical 12 months she additionally gained the Girls Reworking India Award, organised by the United Nations and NITI Aayog. On the event of Girls’s Day of 2022, Kamal was offered the Nari Shakti Award by former president Ram Nath Kovind.

kamal kumbhar entrepreneurship story
Kamal receiving the Nari Shakti Puraskar from former President Ram Nath Kovind.

“My future plan is to open a coaching centre for girls who want to change into entrepreneurs. By the tip of 2025, I want to prepare 10,000 girls,” says the 46-year-old. 

“Girls who don’t even have correct houses method me on a regular basis. I need to assist all of them obtain every thing they need for. All they want is an preliminary push. They’re succesful sufficient to take it ahead and share power with fellow girls. I additionally need every considered one of them to teach their youngsters and save for his or her future. I imagine that the destiny of rural India is within the arms of the upcoming era. It’s our accountability to steer them.”

Edited by Divya Sethu; Picture Credit: Kamal Kumbhar

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