SVEP: Promoting entrepreneurship

Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Program (SVEP) is promoting rural enterprises by providing financial and enterprise management skills to the entrepreneurs and contributing to better developmental outcomes. Nilam Singh exemplifies how poor rural women can become successful business women.

Nilam Singh, 30, was married at the young age of 15 years in 2003. For 12 years after her marriage, Nilam never stepped out of her home for any kind of work. In the meantime, she became mother to four children. The family was poor and belonged to Tin Gharva village in Bengabad block of Giridih District. The only source of income for the family of 11 members was agricultural income which was negligible.

Nilam was a graduate and wanted to work. In 2015 she joined Nari Shakti Ajivika Swayam Sahayata Samuh where she learnt about various opportunities and freedom to work. She took the benefit of her qualification and started working as Bookkeeper in four neighboring SHGs of her village. When Maa Durga Village Organization was formed in her village she became the Master Bookkeeper and began maintaining registers of 11 SHGs. Presently, Nilam is a member of Maa Durga Village Organization.

In 2017, to support ecosystem for village enterprises, SVEP program was introduced in her block. Nilam qualified the exam and joined as Community Resource Person – Enterprise Promotion under SVEP program. Meanwhile, she came to know about the benefits of SVEP program like assured financial support, capacity building and advisory services for poor rural women like her. She took a loan of Rs 50,000 under SVEP project and started a cosmetics shop, Golden Shringar Store, in a 100 sq. ft space at her residence. With passage of time more challenges came her way but her strategies and ideas stood her in good stead in her new business. She took no time to understand that her prime profit comes from the sales during festival season. In the festive season of Durga Puja and Diwali she again took a loan of Rs 20,000 from her SHG and added festive items related to Durga Puja and Diwali Puja in her shop.

Today, Nilam is the only steady source of income for her family and is Rs 15000 to Rs 20000 from all the sources. She earns Rs 8000 per month from CRP-EP, Rs 7000-12000 from her shop and Rs 500 as Master Bookkeeper.

Nilam has enrolled her four kids in a private school and all the expenses are met from her own income. She now resides in a beautiful pucca house in the village.

Nilam is planning to scale up her business to add soft toys to her shop in future. With a twinkle in her eyes, she gives a clear message with conviction that one can lead a happy and decent life in a small deprived village too; the only condition is that we should never miss the opportunities and should stay strong in most adverse situations of life.