21-4-2019

Creativity & Innovation: Successful Tools for Women Entrepreneurs

Sheatwork takes the occasion of World Creativity and Innovation Day (WCID) to encourage women entrepreneurs to use creativity innovatively.

What is creativity? Creativity is the ability to develop new ideas and to discover new ways of looking at problems and opportunities. And, what is innovation? Innovation is the ability to apply creative solutions to problems and opportunities –  to enhance the lives of people or to enrich society.

15-4-2019 (1)

What are some challenges to be faced by women entrepreneurs in 2019?

Indian women entrepreneurs are now stepping into a world, where they had not imagined before…

It’s a time for re-imagining for women aspiring to walk into their own business world. Despite challenges that exist, women seem determined to overcome them. Traditionally, the Indian woman was a homemaker, and refined to their homes. But the modern Indian woman is now proudly flaunting a new side to her personality. She appears to be a powerhouse of action. We see her fighting for her rights and making her mark in business, sports, politics, science, the arts and in society by and large. So, it a fitting tribute that Captain Marvel, which was labeled too be more than a superhero film, made an appearance this year!

9-4-2019

Achieving gender equality for women entrepreneurs: an uphill task?

Economic empowerment of women is a key factor in achieving gender equality

Today, it can be seen that businesses are flourishing indeed. But, an important point is that with increasing number of businesses being steered by women, entrepreneurship is still dominated by males. In fact, this is the reason why gender gap still persists in entrepreneurship.

8-4-2019

Become an Entrepreneur in the Beauty and Fitness Industry

If you are considering starting your own business, the billion-dollar beauty and fitness industry is a lucrative option. There are many entrepreneurship options in this industry- beautician, gym ownership, fitness instructor, nutritionist, health website… Women entrepreneurs in this industry are tapping the business potential of new-age diets, beauty treatments and fitness forms.

3-4-2019

EntreChat: Mrs B Bhuvaneswari

Mrs B Bhuvaneswari started her business with her husband, Krishnamoorthy, who was a social worker before he ventured out. They are for sure, “enjoying this experience”. She shares with Shree Lahiri, how the whole started, the challenges faced, opportunities and more….Without any hesitation, she endorses that  “the person who is working enthusiastically, is the one who gets all the sweetness at the end”!

  • How did you start this business?

We started in 2012, in the handicrafts sector. Our beginning started through the NGO – Rural Education for Action and Change at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. We were organizing skill upgradation training for different artisans on products like terracotta pottery, banjara embroidery, kalamkari paintings, appliqué work, bamboo items and so on. We were promoting small production efforts at the village level. We also started a showroom at Tirupati and also went on to participate in exhibitions. 
The first four years, we concentrated on village artisans to create production centres. Today we have six production centres set up.

  • Where did the funding come from?

For upgradation, we took funds from the Ministry of Textiles and from the district level government funds – District level Rural Development Agency (DRDA).
In Tirupati, there is a “shilparamam”, like Dilli Haat  in Delhi, where the state government allots stalls at concssetional rates and we took one stall and put our products for sale.

  • What were some challenges you faced?

Our day-to-day customers want new designs and innovative level of products. At the village level, this really tough. Then there is the competition between plastic goods and machine made goods. Machine made goods are made in bulk and cost less than hand made products, where the cost is high.

  • What about any training you conducted?

When training new artisans, it is impossible for them to learn. If they are from a family of artisans, it is easy, otherwise training unemployed youth is a waste!

  • Are you selling online?

There are a lot of problems selling online. One person may order, but the payment is made on receiving. Tracking the sale is difficult. Some may bargain or say it is not ok, after receiving the goods. So it’s not clear whether they will pay or not!

  • How big is your team and how do you stay inspired?

We are four members – me and my husband, and two other people. We have got our day-to-day sales increased. This is encouraging. But competition is very much there. Customers are interested in buying hand-made products, and we have to work hard to push ahead.

  • Would you need any further training to improve?

Yes, definitely, we will welcome that.

  • Where do see your business three years later?

Currently our monthly business is reasonably good. We hope to double our sales, in the next three years!

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What Women Entrepreneurs need to know before pitching to Investors and VCs

What attracts investors and VCs, when you approach them as an entrepreneur? Although many startups focus on perfecting their concept, the idea itself is one of the factors that may not always be seriously considered by investors. Practically, often investors listen to pitches when they are presented with good “ideas,” but it may not happen that entrepreneurs walk away with a deal!

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