Micro credit for enterprising people

Oct 2006
India , October, 12 2006 - The benefits of a rapidly growing Indian economy is being felt everywhere. Big businesses are gigantic, but the better news is that minuscule businesses are now big too.

Micro credit is helping enterprising individuals from the below poverty line category to think big.

Sanjida Ishaq Mallik is a divorcee with three kids. However, her frail frame hides a burning ambition to make it big in life.

From a small room in Mumbai's Malwani area, she runs a workshop which manufactures hand embroidered gift products.

Sanjida started the business with a loan of Rs 25,000 from a micro credit organisation and in five years, her work has reached Switzerland. The Rs 25,000 has been converted to Rs 7 lakh.

"When we go to big shops, we see things that have tags which state they are imported and manufactured abroad and people buy these things however expensive they are. So I hope that the things I make in India should reach other countries and that people there appreciate them," says she.

Sanjida's business plan attracted much attention when it was selected from thousand such proposals by a panel comprising of experts from S P Jain Institute and eminent personalities from the corporate and social sector - a process that is managed by Citibank every year.

Says CEO-India, Citigroup, Sanjay Nayar, "This has a phenomenal relevance to the society these people live in and it's amazing what many of them have done with Rs 20,000 to Rs 40,000 loans and how they have used them to build sustainable business models."

Co-ordinator, Partners in Change, Indrani Maitra says, "More often than not, these people do not have access to institutional credit so they have to resort to borrowing from moneylenders and so forth. This access has really helped them come up and defy their circumstances to emerge winners."

Sanjida is not content with just making her money. Not only does she employ others from below the poverty line, but now she has set up a free tailoring class in her small workshop for women in the nearby area to make them financially independent.

She hopes that in the near future, at least some of them would avail of micro credit and create their own businesses.

Source : CNN-IBN

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