We are one of the biggest and fastest growing economies, however there is data prove that if female employment rates were equal to male employment rates, that alone will make India richer by 27 percent. The actual participation of women in both the formal and informal economies has actually shrunk from 36 percent to 24 percent in the last 10 years, points out Vinay Subramanyam - Head - Marketing - Britannia Industries.
With an aim to fulfil Indian women's aspirations of embarking on an entrepreneurial journey and gaining financial independence, the biscuit manufacturer, in 2019 initiated the "Britannia Marie Gold My Startup" project where 10 homemakers with entrepreneurial ideas are awarded seed capital of Rs 10 lakh each to kick-start their business ventures. It recently held a virtual press conference to announce the winners of the second edition of the competition.
"Brands like Britannia Marie Gold have the stature to rally around a large cause and make that its purpose. Keeping in mind its core TG of homemakers, the Britannia Marie Gold My Startup campaign was launched in 2019 with the intent of playing a catalyst role in boosting women entrepreneurship in the country and hence positively impacting the participation of women in the country's economy," Subramanyam tells IANSlife.
The current edition of the initiative also provides 10,000 homemakers access to customized online skill development program, in partnership with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).
"In a report on Women Entrepreneurship that we commissioned in 2018, skill development emerged as a crucial need along with finance. We found the perfect partner in NSDC) to develop and deliver the requisite skilling to 10,000 homemakers through an online, certified skill development programme," he adds.
The edition saw over 1.5 million applications from across the country within a span of three months, out of which only 50 finalists were chosen.
What is the criteria to select the winners? He answers: "The evaluation of the entries was based on the following criteria- The uniqueness and sharpness of the ideas, how well thought through it was in terms of execution and the drive and determination of the participants."
To ensure that the prize money is put in the right direction, Britannia team remains in constant dialogue and conversations with the winners, taking rigorous follow-ups and monthly checks on progress.
Who were the winners?
Zarina MV, from Hyderabad in Telangana, who plans to use the winning amount to start her very own line of Linen Baby Clothing. Shahnaz Tabussum from Patna in Bihar, planning to start a Reflexology Self Treatment and Training Centre. Narmatha Vasanthan from Thankavur in Tamil Nadu, will start a Computer Training Centre. Ragini Kumari from Jamshedpur, Jharkhand hopes to start a Flower Plantation along with the production of other eco-friendly products. Shikha Dey of Durgapur, West Bengal will be utilising the seed capital to start a Bioflock Fish Farm to name just a few of the entrepreneurs of the future.