C.Sripriya, Melvidyal Panchayat, Valangaiman Block, Tiruvarur
I’m a mother 2 of kids. My husband is not physically healthy enough to sustain a job. I’ve been running this small grocery shop by myself for over 7 years. My earnings were less but we managed somehow until I had to shut down my shop in 2020. I had no money for anything, not even for my husband’s medical expenses. Through my SHG, I heard about TNRTP’s loan scheme. I applied and within a few weeks, I received Rs.30,000 loan. When I was able to reopen my shop, I restocked everything and also added a few items like cleaning liquid, sanitary care and even betel leaves. Additionally, I renovated the shop a bit and now earn Rs.10-12,000/month. As an entrepreneur, I’ve learnt that competition is inevitable and that you constantly have to have new ways to keep up. Plus, for the last 2 years, there’s high demand for all kids’ products throughout the year.
M.Sulochana, Govindakudi Panchayat, Valangaiman Block, Tiruvarur
My husband and I have been running this grocery store for the last 25 years. Our shop was the first one to open. Several more have come up over the last decade. Thought it’s a small enterprise, everyone here knows our shop. Business was doing well until last year when we had to close down our business for several months. I knew we needed funding to reopen the shop. So I took a loan of Rs.20,000, and restocked everything. I also bought a cooler to store ice-creams; this item does brisk business even when it’s rainy and cold. We earn Rs.5-6,000/day. We’ve been able to sustain despite competition only because of our reputation with our sellers and customers.
Vijayakumar, Nilavarampatti Village, Panamarathupatti Block, Salem District
Hailing from a farmer’s family, I was unable to study beyond Class 11. I was working for a switchboard manufacturing company in Thiruppur for 6 years for a Rs.16,000/month. In 2020, I came back to my village when the company shut down. Though the initial few months were tough, I didn’t lose heart. I wanted to start my own business. My father gave me Rs.2 lakh. Also, I took a loan of Rs.1 lakh. I started a switchboard manufacturing factory and have 7 people working for me. Notwithstanding all the monthly expenses, am earning Rs.25-30,000/m. That’s more than my last year’s salary, and am happy. It gives me more pride to see that I’m able to give jobs to other people. Am a job creator – that’s my achievement!
Savitha from Kaavanur Village, Ramnad
With 2 kids to raise, her ability to start a small enterprise to make ends meet is nothing short of remarkable and inspiring.
R.Durgadevi, Thiruvarankulam Panchayat, Thiruvarankulam Block, Pudukottai
My husband and I have been running this computer centre for 14 years. Though it’s meagre income, we were able to sustain a decent livelihood. Adjacent to our centre was an empty shop I was interested in leasing. I wanted to start a tea shop there but I had put that plan on hold, as we had to close our centre during Covid-induced lockdown in 2020. In a few months, I applied for a loan with TNRTP and received Rs.30,000. I bought everything I needed to start a tea shop, and also used some money to renovate our centre. From both shops, we earn Rs.40,000/month, and from the tea shop alone, I make Rs.15-20,000. This has given me new ideas of scaling up the enterprise. I want to sell homemade snack items and savouries. It has been a challenging year but taking a loan and running a tea shop has made me confident and aspire for more.
Narayanavadivu, Kommadikottai Panchayat, Thavasipuram Village, Thoothukudi
I’m a widow with 2 grown children. As single-earning member, my income came from working in a plantation. I had wanted to start something of my own. Around 3 years ago, I began this enterprise of making idli-dosa batter. It was doing well until last year, I had to close it down for several months. With no income and savings running out, I took a loan of Rs.20,000. I bought a new grinding machine to improve the quantity of the batter. Now I sell 70-75 packets of batter each day for Rs.15/500 gm packet. I have loyal customers within the village who also place orders during festivitals, marriages and other auspicious gathering in their homes. I also receive requests from outside the village, and I deliver to their homes but only for large quantity. I need funds to buy 1 more grinder and a vehicle. I’m confident I’ll find away for that also. My shop is open from 6-10 am & 4-7 pm.
Kaliyammal, Kaalipalayam Panchayat, S.S.Kulam Block, Coimbatore
Kaliyammal’s decision to sell retail rather than just wholesale ensured her a list of customers and regular income. This helps to keep her business afloat even during difficult times.
D.Raamalaxmi, Devadhaanam Panchayat, Rajapalayam Block, Virudhunagar
I’m a widow with 3 daughters. I do weed removal and also work in forest lands. Additionally, I’ve been a farmer for the last 15 years. Though my income fluctuated over the years, I managed somehow. But last year, for several months, I was in dire straits due to Covid-induced lockdown. When my savings dried up, I approached my SHG, through which I was able to secure a loan of Rs.15,000 from TNRTP. I bought fertiliser, seeds and also paid pending daily wages to labourers. Being a farmer is tough but the last 2 years have made me more confident about speaking my mind during the harvest season. This helps in bargaining and negotiating prices. My second daughter told me recently that she learnt to be brave because of me. That keeps me going!
R.Bhagiyam, Muppaiyur Panchayat, Devakottai Block, Sivagangai
I am a single mom with 3 kids; my husband died over a year ago. I’ve been selling flowers under this thatched roof for the last 20 years. When it rains, the roof leaks. Earnings have always been meagre; so, I’ve never had enough to repair it. After my husband’s death, I applied for a loan via my SHG and received Rs.20,000 from TNRTP. With this money, I paid advance for a building adjacent to my shop. Now, I earn Rs.3-4,000/month. Now it’s festival season. I’m expecting more sales. This past year has been a challenge but I know it could have been worse if I hadn’t received the loan.
M.Uma, Melavidayal Panchayat, Valangaiman Block, Tiruvaraur
I’ve been running a grocery store for the last 8 years. My husband’s illness does not allow him to earn a living. We have 2 kids. During lockdown in 2020, we faced several challenges. We had no income or savings. I had to borrow money to pay my husband’s medical bills. That’s when I heard about TNRTP’s loan scheme via my SHG. Within a few weeks after I submitted my application, I received Rs.30,000 loan. I was able to buy items in bulk, renovate the store and even make it bigger. I earn Rs.35-40,000month. Now, I’ve paid back the money I borrowed and also been paying the loan regularly. Running the business has given me a lot of courage to speak to everyone. This earned me a good reputation in the panchayat. I bought a scooter and I commute to neighbouring districts to buy items in wholesale. The district staff has promised me to help me scale up my enterprise after I pay back the loan.