Nov 14 2011

Mothers highlighted during Global Entrepreneurship Week

Sreekanth, CFCA communications liaison in Hyderabad, India, contributed to this report.

The Anna Theresa mothers group in India wins best group entrepreneurship award at a CFCA conference

The Anna Theresa mothers group in India wins the best group entrepreneurship award at a CFCA conference.

Did you know Nov. 14-20 is Global Entrepreneurship Week?

During this time when entrepreneurs are honored worldwide for their achievements, we’d like to highlight the entrepreneurs in our CFCA community, particularly mothers of sponsored children.

In just one example, the CFCA project in Chennai, India, organized a mothers group conference Sept. 24 called Sangamam (from a Tamil word that means a get-together or conference).

The conference is a daylong event of fun and learning, including an awards session for recognizing groups and individuals who have started entrepreneurship programs and projects for coming out of poverty.

These enterprises started with the help of loans from CFCA mothers groups. As the businesses grew, mothers then repaid the loans to the groups.

The Anna Theresa mothers group won the best group entrepreneurship award. Its members run two businesses ñ a hotel business and an orchid business.

For the orchid business, group members made arrangements with a farm, planted orchids and then sold the flowers in retail outlets.

Sakunthala receives her entrepreneurship award from Janet Tinsley, CFCA project director for India

Sakunthala receives her entrepreneurship award from Janet Tinsley, CFCA project director for India.

“This award is encouraging us to take our business to a higher level,” said Lourdu Marry, leader of the mothers group.

The best individual entrepreneurship award went to two mothers, Nazeera and Sakunthala.

Nazeera’s husband works as a steel worker, but his job didn’t provide enough income for their family of two daughters.

Financial worries were a source of constant anxiety for the family until Nazeera started a clothing business through a mothers group loan.

She now employs six workers from her community to run her business, which now helps support her family.

Now, Nazeera says, she can concentrate on her children’s education and their future as the situation in her home has improved.

The other award-winner, Sakunthala, now works in the construction industry, purchasing building materials with her mothers group loan and then leasing the materials to her clients.

“The Sangamam helped us learn how other groups are running and maintaining their records,” Sakunthala said. “As I received the best entrepreneurship award for the individual category, I felt very proud to receive this.”

By helping mothers of sponsored children become self-sufficient, the CFCA project in Chennai is directly helping the sponsored child and also the entire family.

“For many parents of sponsored children in India, most particularly mothers, finding a job and a steady wage can be elusive,” said Janet Tinsley, CFCA project director for India.

“An important aspect of the CFCA program in Chennai is the support to mothers who have the motivation to start their own businesses.

“Through income-generating activities, many mothers have succeeded in providing a more stable source of income for their families, which is one of the first steps in breaking the cycle of poverty.”

Congratulations to all these female entrepreneurs. We wish them and their families all the best!

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