Are you a prospective woman entrepreneur? Do you want to seek information about building a business? Here is an organisation to hold your hand and walk with you in the process. Confederation of Women Entrepreneurs (COWE) started in November 2004 for social and economic upliftment of women through entrepreneurship.
The organisation conducts training programmes, helps in getting licences and loans for the businesses and also provides infrastructure and support in marketing the product. “We conduct five week EDP programme, where we discuss about project ideas, statutory requirements. This is also a platform for a prospective entrepreneur to interact with the banker about loan options.
“We also conduct a 2-3 week skill development programme wherein the entrepreneur can gain skills like jute bags manufacturing, chocolate making, flower arrangement and printing. The organisation will also conduct a food entrepreneurship development programme annually for food-related sectors with collaboration with the central government,” said K Sandhya Reddy, president, COWE.
The organisation helps with marketing of the business by providing information about various national and international exhibitions. It conducts trade carnival exhibition annually where in members of the organisation can display their products to the consumers at a nominal fee. “We do this in support with Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, AP Government, NSIC and Indo-German Chamber of Commerce. The carnival is platform for B2B meets and for talks between industries and government. The event will be held this November at NSIC Centre, Kushaiguda,” said P Girija, vice-president, COWE.
The members also participate in various international industrial exhibitions held in various countries. There is almost 85 per cent subsidy for small enterprises and 95 per cent subsidy for micro enterprises on travel and exhibition costs from the government.
COWE will also help in getting permissions and licences from government bodies under a single window system. “We are empanelled on Rajiv Gandhi Udyami Mitra Yojana (RGUMY) scheme by which we help the both the men and women entrepreneurs on EM1, EM2, sales tax registration, power connection, pollution control, bank loans and PAN cards. The service is offered for free to women and for men there is a fee of `1,000,” said Sandhya Reddy.
The organisation has a tie-up with SBH and SBI to offer loans for prospective entrepreneurs. “The banker should get convinced with the business plan. If the entrepreneur can invest 10-15 per cent for the small businesses, the rest can be availed as a bank loan without collateral security up to `10 lakhs. There is also CGTMSE scheme where in the prospective entrepreneur can avail a loan up to `1 crore without a collateral security,” she said.
COWE has built an engineering park at Medchal and is providing infrastructure facilities like ATMs, common test and design centre for its 22 members.
It also has plans to build a food cluster.