Kesar Bai and her family live in a village in Rajasthan. They primarily earned their living from farming activities, through cultivating various pulses, cereals and seasonal vegetables on their own land. Kesar Bai however has an entrepreneurial mind and found ways to earn extra money: she opened her own grocery store which increased the family’s income.
Benefits of SHGs and saving
Being educated till 5th standard, Kesar Bai has experienced the difference with many other women in her village who did not go to school. Because she could read and write, Kesai Bai became a leader in various women self-help groups (SHGs) which were initiated by Women on Wings’ partner SRIJAN (Self-Reliant Initiatives through Joint Action). Realizing the benefits of SHGs, the women began saving 20 Rupees per week. And understanding the importance of saving, that amount gradually increased. Kesar Bai was motivated to open a grocery store and availed a loan of 10,000 Rupees (125 euro) from the SHG.
Gaining financial insights
Kesar Bai explained that although there are two other shops selling similar items in the locality, yet she manages to earn 100 to 150 Rupees per day. Understanding the importance of having multiple sources of income, Kesar Bai is also sells watermelons, grown in her own farm. During the season she manages to earn an extra 800 to 1,000 Rupees per day. Thanks to attending training by Friends of Women World Banking on financial education and business management, Kesar Bai gained better insights in both her business and personal finances.
Saving income for family
Kesar Bai: “I am 44 but I still love to learn and develop my business. I plan to also sell my own cultivated vegetables in the wholesale market, next to in my own shop. Also I plan to serve fruit salad by presenting the cut slices of watermelon on fancy plates which will lead to an increase of my sales. I prepare a monthly budget for my household as well as my business, so I know exactly how much I can save from my earnings. I feel very fortunate that I can do all this for my family.”