Assam Village Girl Augustina Ekka wins entrepreneurship award

A young entrepreneur of Singlijan village under Lahoal development block in Assam, Augustina Ekka, has won the prestigious Citi Micro Entrepreneur Award 2010. She was adjudged national winner from the East & North
East region and also winner of the Special Recognition for Responsible Business Practise.

Augustina, daughter of former tea leaves plucker parents had to give up schooling because her parents could not afford it any more. But she was determined to do something to stand on her own.

She underwent a State sponsored training in handloom and set up her own training centre with support from State Industrial Rural Development (SIRD). With neither capital nor experience, Augustina, through sheer determination overcame poverty and adversity to become a role model for her village.

Today she runs a handloom weaving centre christened as Deepjyoti Tina Weaving Training Centre. She has employed four trained women as teachers who train village women from different parts of the region including Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland in batches. She charges Rs 1,000 during the admission and imparts training to the trainees for full four months, besides providing them lodge and meals in her own hostel. The Centre also produces traditional wears of different ethnic communities and supplies them in bulk to buyers. The Centre registered a turnover of over Rs 2,25,000 in the last year, of which the earned profit was almost Rs one lakh.

The Citi Micro Entrepreneur Awards is a global initiative that recognises individual microentrepreneurs for their extraordinary efforts in gaining self-sufficiency through innovative use of microfinance. Conceptualised by Citi India, the awards process has been implemented by Partners in Change (PiC), a not-for-profit organization, through significant support from the Citi Foundation.

Classified into three categories, namely, the National Micro Entrepreneur Award, the National Runner-Up Award and the Socially Responsible Micro Entrepreneur, the winning nominations are selected from across four regions: East & North East, West & Central, North and South. Each 2010 National Awardee was presented a cheque endowment of Rs 2,00,000. The National Runners-Up and the Winners for Responsible Business received Rs 1,00,000.

We are proud of achievers like Augustina Ekka and we hope she inspire more youths from rural areas to come up with entrepreneur activities to become self reliant.


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