Social Entrepreneurship

Traditional SHG activities in Kerala are more or less at a standstill, except money lending. Nine out of Ten SHGs are not only non enterprising but are contributing to their own downfall, by lending at higher rates within the groups. Being non enterprising they have to look for means outside of their regular income for their weekly repayments. Additionally the few Enterprising Groups after their initial flurry are stagnant and unable to grow their enterprises any further. It’s time that traditional SHG management teams, actively look at ways and means to inculcate more tools, methods & entrepreneurial assistance. This is where HELP Foundation is making its presence felt through its unique Social Entrepreneurship Program.

HELP Foundation has selected 11 enterprises from among functional SHGs and visited them on a weekly basis so as to sit with the Unit & understand how the business is conducted and to be able to guide them towards a sound management methodology. What we have noticed is that they have borrowed loans heavily towards setting up the enterprise, but don’t have adequate savings, none of the enterprise members have meaningful earnings, and their equipments have started to show signs of breakdown. One of our foremost priority as we work towards remodeling their enterprise is help them understand the principle of adequate savings to grow their enterprise rather than going for more loans. The most fundamental problem we have to start to address is the wrong notion of one-way lending to the units, making them nothing but money lenders & creation of namesake enterprises for demonstration/documentation purposes.

A small group of 7 enterprising women engaged in Soda Production came into HELP Foundation
fold a year back. Basically they were neck deep with Kudumbashree based high interest borrowings and an aged manual bottling machine. We analyzed their business and worked withthem to make them understand that their transporter earns 60 paisa per bottle, while they make only 50paisa per bottle sold. Their condition was such that they didn’t have any money to fix the badly leaking bottling machine, nor were they in a position to improvise the products to increase profits so that they could take home at least 10 Rs per person at the end of their daily soda making routine.HELP Foundation specializes in analyzing small & micro woman enterprises and advise them on how to turnaround their businesses from red, so that they can work towards increasing their volumes and thereby profits for expansion in the longer run. First we went about working on their transportation arrangement, and then we provided assistance from HELPs Enterprise Promotion fund (EPF) to diversify into other soft drinks based business which needs negligible capital. Today they are a thriving unit locking in regular minimal profits and happy with their slow but incremental progress. Now the next challenge for us is to move them over to a semi automatic bottling machines from their current manual machines so that the productivity can be increased further.

                                                          social entreprenuership