Societe Generale GSC CSR Impact Story: From Agricultural Labourer to a Successful Micro Entrepreneur

To mark International Women’s Day, we will feature a series of impact stories on how Societe Generale GSC’s CSR sponsorship has sparked social change in the lives of our women beneficiaries. This week, we share the extraordinary journey of Veena who setup her own micro enterprise in her village through our sponsorship.

Family Background: Veena lives in Eachanuru, a small village in Tiptur Taluk, Tumkur District in Karnataka where the primary occupation of her family is agriculture. She helps her husband every day in farming activities and takes care of her family too.


“Life is not easy in this village. Income from farming is not sufficient to support my family and job opportunities to earn additional income is also very low”

However, she aspired to earn additional income to support her family needs and provide good education for her two daughters.

Sponsored Program: TIDE’s (Technology Informatics Design Endeavour) Women Technology Park in Tumkur District provides a range of training programs to rural women to help them setup technology-based micro enterprises in their villages.  SG GSC has funded TIDE’s women livelihood creation program since 2016. Under this sponsorship, TIDE will train and help rural women setup technology based micro enterprises (individual and group) in eco-friendly products and support existing incubatees that include millet based products, and other technology based enterprises. Veena is one of the women beneficiaries under the sponsored program.

When Veena found out about TIDE and their work, she wanted to understand more about their program. She attended a few awareness sessions and also interacted with the women undergoing the training program. She was convinced about the program and decided to join it in June 2017.

Soc gen Interaction meeting with shortlisted Entrepreneurs

“After the training, I wanted to start the Areca leaf plate production business, as we have Areca plantation.”

Skills Acquired: Before joining the program, Veena only assisted her husband in agricultural work.

I have never done anything on my own”

Veena went through technical training and enterprise training with TIDE. She then completed a week of trial production at TIDE and visited another factory (Ramdev Industries) where she again did an apprenticeship. During the training, she learnt the following

  • Areca leaf sheath production process and how to operate the machine
  • Production plan, techno economics and how to maximize income and profit
  • Book keeping and managing accounts


Impact: After a few months of technical and soft skill training, and apprenticeship, Veena started her own micro-business in August 2017. Our NGO partner, TIDE, not only helped her with the purchase of machines to make eco-friendly Areca plates but helped her with market linkages and to streamline her production.

Today, she produces 30,000 Areca plates every month. She earns an income of INR 50,000 – 60,000 per month regularly, and a monthly profit of about INR 15,000 – INR 20,000.

“Now my family and my children look up to me and I am very proud of myself.” 


Future Plans: Her goal is to increase the production capacity to 50,000 plates per month and produce innovative Areca products like spoons and cups.

Most importantly, Veena says, “This program gave me self-confidence which helped convince my family to allow me to start this business. I want my daughters to follow my path and be independent and confidence in the future. I want to transfer all my learning and knowledge to them. I would like to thank TIDE and Societe Generale”

Pramila Perdoor, Mentor at TIDE shares, “Veena is a studious woman and picked up the skills easily.  She did her trial production and apprenticeship sincerely. We take other potential women entrepreneurs to Veena’s unit to inspire them. She has managed to transform from a house wife to a business woman and we hope that Veena’s story will inspire many more rural women to become self reliant.”

You can support the rural women entrepreneurs by placing orders of the products below with Sunil Patil at & +91 9845764631:

  • Areca leaf sheath plates and bowls
  • Ragi biscuits
  • Ragi Hurihittu (flour)
  • Ragi malt
  • Dried vegetables (onion, garlic, tomato, carrot, ginger)

To know more about SG GSC CSR Initiatives click here.

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