Madhuri Devi hails from Kharrati Gram Panchayat in Gaya District of Bihar. Her family comprises of her husband and two children. She was the president of Bulbul Self Help Group (SHG), Saagar Village Organisation (VO) as well as Sansaar Cluster Level Federation (CLF). Before starting her own enterprise, she stitched clothes at home which provided her a daily income of Rs. 10 per blouse. However the money that she and her husband made was not enough to sustain the family.
It was then the Micro Enterprise Consultant (MEC) approached her and suggested that she continue stitching for customers who were also outside her village. He also advised her that she start a general store for women which could really enhance her income. She agreed to expand her venture and started with a total investment of Rs. 50,000 which she got it as a loan from her SHG and contribution from her family. Her monthly average cost comes to around Rs. 13,500 including monthly rent of Rs. 500. She earns her income by stitching and by selling sankha bangles (a type of bangle usually worn by married women). As there is a lot of demand among women for sankha bangles, she has been able to earn an average amount of Rs. 24,000 profit per month. Till date, she has withdrawn Rs. 3,00,000 from the business for which she used for her daughter’s wedding. She re-invested her profits mainly for purchasing stock and raw materials.
The support extended by MECs in helping maintain the daily records of sales and purchase has been extremely beneficial. According to her, there have been many changes in her life as a person since she started the enterprise. Earlier the women used to sit at home and were not allowed to step outside their house without permission. However, since her association with the MEC project, she has continuously grown from strength to strength. For her nothing could be more satisfying than supporting her husband by contributing to the family’s income. She never imagined her life would change so much that she would find motivating other women to start businesses of their own!