The lead entrepreneurs for this group (funnily enough, they're both called Mamata) after they went on a long market research and shopping trip with our project manager, Mr. HK Mishra. We provided them with about Rs. 8000 as initial working capital (~ US$ 140) to buy an initial batch of raw turmeric (for drying, grinding and packaging), sieves and other implements, food grade plastic packaging material, and to go to various local markets and research turmeric (plus other spices, and also flour) prices at both retail and wholesale rates.
In addition we did market research, and went out and bought 2 small pulverizers, a manual foot-pedal operated plastic package sealer, and a large weighing machine. Total costs for the equipment added up to approxmately Rs. 86,000 (~ US$ 1,525).
Entrepreneur Incubation vs. Business Incubation
I see this micro-scale production as an exercise in self-employment training entrepreneur incubation than "real" business set up. Insights will be used to create an enterprise that operates at a larger scale and generate more revenue. I'm hopeful that this way we develop the confidence and business understanding in these female entrepreneurs, such that they are able to successfully take forward that scaled up enterprise.
I am currently a PhD student at the Graduate Institute of International & Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. My interest lies in inclusive governance - participatory governance in cities, political participation by women, making local government work better, and community-based approaches to environmental sustainability. You can read the "about" page for more!