Prabhavati is a resident of Madan Bhavi village which is 8 km from our Kittur branch in Dharwad district. The village has 500 houses and about eighty percent of the households work as daily wage labourers at Kittur town and Dharwad city. Prabhavati’s is a five member family with husband and three children. The eldest son Omprakash is 18 years, he has completed his industrial training and has just got employment since Nov 2013 in a local industry and earns Rs. 5000 a month. He stays with his family and gives his earnings to his mother. Jyothi, daughter is studying in 12th grade and Deepa the youngest daughter is in 10th grade. Husband, Yesarappa is a daily wage earner who works in a local diary and earns around Rs. 3500 a month. The family does not own any land.
Prabhavati’s story shows us how, it takes perseverance to succeed at a microenterprise and how borrowers have to skillfully manage their finances to succeed. Earlier to 2011, the only source of income for the family was the husband’s and Prabhavati’s daily wage income which was around Rs. 5500 a month in total. Prabhavati was part of the government’s Self help Group (SHG) Stree Shakti Sangha program(this is part of the State Government’s Department of Women and Child Development) and the SHG group members were given exposure and training on starting a home based food industry. After getting the training, Prabhavati’s decided to invest in a chilli grinder machine. Around October 2011, she got a Rs. 15,000 subsidy from the government and a Rs. 15,000 loan through the SHG. She invested the money in the chilli grinding machine and commercial electricity connection. After starting the business, she realized that it was a seasonal business and her income was limited. After about a year and a half (around Feb 2013), she approached Chaitanya for a 15,000 loan to invest in a rice noodles making machine (popularly called Savige in Kannada). However, due to electricity problems, she had to invest in a diesel generator borrowing an additional Rs. 10,000 from her SHG. Her business improved from then. In Jan 2014, she again approached Chaitanya for further investment in her business, building some civil structure for her existing business, investing in a flour mill and items for a petty shop and borrowed Rs. 25,000. Although the number of machines and businesses look more, she did this to ensure that she would be fully occupied. Now she is fully occupied running her chilli grinding machine, rice noodles machine and flour mill based on seasonal demand as well as attending to her petty shop. She today earns Rs. 6000 a month after paying all her loan installments.