July 2018

More than a business

Shirleen began weaving her success story with assistance from the Trusts' project on Microenterprise Development and Promotion in Meghalaya. It is an initiative to provide financial support to entrepreneurs and promote enterprise development

All she needed was some support and an opportunity. Shirleen got both, and is now finally living her dream

Shirleen had to discontinue her studies when her father, the sole earning member in the family, passed away. The family was entirely dependent upon her late father’s pension to meet its demands. After dropping out of school, Shirleen stayed at home helping her mother with the domestic chores, and it was then that she came to know about iLEAD through her friends who were alumni of the programme. Learning about the training provided, she visited the centre to inquire about the courses offered.

After a counseling session with the faculty, Shirleen enrolled herself in the Fashion Designing and Tailoring (FD&T) Course. “She was a very regular and interactive student who was always ready to participate in any and all of our activities,” recalls her FD&T trainer. After completing her training, Shirleen was placed with a boutique where she worked for two years honing her skills as a tailor. Shirleen is among the 50 entrepreneurs who are currently being supported under the Trusts’ project on Micro Enterprise Development and Promotion in Meghalaya through interest-free loans. When she got to know about the nature of the loan, she submitted her business plan and applied for a loan of Rs.50,000 to help her realise the dream of setting up her own tailoring shop. Upon receiving her loan, Shirleen immediately set up her unit and started earning through her sales.

She is currently running her shop and, through her earnings, she is repaying her loan and also contributing to her family’s income. An ambitious Shirleen says, “I am thankful to iLEAD for giving me a chance to not only acquire skills in fashion designing and tailoring, but also to be a successful entrepreneur.” She dreams of expanding her business in the coming years. According to her, “iLEAD is a very supportive institute; it has helped me and many others like me to dream big.”

This story has been taken from the Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Allied Trusts Annual Report 2016-17.