Mumtaz Begum

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Resident of Pipalav village in Gujarat

India is one of the world’s leading incense producing nations of the world and a majority of its manufacture is done by woman. 48-year-old Mumtaz Begum is one such incense stick maker who is spreading the aroma in the lives of her own family and of others.

Resident of Pipalav village in Gujarat, Mumtaz always found it difficult to find work due to her lack of formal education. This had put her and her family in severe financial constraints. It was while searching for work that she discovered about the financial literacy training offered by the Jaadu Ginni Ka program, through a local Self-Help Group (SHG).

Mumtaz attended the training and learned about various financial aspects. The one thing that resonated most with her was the concept of entrepreneurship. She realized that she could start something of her own and would not have to suffer from seasonal unemployment.

While searching for businesses to start, Mumtaz visited a relative's house, where she encountered an incense stick-making machine. She was fascinated by the idea and quickly learned the process of making incense-sticks from her cousin.

Recognizing the potential, she took a bold step and decided to start her own incense stick business. She seeked help from Jeevika's Cluster Level Federation (CLF), and secured Rs. 1 Lakh to kick-start her business. Adding her savings to the investment, she invested in a second-hand machine and used the terrace of her house to start the production.

Gradually, she communicated with local shops to sell her product. Taking assistance from home-makers like her in her locality, she started producing, packaging and marketing her incense sticks. Within a few days, she was earning a reasonable revenue to sustain her business, pay her fellow women involved in her endeavour and was also able to support her family.

Mumtaz now generates a monthly profit ranging from ₹10,000 to ₹15,000. This income not only covers her household expenses but also serves as a vital support for her family. She is using the revenue to educate her daughter. Mumtaz is grateful to Jaadu Ginni Ka for empowering her with the financial skills required to start and sustain her own micro-business and become financially independent.

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