Overcoming Adversity As A Small Business Owner: Munni Devi

Overcoming Adversity As A Small Business Owner: Munni Devi

While Munni Devi was singlehandedly managing a shop and providing for her family – she also witnessed many struggles. Her shop was often besieged by rats and the lack of a counter in the shop would result in some dishonest customers taking advantage of the situation. She soon managed to come up with a solution.

Munni Devi is a 39-year-old small entrepreneur who lives with her husband Karambeer Kumar and four children (three girls and a boy) in Indaut Village in Bihar’s Nalanda District. She is a hard working woman who runs a shop by herself which she set up in July 2021.

Her 24 year old son works outside the village, the three daughters go to school and her husband is a farm labourer. What Munni Devi earns from the shop, she uses for her daughter’s education. Earlier when her husband’s was the single source of income, education was a distant dream.

When Oxfam India’s Holistic Rural Development Programme (HRDP) team met her, she told the team, “All I need is some support money to set up a counter because my shop does not have one and it is very hard to manage customers without a counter”. She also added, “I am running into loss since many of my shop products go to waste because they are consumed by the rats.”

Oxfam India’s HRDP initiative titled ‘Project Utthan’, supported by HDFC bank, contributes towards the socio-economic empowerment of people from marginalised communities by aiding them with sustainable livelihood options and improving access to essential services (especially women) across 15 villages in three blocks in Nalanda.

In January 2022, under the HRDP Project, Munni Devi was supported with business training and Conditional Cash Transfer of Rs 10,000 to invest in her business. With the money, she bought a counter and racks. Now she easily manages customers, the new counter and racks have spruced up her shop and she has many more customers, which in turn increased the family’s income.

Munni Devi is now able to support her children’s education. Expressing her gratitude, she says, “Now I can easily keep track of customers as earlier it was very hard to manage the crowd. Sometimes when it was crowded, some customers would run away without paying. I am very thankful to Oxfam India and HDFC bank for their support”.

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