Guwahati, Friday, December 16, 2011
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Award for city-based woman entrepreneur
Staff Reporter
 GUWAHATI, Dec 15 – A city-based woman entrepreneur of the State, Karabi Rajbongshi (37), has been honoured with the prestigious ‘Regional Winner – North East Region’ title at the Citi Micro Entrepreneur Awards, 2011. She received the award in Mumbai at a ceremony presided over by Dr KC Chakrabarty, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India and hosted by Pramit Jhaveri, CEO, Citi India along with the governing council members of the awards programme recently.

Ten winners were felicitated with cash prizes totalling Rs 1.87 million, trophies and citations. The winners will also be trained in business development to enable them to manage their enterprises more efficiently.

Karabi had experience in stitching and joined a training programme to prepare teddy bears. Her approach is that of reverse engineering. On seeing a new design, she buys the toy, opens it to understand the structure and then recreates or improves it.

“Winning this award is a big achievement for me and my family. From a time in life, when my family of five (three daughters, husband and I) did not have a place to stay and resided beside a temple premises, I have now successfully set up an enterprise with eight employees to manufacture soft toys. With Citi Foundation’s help and support, I am confident of taking my business to the next level,” Karabi said after receiving the award.

Karabi has registered her enterprise as SK Agency and designs 12 different kinds of animal toys. For durability, Karabi double-stitches every toy and is, therefore, able to provide a seven-year guarantee on her toys, stitching and colour. For meeting growing demands for her products, she has trained and employed eight persons. In 2010-11, SK Agency had a turnover of Rs 2,50,000 and a profit Rs 1,80,000.

Celebrating its eighth year, the Citi Micro Entrepreneur Awards (CMEA) programme, launched in India in 2004, has grown to become a global initiative at Citi that acknowledges entrepreneurial skills and exemplifies the spirit of micro entrepreneurs who have overcome economic and social challenges to successfully build self-sustaining micro enterprises. It is also the first initiative to recognise the growing number of enterprises owned collectively by local communities in India.

CMEA received over 800 applications nominated by 77 organisations from across 20 States and two union territories. Seventy-four per cent of those nominated were women.

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