The First Cohort on Entrepreneurship Ends on High Note

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Almora, January 27, 2020: Over twenty entrepreneurs from the first and second cohort on entrepreneurship gathered at the Jeevan Palace hotel at Almora to attend a day-long workshop on financial literacy and digital banking, and the graduation ceremony of entrepreneurs from the first cohort.

The workshop started with Pankaj Wadhwa, founder of Udhyam, and Anjali Nabiyal, Head, welcoming the entrepreneurs and giving an overview of the workshops and activities of the day. Then, they invited Kalyani Mirajkar, co-founder of the Birdsong Cafe, Bhimtal, to facilitate the session on cross-learning.

The session started with ice-breaking activity, in which the entrepreneurs formed a pair to know about the business and challenges faced by their teammate. They were then expected to speak about their partners and the success and challenges faced by them. Some of the challenges mentioned were confidence to start a new business; identifying competition and market; staff-related issues; transportation of goods; marketing; and external factors like weather.

Based on the challenges identified by the teams, the participants were redivided into the groups of three to brainstorm on the solutions. The teams then made a presentation, which was then followed by discussion and enriching from each other’s experiences.

Lalita Bisht, an entrepreneur from our first cohort, while narrating her experience after a decline in customers at her beauty parlour, told that she started selling woollen cloths to her clients. She also informed that she even sold toys and learned to bake a cake. Narayan Singh, an entrepreneur from the first cohort, who also works with TERI as an agriculturist, insisted on the need to have an integrated approach in which the collaboration with other entrepreneurs also takes place. Pankaj Wadhwa, in his intervention, commended all the entrepreneurs and underlined the need to have a clear product vision and the zeal to upgrade skills to add value to the services constantly.

This session was followed by a financial literacy workshop by Anupama Pain, a co-founder of India Fellow.  She started her session by asking the entrepreneurs if they do the bookkeeping and then giving cases study to make them understand the best practices of bookkeeping.

The second session of the day on digital banking was conducted by the officials from the local State Bank of India. During their session, the officials informed the entrepreneurs about the various ways like Yono app, POS machine, UPI etc. through which they can carry out their business and save their travel and transaction costs.

The workshop ended with Pankaj Wadhwa telling about the CIBIL score and the need to pay EMIs regularly. This was followed by a distribution of the trophies to all the members from the cohort one.