eMERG (Engineering Manufacturer Entrepreneurs Resource Group) was established in 2006, when seven women from the fields of electronics, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing came together to equip women with skill capabilities that would help them join the industrial workforce. Of the seven founding members, Uma Devi, Radhika, R. Rajlakshmi and Rekha Gopal remain as part of the Managing Committee.
The non-profit was started to impart manufacturing skills training such as soldering, fitting, welding and fabrication before evolving to include soft-skills training such as presentation, communication, personal attitude, and mannerisms. Today, the organisation has also mushroomed into promoting women's entrepreneurship, and connecting them to the right resources (in terms of finances and support), while providing training to take their businesses to the next level.
Like eMERG, several other organisations in Karnataka such as AWAKE (Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Karnataka); COWE (Confederation of Women Entrepreneurs); and FKCCI (Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce & Industry) are working towards empowering women to be entrepreneurs in Karnataka.
According to Government of Karnataka figures, the state ranks third in the nation in terms of entrepreneurial activity with 103, 169 Women Business Enterprises. According to the fourth Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSME) census, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal have 51.9 per cent of the country's women-owned business truly indicating the potential of the region.
The government is also reserving five per cent of plots/sheds in future industrial areas/estates established by the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) and the Karnataka State Small Industries Development Corporation (KSSIDC) for women entrepreneurs. Additionally, there are two industrial areas, created exclusively for women at potential locations such as Hubli/Dharwad and Harohally in Kanakapura taluk.
While working closely with the government and MSMEs, Sridevi, Joint Secretary from eMERG tells us more about taking soft-skills training to government colleges, and other activities undertaken for empowering women entrepreneurs.
Video Credits: Camera Person: Rukmangada Raja Video Editor: Anand