Coventry student is changing women’s lives in India through social enterprise
Friday 20 November 2020
A Coventry University student has founded a social enterprise to help women across India tackle gender inequalities by empowering them to become economically productive.
Pavani Konda, a Media Production student at Coventry University, founded BloomBhodha to create opportunities for women from low socio-economic backgrounds by giving them employment making hand crafted goods to sell locally and internationally. This way they develop a life-long skill, get paid a fair wage and gain independence to take control of their own futures.
To understand how to use innovative thinking to solve global issues, Pavani joined the student enterprise Enactus Coventry.
I was particularly interested in female empowerment and solving the huge opportunity gaps which leave women behind. I very quickly realised that it starts with social enterprise. Luckily, there is a great social enterprise community at Coventry University and I work closely with The Enterprise Hub (the university’s business incubator) and national organisation Enactus UK.
Through these organisations’ events and training programmes, Pavani met like-minded individuals on campus and beyond, who mentored her throughout the social enterprise building process and also helped with funding her ideas.
She secured funding through Coventry University’s partnership with Santander Universities to go on a two week social enterprise incubation programme. This took place on a train ride around India to develop her enterprise skills further and gain more knowledge of local communities in that country.
It was such an amazing experience and crucial in helping us to grow BloomBodha. The skills and funding allowed us to test the concept. We worked with over 60 women and a local NGO in a small Indian village – Telangana - to hold a ‘culture camp’ where we provided materials and held a making session. We also sold some of the products made back in Coventry, showing the concept worked.
BloomBodha’s next step will be to work with 10 more young women in India to create and sell hand bound journals and grow the social enterprise even further. Pavani is also learning about creating a social media presence for BloomBodha so they can tell their story online and reach more audiences.