Young Women Entrepreneurs win CBF NEN Fellowships
Two college students from Chennai and one from Coimbatore are among the 10 women from India awarded with the Cherie Blair Foundation – National Entrepreneurship Network (CBF – NEN) Fellowships.
The awardees received the fellowship from Cherie Blair, founder of the Foundation, at a function held in Mumbai recently.
It is awarded to women students who have used entrepreneurship as a tool to bring a change in their communities, their academic institute and their lives.
The second edition of the CBF – NEN Fellowship received nominations from over 400 institutions.
Here’s how the winners cultivated their entrepreneurial skills : Annapurani Venkatesan nurtured her passion for teaching by starting a tutorial after class XII to offer classes in accountancy and commerce for higher secondary school students.
Later at Alpha Arts and Science College, where she is currently pursuing her degree in Commerce, Annapurani used her leadership skills to initiate the Entrepreneurship Cell (E Cell).
Today, the E Cell of her college has extended its activities by integrating with cells of other colleges and thereby starting the Chennai Entrepreneurship Cells.
It currently has 48 colleges as members. “I am still a student entrepreneur and in the process of becoming one and these have been learning experiences,” says Annapurani, who wants to start a venture in teaching.
“I am also the only student from an arts and science college to get the fellowship,” she says.
R. Sona, final – year biomedical engineering student of Rajalakshmi Engineering College, was awarded the fellowship for showing her leadership skills in increasing the E Cell membership in her college.
“For many years the entrepreneurship activities were almost inactive. In 2008, my friend and I took charge to increase the strength from 12 to over 2,000 students by using SMS and social networking,” she says.
“Getting permission from class and attendance stopped many from joining the cell, which we assured them after convincing the management,” says Sona.
They helped two student ventures start their business too. The 21 – year – old wants to continue her entrepreneurial ambitions in the area of arts.
“I plan to start an art gallery that would encourage school children to showcase their works,” says Sona who is also an artist.
Niveda Lakshmi Krishnamoorthy, final – year computer science engineering student of PSG College of Technology, was instrumental in organising the women’s entrepreneurship conclave where students from city colleges participated.
“Multi – tasking and being enterprising is what such events have taught me,” says Niveda, who is going to pursue research in software later start her own firm.
This apart, the campus venture, ‘Thirst – e’, run by members of the entrepreneur club is expanding, she says.