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Rubeena, a house wife from Yarikalan Chadoora District Budgam has set a good example for the female folk of this part of the world. She was married at a young age and completed her studies after her marriage. She always dreamt of becoming an entrepreneur and supporting her family and society through entrepreneurship.
Rubeena belongs to a service class family and her father is a government employee and her siblings also working in the public sector. She is the only one in her family who took the courage of becoming an entrepreneur and starting her own venture.
Rubeena came to know about Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute through a radio program - “Manzilain aur bhi hain” and enrolled in a 10 days training program to enhance her knowledge about floriculture and allied agriculture. Once the training was over she submitted her Detailed Project Report (DPR) to J&K Bank. The bank rejected her loan application by giving her the reason of the concept being new and not applicable and viable to the Kashmir context.
After rejection from the Bank, “she saw her dreams shattered due to the lack of financial support” says Rubeena. However, the aspiring entrepreneur was very serious to start the project so her husband helped by providing finance. Her husband applied for consumer loan from the same bank and gave that money to his wife to fulfill her dream.
Once the finance was available she leased 4 kannals of land in District Budgam and started cultivating carnation flowers and registered her farm under the name Flori-Tech.
She had to face more challenges besides the financial access, she said “Becoming an entrepreneur for a woman is very difficult as the gender inequality is always associated with it and for a housewife managing home and business is a major issue. But then my firm determination helped me to overcome all the challenges”.
After successfully implementing her project many financial institutions showed their willingness to invest in it. "I was amazed to see the overwhelming response of the institutions that earlier refused to provide me financial assistance," says Rubeena. She accepted proposal from one of the banks and expanded her business by procuring more land and erecting more green houses.
The entrepreneur said that she also received 5-year grant under technological mission of National Horticulture Board (NHB). Rubeena has established a small nursery of Aromatic plants like Lavender and Rosademisene in the same unit under the name Kashmir Aromatics. “She wants to expand her business by including the aromatic plants cultivation on huge scale in her present farm” adds Rubeena. Presently Rubeena provide employment to the people from Budgam area who work in her farm and the unit has an annual turnover of Rs.10 lakh.
Rubeena has been awarded with “Women entrepreneur award” by J&K Bank in 2007 on International Women’s Day for her excellence in the field of floriculture.
Rubeena believes that people of Kashmir need to take initiatives regarding entrepreneurship and should also encourage others to do the same. The best thing about entrepreneurship is that it is job-generating. “I feel myself luckier enough when I provide employment to others”, adds Rubeena.