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UP girl Bano Fatima gets HP LIFE Entrepreneurship Award in US

Musician Jake Clemons presented the HP LIFE Entrepreneurship Award (including $ 5,000 and a trip to New York City) to Bano Fatima of Weaver's Hut.

Updated:September 30, 2013, 2:22 PM IST
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UP girl Bano Fatima gets HP LIFE Entrepreneurship Award in US
Musician Jake Clemons presented the HP LIFE Entrepreneurship Award (including $ 5,000 and a trip to New York City) to Bano Fatima of Weaver's Hut.

New York: Bano Fatima, a young entrepreneur who helps the weavers known as 'Julahas' in Uttar Pradesh, has received the HP LIFE Entrepreneurship Award at New York's Global Citizen Festival. This prize was awarded as her incredible entrepreneurship story received the maximum online votes from the HP LIFE/Global Poverty Project community than the stories of four other highly inspiring HP LIFE entrepreneurs. Musician Jake Clemons presented the HP LIFE Entrepreneurship Award (including $ 5,000 and a trip to New York City) to Bano Fatima of Weaver's Hut.

Bano Fatima is a young entrepreneur undaunted by the scale of the social and economic inequality that she discovered in a weaver community, known as the Julahas, in the village of Baragaon, Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh. This political science student, who was just 19 years old then, decided that she should make a difference. Aided by her cousin Nabila Kidwai, she established Weaver's Hut, a small-scale social enterprise, to strike at the root of the social discrimination and economic exploitation experienced by this artisan community.

She found that the social status of weavers in India is extremely low and so are their educational and financial prospects, their weaving work requires high labour input, but achieves low productivity and carries health risks. Bano needed to develop her own technical and communication skills in order to help this community. So she selected and completed the HP LIFE (HP Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs) training, now also available online as a free, cloud-based HP LIFE e-learning training program. Through the HP LIFE training, she became proficient in using MS Excel for accounting purposes and MS PowerPoint for high-impact sales and marketing presentations.

With her new entrepreneurial skill set, Bano now provides a forum where the weaver community can sell its products in major cities. But this is only a small start to more far-reaching plans. Through her enterprise, Bano intends to also help these people build life skills (including literacy), uplift their own lives, and gain education opportunities for their children. She also hopes to expand this support, bringing professional and personal development to more artisan and agricultural communities in the future. Her achievements to date have been recognised by partners HP and The Global Poverty Project, an international education and advocacy organisation working to catalyse the movement to end extreme poverty.

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