Rural women got help to be food entrepreneurs

The Confederation of Women Entrepreneurs of India (COWE), a Hyderabad-based indigenous national body of women entrepreneurs, aims to recruit 150 rural women through its novel initiative called “PAU”SHE”TIK Cooking Competition” entitled “Mera Swad Mera Swaasth” with a difference. It was organized across cities in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. To achieve this goal, it has chosen a new model. It has organized a cooking competition for rural women in four cities each in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

It was a unique cooking competition aimed at discovering rural women with entrepreneurial ambitions. A cooking competition was chosen as the route. Through these competitions they discovered rural talent, women with entrepreneurial ambitions, and in due course COWE will turn rural women into food entrepreneurs.

It was an initiative of Hyderabad-based COWE and the Hands in Hospitality Chef’s Association. It just finished the competitions of eight cities in both Telugu states. Everything is now set for the final, which will be held in Hyderabad on October 16th and 17th.

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The last leg of the competition has just finished in Jadcharla in the Mahboobnagar district shared by Jyotsna, President of COWE Telangana.

The title of the competition was “Mera Swad Mera Swaasth”. The theme was Paushtik Food (Healthy Vegetarian Eating).

The best participants from each center take part in the finals, where they have to cook live in a live kitchen. A workshop will be held for them before the final. The eight winners from each city, and in some cases special consolation prize winners, will take part in the finals.

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About 500 rural women took part in these competitions. 35% of these women become entrepreneurs, according to COWE.

Surya Jyothi, food technologist, said the women who showcased their culinary skills had great talent and each had the potential to transform into a food entrepreneur. Women are ideal for food technology companies. Although traditionally underrepresented in STEM-related fields, there are many in food technology and science. We hope to turn many rural women into food entrepreneurs, she said.

One of the competitions in Warangal sought the services of COWE to train street vendors in marketing and branding

Gundu Sudha Rani, Mayor of Warangal Municipal Corporation, asked COWE if they could train street vendors in Warangal in marketing and branding while gracing one of the purposeful cooking competitions organized by COWE and the Hands in Hospitality Chef’s Association in Warangal.

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The city of Warangal has 80,000 street vendors, of which 27,000 are drawn on loans and 40,000 are registered for loans. They need to be trained in marketing, confidence and branding. And she urged COWE to help the Municipal Corporation.

The Mayor of Warangal further asked COWE if there was an alternative to plastic bags. The city of Warangal banned plastic bags less than 120 microns in size in this city. As an alternative, they offer paper and jute bags. The group trained some street vendors to make paper and jute bags. But they are unable to brand and market their products well. Mayor also sought COWE’s help in this regard.