With only Rs 15,000, she became an entrepreneur Next Shobha Warrier in Chennai At 17, when most girls of her age were set to go to college for higher studies, she got married. But Sarala Bastian did not wish to just be confined to her house. She wanted to do something on her own. She wanted to be independent and carve out an identify for herself. "My father gave me the initial capital of Rs 15,000 to start a business in 2004. I started a mushroom farm in my backyard," says Sarala. There has been no looking back since. . . Today, she is a successful entrepreneur in a field not explored by many. It has been an incredible journey for the 32-year-old Sarala. To add to her glory, she has been shortlisted for the prestigious Youth Business International (YBI) Entrepreneur of the Year award for 2009. YBI is a UK-based network established by Prince Charles to encourage young entrepreneurs. Ghada Ba-ageel of Saudi Arabia and Linet Indiazi of Kenya are the other two nominees in the female category for this year's award. The award, to be announced on November 16, will comprise a cash prize of $1,000, a certificate and a medal. Here's how Sarala transformed herself from a simple housewife into a successful entrepreneur with minimum resources at her disposal. Read on. . . The beginning years I spend my childhood in Coimbatore where my father worked as an auditor in the state co-operative society. In school, I also learnt typewriting and shorthand. I was married to Sebastian after I passed my class 12 exams. He worked with the ICF (Integral Coach Factory). I came to Chennai with him. I have two daughters, elder one is 14-years old. My seven year old younger daughter is mentally challenged. When she was a baby, she had brain fever and life changed for the worst. She is my life, and I am willing to spend all my money to make her all right.