Dear Global Givers,
Here’s an update from our campaign where women entrepreneurs are working hard to beat poverty and have now started earning a living to support their families. Many families belonging to resource-poor communities were pushed further into poverty during COVID-19 and many are still struggling to make ends meet. Through this campaign, iPartner India aims to empower rural women to succeed as entrepreneurs and become earning members of their families.
iPartner India has started various initiatives to help rural women start their businesses by setting up sanitary pad units, spice and snacks making units, cosmetic shops and grocery shops. Earlier, none of the women ever imagined running their businesses and taking control of their finances. With the continued hand-holding support, our team on the ground closely monitors each business setup. Regular training on financial knowledge and banking system are given to help these women to become confident and take control of their earnings.
We are happy to share an update on three women entrepreneurs who are fighting against all odds to take ownership of their small achievements.
Meena (name changed) attended an entrepreneurship training organised by iPartner India. After the training, Meena felt confident enough to start a new venture. As part of the training, she conducted a market survey in her village and noted that there were many products that women in her village did not have access to. Meena opened a small shop where she now sells cosmetics, bangles and other accessories. She also sells snacks such as chips, biscuits and chocolates. With an initial investment of INR 40,000, Meena procured the goods from Jaipur. Her husband helped her in procuring the goods from Jaipur to start her shop. In three months, Meena made a profit of INR 5,000.
“Gaon mein fancy item ki demand zyada hai, toh ab mein fancy item zyada kharid ke laati hun” (There is a big demand for fancy items in the village these days so I will buy more fancy items.)
Sita (name changed) received support to open a grocery shop in her village. She is a former sex worker and hopes that through this business setup, she will be able to send her daughters to school. Sita sells dairy products worth INR 1,200 daily and makes a monthly profit of INR 4,000 from the dairy products alone. In addition, she also sells sanitary pads and other cosmetic products. Sita is now able to support the education of her children and spend on household expenses with the profit earned from her shop. She is also making an additional monthly profit of INR 3,000 by selling cosmetic products. During festive and wedding seasons, she can comfortably make a profit of up to INR 5,000.
Pooja (name changed) has set up a spice and snacks-making unit in her village along with other women through iPartner India’s Self Help Group (SHG) programme. Pooja took the initiative to register the unit under the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and recently received the certification from FSSAI to sell their products. Pooja and her team have also held initial meetings with a supermarket chain to sell their products. They are following it up with the supermarket chain to finalise the deal. During this reporting period, Pooja’s SHG managed to make a profit of INR 15,000 by selling its products.
We at iPartner India will continue to seek offline donors and reach out to new donors to make this campaign a success. Women entrepreneurs, particularly in rural areas have to overcome many challenges in terms of acquiring financial support to set up their businesses and in some cases, also face discrimination from their male counterparts.
We look forward to your continued support and solidarity in giving these women hope and a better future for their families.
With deep gratitude,