Over the years, the Self Help Group (SHG) movement in India has developed from small savings and credit groups that aimed to empower rural women into one of the largest institutional platforms for poor people in the world. There are 6 million Self Help Groups in India today, which are made up of 67 million women.
Hundreds of thousands of SHG members work in India’s rural districts, away from the spotlight of the cities, producing face-masks, operating community kitchens, distributing essential food supplies, and educating the public about basic hygiene and health matters.
Despite their poverty history and knowledge of what it means to be poor, these women are living up to their motto of self-help and solidarity now more than ever before.
The aim of our program is to create self sustainable employment opportunities in rural parts of India for women. Through this program we help women from the same village to come together and form small groups. These groups can take up any type of work or product of their choice and start working on them.
About the program
There is a unique aspect to our SHG program since many people are willing to donate business equipment such as tailoring machines, beauty salon equipment, etc. but they rarely assist the women in running their businesses. A growing number of women are starting businesses focusing on clothing, bags, women’s clothing, and handicrafts and need a marketplace in which to sell their products.
In order to facilitate this, we set up a WhatsApp group where women could purchase products, sell them, and show them off to others. We encourage each woman to create her own customer whatsapp group and share other women’s products with her group. Profits are shared among the women who sell other women’s products. Through our team’s supply chain support, women can sell their products outside of their villages to earn an income.
During Self Help Group formation, we encourage entrepreneurs to form groups of 10-14 women from the same community and economic status. As a group, these women can produce frocks, salwar-kurtas, uniforms, jewelry, handicrafts, pickles, papads, and other products and earn money.
We also help and encourage them to start saving for their future, take advantage of banking facilities, start their own businesses, or produce some goods and find employment locally.
Currently, we are also developing a platform where women entrepreneurs can sell their products online. Additionally, we set up a Common Facility Centre (CFC) where these women would be able to create packaging, price tags, seals and branding for their products before supplying them to the locals.