The Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship’s (GAME) Women Entrepreneur Financial Empowerment Program (WEFEP) with the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) and State Rural Livelihood Missions (SRLMs) has facilitated business growth for 100 women entrepreneurs across five districts of Rajasthan.
The program has seen remarkable success, having resulted in successful credit linkage for 100 women entrepreneurs across diverse sectors, ranging from retail to manufacturing to services. These women have received financial support from Banks for the very first time. While the average loan size for these women entrepreneurs stands at INR 90,000/-, few women have received loans of up to Rs. 5,00,000.
Earlier, women entrepreneurs had access to credit through Self-Help Groups. While the model is successful and in vogue, it has certain limitations. Keeping this in perspective, the National Rural Livelihood Mission collaborated with the Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship to provide individual loans to women entrepreneurs. As a pilot, GAME has rolled out this initiative across the three states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Commenting on the first milestone of a century, Mr. Hardeep Singh Chopra, Project Director at the State Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM), Rajasthan said, “Women-led businesses can contribute significantly to our economy. Our focus is to help them to obtain formal credit and strengthen their businesses. These 100 women can inspire and drive more women on the path of entrepreneurship. “
Speaking of the landmark achieved Ketul Acharya, Executive Director, Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship opined, “Financial empowerment is one of the most crucial pillars of fostering women entrepreneurship. By partnership with NRLM and SRLM, we have enabled 100+ women entrepreneurs to access the right financial resources to grow their ventures, and achieve economic independence”.
The focus of WEFEP is to enable access to finance to 10,000+ women entrepreneurs in 3 states Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
The program will be initially supported by strengthening National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) and State Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM) architecture through capacity building and augmentation, training existing field cadres called Vitta Sakhis. The program also entails supplementing the existing NRLM (National Rural Livelihood Mission) training protocol and using it to train 3000 Vitta Sakhis, who will support potential entrepreneurs from among women SHG members to take up viable business enterprises.
The trained Vittal Sakhis will review compliance and eligibility of NRLM and SRLM (State Rural Livelihood Mission) identified women entrepreneurs. They will also mentor and help develop business plans to formalize their enterprise, as well as secure financial linkages. This program will also enlarge the narrative to establish a comprehensive onboarding process for financial institutions such as Public Sector Banks and Regional Rural Banks to unlock formal credit for the identified women entrepreneurs in rural areas.
GAME is committed to replicating the program’s success in other regions and ensuring that more women entrepreneurs have access to the financial resources that they need to thrive.