FedEx Express (FedEx), a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the world’s largest express transportation company, along with United Way Mumbai (UWM) is helping more than 290 women small business owners in Mumbai expand their enterprises through the Saksham initiative.
Through this initiative, women from lower-income groups who have the skills, but are unable to grow their small businesses due to lack of funding opportunities, receive the ‘Saksham Kit’. These women represent a wide range of businesses across sectors including home beauty services, tailoring, and a variety of homemade products. These supplies are customized according to the need of each beneficiary, and includes the latest technology tools to improve their product quality, reduce their production time, and help them cater to more customers.
According to a Mckinsey Global Institute analysis, increasing female workforce participation in India might add USD 700 billion to global GDP. These start-ups have a more inclusive work culture and employ three times as many women as men. Furthermore, women-led firms are expected to grow by 90% over the next five years.
“Advancing gender equality is part of our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, not only at our workplace, but also in the communities we serve. It is an integral part of our culture and a vital business consideration to create a better future for all team members, customers, and communities”, said Suvendu Choudhury, Vice President, Operations-India, FedEx Express. “This program is part of our continuous efforts to equip women enterpreneurs and small businesses with the necessary tools to explore new possibilities and contribute to the advancement of the local economy.”
George Aikara, Chief Operating Officer, UWM said, “Project Saksham recognizes that empowering women entrepreneurs not only transforms families but also contributes deeply to equitable societal development. By running their own businesses, women can expand their horizons, interact with customers and suppliers, and take on leadership roles in their families and communities. We are proud that many of our women entrepreneurs have become advocates for improving education and nutrition opportunities for girls both at home and in their communities. We are grateful for the continued support of FedEx over the years in helping us to achieve our mission.”
FedEx started with supporting 400 women in 2021, and this number has since increased to over 950 women in 2023.