In a world where more than 42 million people remain unemployed, the need for sustainable solutions has never been more pressing. The pandemic has exacerbated the unemployment crisis, with many migrant labourers returning to their hometowns. However, amidst this adversity, there's a silver lining: a rising interest in setting up micro-enterprises for self-employment.
The Stark Reality
Recent data reveals a startling fact: over 50.7 million MSMEs in India, which constitutes a whopping 80% of all MSMEs, lack access to formal credit. This means they're left at the mercy of informal credit sources, often borrowing at sky-high interest rates. The scarcity of credit stunts their growth potential, leaving them in a perpetual cycle of financial instability.
The Beacon of Hope: Women-led MSMEs
Women are not just homemakers; they are nation builders. Female-led Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) are pivotal in driving female participation in the economy, leading to inclusive GDP growth. Beyond their direct economic contribution, these enterprises offer employment to women, ensuring improved health, education, and overall well-being for their families.
Recognizing this, Rang De has launched the Groundbreakers Challenge. Rang De’s Groundbreakers Challenge was launched to recognize and celebrate women-led micro and small businesses with potential and enable the creation of a financially-inclusive community of self-reliant women entrepreneurs in India.
Through the initiative, Rang De aims to work with CSR partners to identify, shortlist and celebrate women-led entrepreneurs from across our partner communities and support them grow their businesses through a grant and mentoring and monitoring their progress wherever necessary.
This initiative aims to:
Recognize and empower women entrepreneurs.
Provide them with grants, mentoring, and consistent monitoring.
Instil pride among corporate employees by building a financially-inclusive community of self-reliant women entrepreneurs.
Winner of the last Groundbreakers Challenge -
Meera Didi: The Agri-Entrepreneur from Nighsan, Uttar Pradesh
Hailing from Nighsan, Meera Didi faced financial hardships due to limited agricultural land and her husband's frequent absences. With the support of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and her determination, she transformed into a successful agri-entrepreneur.
She completed her AE training in 2022 and ventured into selling cattle feed, partnering with Dehat and Biowell for organic products. Diversified her income through oyster mushroom cultivation and promoted button mushroom cultivation within SHGs.
Primary Income: Selling cattle feed, a high-demand product in her region.
Diversification: Cultivating button mushrooms year-round and training SHG women at her home-based demonstration unit.
Collaboration with women trained in Button Mushroom cultivation by KVK to help them initiate their businesses.
Economics: Multiple income streams have elevated her household income and boosted the local economy. Promoting button mushroom cultivation among SHG members amplifies the community's economic growth.
Provides employment and income for her family.
Empowers SHG women through training and business opportunities, fostering community-wide economic and social upliftment.
Advocates for sustainable agriculture, ensuring environmental sustainability and climate resilience.
Expansion goals include establishing a mushroom processing unit and branding her products.
Aims to collaborate with fellow agri-entrepreneurs and SHGs to foster sustainable agriculture.
Envisions creating a model farm as a demonstration for local farmers.
The outcomes of the most recent of round of Groundbreakers Challenge have been transformative:
Seed grants for marginalised communities with little to no credit access.
Funding 2 small enterprises employing 12-15 women each.
Support for 14 small, rural entrepreneurs, farmers and artisans.
Overall, impacting more than 150 lives.
In conclusion, the Groundbreakers Challenge by Rang De is more than just an initiative; it's a movement. A movement to empower, uplift, and transform the lives of countless women entrepreneurs across India.
Join us in this journey of empowering change at rangde.in !