Without the skills for market opportunity spotting, and knowledge on financial management, women, even though highly interested, often fail to establish, engage or expand their enterprises beyond one or two cycles. The fear of failure, business loss and debts significantly erode the resilience of women entrepreneurs, deterring them from launching new businesses.
At the core of SSP’s entrepreneurship programs is the belief that excluded and resource-poor communities can be transformed into hubs of economic growth and social progress if the true potential of grassroots women entrepreneurs is realized.
Rural women are still viewed as mere labour in agriculture, agri allied activities and family enterprises. Further, social norms and lack of opportunities to develop an business/entrepreneurial skills, have led to very low participation (less than 20 %) in the enterprise and manufacturing sectors. Without the skills for market spotting, financial management, women often fail to establish, engage or expand their enterprises and stories of business loss and debts significantly erode the resilience of women entrepreneurs In summary, women aspiring to enter entrepreneurship arena, face several barriers including Formal Skills and Higher Education, Social/Family support, Income earners, Decision Making, availability of Resources.
SSP’s Solution The program creates a definition and aspiration for entrepreneurship and leadership among women from low income households by recognizing them as resource and knowledge creators. The approach is based on a holistic community driven sustainable model empowering women as entrepreneurs and change agents/ leaders of the communities.
Entrepreneurship & Leadership Education SSP’s women led entrepreneurship and leadership (WELI) strategy; firstly aims to enhance business & financial skills and empower rural women through training and business support. Unique features include: the training reaches out to potential women in their villages while experienced entrepreneurs act as the faculty, mentors and role models for these aspiring women. Secondly SSP and women’s networks create a robust local community driven eco-system that includes access to a WELI block resource centre to sustain their enterprises through mentorship, market and finance linkages.
Setting Up Grassroots entrepreneurship and leadership support ecosystem – Resource Centres: Instead of typically implementing a project to train women as entrepreneurs, SSP will aim to create a grassroots entrepreneurship and leadership support ecosystem in the form of Resource Centres within selected project districts. The process: The entrepreneurship and leadership education process crafted by SSP aims at developing rural women as an entrepreneurs and enterprise owners; by defining their economic aspirations and thereby enhancing their business skills. Successful entrepreneurs share their success strategies, become mentors and role models for the aspiring and struggling entrepreneurs. As women stabilize and grow their enterprises, they are provided with leadership support to emerge as advanced business and development practice leaders and change makers in their communities and districts. This in turn strengthens and leads to further economic and social, political empowerment in their families and communities.