The idea of Swayam Shikshan Prayog SSP started with empowering women & communities in reconstruction in 1993, and since then has evolved its social change and economic empowerment strategy to build community resilience in the context of local development.  Today, SSP’s operations in 13 of the most disaster & climate threatened and economically challenged districts include Vidarbha in Maharashtra, Gujarat (2001) and Tamil Nadu (2004) and Bihar (2008).

Towards expanding its work on resilient development, in 2008, SSP promoted a national initiative in collaboration with NGO networks and groups in drought hit, cyclone and flood prone rural and coastal belts across a total of seven States that include Orissa, Assam, A.P. The Community Resilience Fund supports grassroots women’s groups to map disaster and climate risks, prepare plans to counter vulnerabilities and lobby with the government to obtain resources from anti-poverty and development programs.

From 2006 SSP has moved steadily from a savings and credit, micro enterprise strategy to setting up social businesses that provide large scale sustainable “livelihoods and incomes” to women. Building capacities of women’s groups who emerged as facilitators, SSP used the emerging market opportunity in rural areas to move women from the margin to the mainstream, as borrowers - entrepreneurs - producers - stakeholders in social/community enterprises.