Self Employment

Transforming Poor Rural Women’s Lives through Micro-enterprise

Udyogini’s experience in projects supported by Plan International, The Hans Foundation and Himmothan (in Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Almora and Uttarkashi districts of Uttarakhand) reveal that delivery of appropriate business services will enable the minimally skilled and semi-literate youth to identify, establish, grow and diversify decent self-employment opportunities. Udyogini has also established retail and aggregation businesses in Jharkhand and also working with Nabard in MP, Jharkhand to organise self help groups and linking them with formal financial institutions.

In the above context skill and entrepreneurship building (SaEB) can be viewed as an instrument to significantly enhance the generation of employment in to engage minimally and semi-skilled and semi-literate youth especially women.


In Uttarakahnd Udyogini has focused on the following:

Build “micro-enterprise development model”: Udyogini has created systems and processes to deliver appropriate business services to 2108 Youth to identify potential business ideas, conduct feasibility studies, arrange financial and market linkages to establish, grow and diversify micro-enterprises.

Build capacity of the project support team to deliver the outputs: through basic, refresher and advanced training followed by on-site intensive business counseling in;

  1. Identification and feasibility of potential business ideas or scaling up of the existing products/services that are socially acceptable, economically viable, technically feasible and environmental friendly. Assess the feasibility of business ideas as per the market scenario and Knowledge, Attitude, Aptitude, Skills (KAAS) and resources of the youth.
  2. Mobilizing and sensitization of youth to get engaged in potential business ideas
  3. Delivery of skill and enterprise trainings to the target population
  4. Development of business plans based on value chain analysis as well as learning and experience gained during the pilot enterprise establishment/development phase.
  5. Arrange financial (from SHGs, banks, government schemes) and market linkages for establishment and development of micro-enterprises
  6. Ensure monitoring, evaluation and learning in enterprise development

Persons trained and enterprises established

         Year                                         Total persons trained                                           

            Total persons setting                up enterprises

2014-15 543 358
2015-16 507 302
2016-17 1058 660
Total 2108 1320

 Retail and farm products based aggregation micro-enterprises

Emerging market opportunities in rural India due to increasing rural consumption need not only attract MNCs instead they are widening scope for women to confidently lead as Social Entrepreneurs challenging the black holes of the indulgent market based on reaping profits. Addressing to the modern day economic and social essentials, Village Level Retail and Aggregation Centers (VLRACs) is a model that not only stimulates the economic progress but also creates social value among different members of a community.


The model of VLRAC being initiated in the year 2008 at Jharkhand, has mobilised and trained more than 100 women to become village level entrepreneurs in districts of Ranchi, Gumla and Khunti. This intervention has shown multi- faceted impact in promoting sustainable livelihood services for rural people. Altogether there are 80 Retail and Aggregation Centers catering to the needs of approximately 8,000 families of their respective areas. Solar Products sold through VLRACs have now reached the sum of Rs. 101,650 in Jharkhand increasing the average income of 28 entrepreneurs by Rs. 300 per month. The chain can be used to promote schemes of public interest, spread social innovations, bridge information barrier with respect to good agricultural practices, etc.

70-90% of the catchment (size generally varies between 80-100 households in each village) have retail facility at their door step and 40-50% of the catchment is benefited through aggregation and collective marketing practices for all rural products (both agriculture and NTFP). Producers’ income has gone up by 10-15% resulting in total benefit of about Rs. 5000/ year (increased margins of Rs. 2-3/ kg of commodity sold to the VLRAC, significant savings on transportation; gain of a day’s wages as a result of access to a VLRAC); entrepreneur’s income gone up by 35-40%; VLRACs have also established systems and benchmarked the prices based on quality and accuracy of weights and competitive with the market prices that are checked every day by them.

NABARD Assisted SHG Program

Udyogini is implementing Women –Self Help Group (W-SHG) programme in three states; Jharkhand, Uttarakhnad and MP with the assistance of NABARD. The programme aims to organize poor women from backward and left wing extremism (LWE) affected districts into Self help groups, promote/facilitate credit linkages of these groups with banks to establish local resource based enterprises , provide continuous hand-holding support and enable their journey for livelihoods.

National Agriculture and Rural Development Bank (NABARD) has awarded 2070 SHG formation and bank linkages program to Udyogini across the states. Till now Udyogini has formed 1464 SHGs having 14407 members in three states. Out of 1464 formed SHGs, 889 SHGs has opened their bank account and 102 SHGs have got cash credit limit worth Rs. 25.50 Lakh from banks.


Case Study – Self Employment

Taron Dodrai is a VLSC entrepreneur of Rungru Toli village, Zariya panchayat, Torpa block, Khunti. With three siblings and childhood without a mother, life was a challenge for her every day. To support her family, she made puffed rice which generated a small income of Rs. 500-Rs. 1000 per month.In 1999, she migrated to Himachal Pradesh and later to Gujarat. While in Gujarat,both of them worked as a labourersin a printing press.

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