New Delhi,14 June 2023 Nasscom Foundation’s Women Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Program supported by Google.org has reached more than 1,00,000 rural women to support them in pursuing their entrepreneurial aspirations. The program has covered 18 districts, spread across six states including Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, and Rajasthan.
The initiative has equipped more than 1500 women entrepreneurs to become master trainers who collectively have trained over 20,000 other marginalized women through a cascade model with digital, financial, and entrepreneurial skills, enabling them to leverage digital literacy and generate income opportunities. Additionally, the program’s DigiVaani call center initiative has reached out to more than 90,000 women in rural communities in Northern India. Through mobile-based outreach, these women have been offered guidance and support to leverage digital skills for their businesses and create new avenues to improve their livelihoods.
One of the key benefits of the program has been an increased awareness and access to various government schemes, as 92 percent of the master trainers now have knowledge of these schemes and 61 percent have gone on to avail their benefits. There has also been a significant impact on the adoption of digital payments, with 52 percent of them adopting various digital payment platforms for making business transactions. About 58 percent are currently pursuing entrepreneurship as an outcome of the program, of which 73 percent are now leveraging social media platforms to gain exposure, enhance their skills, and promote their products to reach a wider audience. Moreover, at least 82 percent of the entrepreneurs among the master trainers are now aware of various e-commerce platforms and their uses.
Nidhi Bhasin, CEO, nasscom foundation, said, “Women entrepreneurs in India play a significant role in advancing the country’s economic growth. Empowering women entrepreneurs is not just about providing them with the resources and tools to succeed, it’s about unlocking their potential to drive innovation, create jobs, and transform communities. With the support of Google.org, we have cultivated a powerful ecosystem for women entrepreneurs, equipping them with the skills, networks, and opportunities they need to thrive.”
Marija Ralic, Lead, Google.org APAC, said “We are proud to have supported, through Google.org, the work that nasscom foundation is doing with women entrepreneurs in rural communities, and it’s been heartening to hear so many inspiring stories of these beneficiaries being equipped with the necessary skills, resources and support to unleash their full potential and drive innovation in the digital economy. Thank you to nasscom foundation for helping to foster a more inclusive and diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact these women will have on society and the economy.”
Women entrepreneurs are much less represented in the digital economy than men. This gap translates into missed economic opportunities and may also aggravate existing gender inequalities. Launched in 2021, the program was designed to address similar challenges faced by women entrepreneurs by providing them with digital, financial, and entrepreneurship skills that have resulted in increased income and economic independence.