Commitments to action

Sister-to-sister Learning Approach for Women's Development

Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA), Mahila SEWA Trust, Grassroots Trading Network for Women

SEWA—a union of over 1.6 million poor self-employed women workers from the informal economy, across 18 states of India has over 56% of its membership engaged at various stages in the food systems—including smallholder farmers, sharecroppers & landless agricultural labourers, food processors, vendors and many more.

To integrate its marginalized members seamlessly across the food value chain, SEWA established RUDI – an agro-social enterprise owned and led by women agri-preneurs to procure, aggregate, and re-distribute their modest farm-produce in rural areas through direct market linkages; Kamala—a self-sustaining food processing enterprise owned and led by landless women workers and Fresh Greens—an initiative linking the small and marginal vegetable-growers directly to the end-users. These enterprises have provided an assured market and fair market returns to around 10,000 smallholder farmers across 3000 villages of India and have created employment opportunities for over 4500 rural women.

SEWA’s experience in India and the South Asian region shows that the challenges faced by the marginalised are similar everywhere and is committed to partnering with implementing agencies in the countries of the Global South (including Asia, Latin America, and Africa region) and replicating the models of its successful agro-social enterprises in other regions – thereby, integrating women and youth at all stages in the food supply chain; facilitating strengthening the agriculture of the small and marginal farmers, as well as helping the youth in establishing their own economic organizations – to generate decent livelihood opportunities.

Through its Exposure and Dialogue Program (EDP), SEWA commits to organise Exposure Visits for members of the implementing agencies at its Community Learning and Business Resource Centres (CLBRCs) in Gujarat, India. These visits will give insights to grassroots members on establishing, operating, and scaling up their individual and collective micro-enterprises from their fellow grassroots sisters. Based on the socio-economic conditions of the region, equitable solutions will be offered to provide high value to those in need and an integrated Capacity Building Plan will be developed offering training programs on:

  • Entrepreneurial and Managerial skills
  • Soft Skill Development, Financial and Digital Literacy
  • Low-cost technology platforms
  • Business Plan Development
  • Technical, Vocational, and Food Processing
  • Climate-smart agricultural practices

SEWA will hand-hold and mentor through its enterprises (RUDI Multi Trading Company and Kamala) for the workers to gain skills in establishing and operating their enterprises and making them self-sustaining

Constituency

Civil society
Producer organizations

Action Area(s)

Advance Equitable Livelihoods, Decent Work, & Empowered Communities

Location

Global

Key contact

Reema Nanavaty, Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)
[email protected]

Keywords

Women’s empowerment
Informal sector
Women and youth-led MSME

Downloads

NA

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