• ITC's Women Economic Empowerment Programme - Creating over 62,300 sustainable livelihoods for women

India's Challenge

Women, especially poor women in rural areas, remain the invisible backbone of their households and communities. However, their many disadvantages - poor education, limited opportunities for skills training, few property rights, restrictive social norms - mean low-paying labour work is often their only option. Whatever they earn is almost always spent on improving the quality of life of their families

ITC's Contribution

ITC's Women's Economic Empowerment Programme aims to provide these women with opportunities to earn independent incomes, helping to strengthen their position as decision-makers in their families and in their communities. There is a special focus on ultra poor women - those living in extreme poverty who are the only earning members of their families and have no assets or regular incomes.

With training and financial support, women can take-up self-employment activities, set up small businesses or join together to form self-help groups or micro-enterprises. Their earnings and savings mean better education, nutrition and health for their children - a vital investment in the future of their communities. Equally important, the confidence they gain along the way is helping to break gender inequalities and build a more equal society.

ITC's Women Empowerment Programme

Enabling Economically Disadvantaged Women to Earn Higher/Independent Incomes through multi-stakeholder partnerships

Self-help Groups /
Individual Women /
Collective Enterprises

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Primary Beneficiaries, Decision-makers

NGOs

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Project Implementation, Domain Expertise, Local Experience

Government /
Financial Institutions

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Linkages to Government schemes, loans from banks, etc.

ITC

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Facilitator, Programme Design, Funding, Monitoring & Evaluation

Strategies and Key Interventions
  • Overcoming financial inadequacy through micro-credit / seed money / loans, etc
  • Micro-credit & other Self-help Groups (SHGs)
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    Micro-credit & other Self-help Groups (SHGs)

    Starting with a grant from ITC, women build up a corpus fund with monthly contributions and use the fund to finance self-employment, small businesses and micro-enterprises. Other groups like sanitation SHGs, agarbatti producers, etc use seed money from ITC to set up and run income-generating enterprises.

  • Promoting co-operative action & collective enterprises
  • Women-managed Agri-enterprises
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    Women-managed Agri-enterprises

    Established with ITC's support (financial, training, capacity building, etc), these enterprises:

    Have the potential to become profitable, independent businesses

    Enable women to earn regular, higher incomes

    Give women confidence and a sense of solidarity from the experience of working together

    Sanitation & other SHGs
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    Sanitation & other SHGs

    Established with ITC's support (financial, training, capacity building, etc), these enterprises:

    Have the potential to become profitable, independent businesses

    Enable women to earn regular, higher incomes

    Give women confidence and a sense of solidarity from the experience of working together

  • Expanding skills & know-how for better opportunities
  • Training for SHG members & other beneficiaries
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    Training for SHG members & other beneficiaries

    Appropriate training for all programme participants, e.g. micro-credit SHG members learn to create and manage common funds, handle bank accounts, maintain documentation, etc, waste management SHG members learn to communicate the benefits of source segregation, reduce-reuse-recycle, etc.

    Exclusive Farmer Field Schools
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    Exclusive Farmer Field Schools

    Transferring knowledge and skills to women agriculturalists so that they can benefit from sustainable agricultural practices, earn higher incomes and move up the agricultural chain from being the lowest paid field labourers to farmers in their own right

  • Special Focus: Supporting Women in Extreme Poverty
  • Intensive programme for achieving financial self-reliance
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    Intensive programme for achieving financial self-reliance

    Target: Women who are the only earning members of their families and have no assets or regular incomes

    Provided with income generating asset / loan to start small business along with relevant training and assistance

    Assisted to open bank accounts, develop saving habit/ put away savings / accumulate savings and access government schemes

    Intensive handholding throughout entire programme which includes learning to sign name, keeping track of income and expenses

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