India’s IT-BPM industry body NASSCOM’s social arm NASSCOM Foundation and digital payments gateway Visa have joined hands to upskill women entrepreneurs with digital skills and financial literacy in five states — Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana and West Bengal.
“With the MSME sector in India hit severely by the pandemic and over 70% women entrepreneurs affected, Visa will extend support to, and upskill, these small entrepreneurs across the country with this program. Program partner NASSCOM Foundation will work with over 650 women micro-entrepreneurs and train them to go online, rebuild and expand their businesses. In India, Visa has previously empowered women-owned businesses through a grants program with iFundWomen and is currently working to uplift and digitize local artisan communities across India,” the organisations jointly announced today.
The initiative will equip women micro-entrepreneurs from these states with tools to transition their businesses online, manage taxes, make cashless transactions and claim benefits from pertinent government schemes.
This program will “provide women entrepreneurs across India with essential financial literacy and skills,” said T.R. Ramachandran, Group Country Manager, India and South Asia for Visa.
The program will focus on training impacted entrepreneurs through a blended model, the companies said. Online training will be delivered through the DigiSakshar portal and app, and all beneficiaries will receive a mobile phone with one year of internet connectivity to help them access the course curriculum and training, they added.
The offline training component will be conducted by Pollinate Energy India Pvt. Ltd. where these women entrepreneurs will learn best practices for restarting and scaling their businesses.
“Women’s labour force participation has been 18.6% for rural and urban India as per the latest PLFS survey. This gap clearly highlights that stimulating women entrepreneurship will be instrumental in achieving India’s vision for inclusive growth…the Covid-19 pandemic has only intensified this challenge, making it crucial to put women at the backbone of recovery in communities,” NASSCOM Foundation Chief Executive Nidhi Bhasin said.
The foundation said that the course curriculum will be made available in local languages for ease of understanding for the beneficiaries and post training, the program will facilitate market linkages to these women micro-entrepreneurs.