Lucknow: IIM Lucknow’s social incubator SIDBI center for innovations in financial inclusion (SCIFI), arranged a day-long program to help women micro-entrepreneurs from various parts of Uttar Pradesh get better market linkages.
The program was conducted with a two-fold purpose: to assist the women micro-entrepreneurs in getting onboarded and accessing the leading e-marketplaces and online platforms and address the queries related to the marketing aspect, specifically related to the product, packaging, and other design aspects.
The session also explored the possibility of a short-duration business management program for the women micro-entrepreneurs to understand the finer nuances of management to run their businesses with a professional approach. The program’s Chief Guest, Dr. Pradeep Kumar (Special Secretary, Dept of MSME & Export Promotion, Govt of UP), in his keynote address, highlighted various important schemes floated by the government to aid the micro-entrepreneurs, with a particular focus on the UP Government’s flagship One District One Product (ODOP) project.
The program was graced by the presence of several distinguished personalities in the field of micro-entrepreneurship, such as Satyjeet Shukla (Senior Technical Expert- Enterprisepromotion, UPSRLM), Hassan Yaqoob (Associate Director, Corporate Affairs, Flipkart), Gaurav Majumdar (My e-Haat, HCL Foundation), Prof. Somesh Singh (Co-founder, Craft Village), Rahul Prakash (Founder & CEO, Amalfarm Solutions Pvt. Ltd.), Prof. Neelima Hasija (Faculty, National Institute of Design,Ahmedabad), Aryah Vaibhav Mahajan (ivillage), Ranjana Singh (Founder, Aawahan-The new voice), Debasis Mohapatra (Resident Consultant, The World BankGroup), and Dr. Ravi Chandra (Livelihood & Value Chain Specialist, UNDP).
The dignitaries threw light on the pressing issues faced by the women micro-entrepreneurs in two-panel discussions moderated by esteemed faculty of IIM Lucknow, namely Prof Priyatam Anurag, Prof. Kshitij Awasthi, and Prof. Rajesh Aithal, and coordinated by Shyam Kumar (Manager – Incubation, IIML-SCIFI). The panel discussions were followed by direct one-to-one interactions with the women entrepreneurs, where they were given an opportunity to showcase their products. The panel members provided valuable inputs on their products and, in a few cases, networked them with contacts that would help them increase their market linkages.
It was a great experience for women who had not stepped out of their villages before. The input from panelist have enabled them to view their businesses differently and it has encouraged them to participate in more such programs in the future.