Industrial parks for women entrepreneurs in all 30 Odisha districts

Bhubaneswar: Department of Mission Shakti today signed five Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with leading corporate houses and institutions like Directorate of Horticulture, Indian School of Business (ISB), Beauty & Wellness Sector Skill Council (B&WSSC), Rubber, Chemical and Petrochemical Skill Development Council (RCPSDC) and Flipkart at Make in Odisha Conclave-2022 here.

The department will tie up with WorldFish on dry fish management, IRRI on rice based value added products and ICRISAT for value addition to groundnuts, said an official.

Signing of the MoUs coincided with a plenary session on ‘Building Economic Independence for Women Empowerment’ followed by two sectoral sessions titled ‘Realising Women SHGs as an Enterprise Model’ and  ‘Unlocking Investments for Business of SHGs’.

Plenary Session: Building Economic Independence for Women Empowerment

The plenary session, which encapsulated future strategies of Department of Mission Shakti in providing platforms to entrepreneurial skills of Odisha women to take wings, was inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The state government will establish industrial parks for women entrepreneurs in all 30 districts of Odisha, said the Chief Minister.

Besides, the state government will provide Rs 1 crore revolving funds for all district level federations (DLFs) and Rs 50 lakh revolving funds for all block level federations (BLFs). The government will build office building with market complex for all gram panchayat level federations (GPLFs), he added.

A video on Mission Shakti, a coffee table book profiling Odisha’s SHG movement titled ‘Mission Shakti–Scaling Up’ and Mission Shakti Annual Activity Report 2021-22 were released on the occasion.

Chief Minister guided the SHGs, investors and officials for transformation of Mission Shakti SHGs to SMEs (Small & Micro Enterprises). He also felicitated three best SHG entrepreneurs and 3 best bankers for credit linkage support to the SHGs.

Women & Child Development and Mission Shakti Minister Basanti Hembram spoke about the initiative of the state government to strengthen the women SHGs. Mission Shakti department Commissioner-Cum-Secretary Sujata R. Karthikeyan gave the welcome address.

Jayanti Dalmia, national president FLO, K. Veena, Founder Naturals, Pravin Raghavendra, Deputy MD, SBI, Sourav Roy, CEO Tata Steel Foundation, Rama Devi K., Founder ALEAP and Miral Chatterjee, SEWA also spoke on the occasion.

Thousands of SHG entrepreneurs across the state were present during this programme

Sectoral Session 1: Realising Women SHGs as an Enterprise Model

The session highlighted the ecosystem support by the state government at strategic and policy level, linkage of emerging women entrepreneurs with formal financial institutions, greater access to the bank credit system, introduction of efficient methods and solutions for a sustainable  and productive women SHG management. Adoption of e-commerce along with physical market linkage development will enable SHG members to take up enterprising activities across manufacturing and service sectors successfully in both urban and rural areas.

The session helped in unearthing undiscovered dimensions and solutions, paving way for more and more SHGs to become successful entrepreneur.

Working towards sustainable solutions for a robust operational functioning and a sound financial structure backed by state-of-the-art technological interventions, Mission Shakti through this deliberation striving to focus on exploring innovative solutions for transforming the lives of women by realising SHGs as an Enterprise Model.

Prof. Monika Aggarwal, Ex-Director, NIFT, Bhubaneswar, Shyama Jha, Founder Millet Magic Foundation and Rashmi Sahu, Director Ruchi Foodline, Cuttack, shared their experience on different activities.

Sectoral Session 2: Unlocking Investments for Business of SHGs

This session highlighted the opportunities in Odisha that makes it a promising destination for investment, thereby creating social entitlements and fostering inter-agency convergence for livelihood promotion, strengthening livelihoods and sustainability of newer initiatives and ensuring market linkage of SHG products across the state and beyond.

The session explored the ways for unlocking investments that will help expand the opportunities for women and small businesses to participate in the local economy, provide them with the tools they need to climb out of poverty and manage their financial lives.

It focused on explaining how localized investments through fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance can drive funding that underpins local economic expansion, income augmentation of SHGs and sustainable development.

Eminent personalities like Bhawna Gupta, Founder Director Davik Food and Beverages Pvt Limited and Dr. Aradhana Srivastava, Gender and Inclusion Officer, UNWFP shared their experiences and guided the SHG members to overcome various challenges that may come in business activities.

Highlights of MoUs signed

1-The collaboration between Odisha government and Flipkart will facilitate online marketing of SHG products through the latter’s dedicated platform. The partnership strives to introduce small businesses of SHGs to access and cater to a larger market and therefore a larger community of buyers.

2-The MoU inked between Mission Shakti and Directorate of Horticulture and PRADAN aims at expansion of Agriculture Production Cluster (APC). Adoption of improved cropping practices in agriculture and livestock rearing with organized marketing will benefit 1 lakh SHG members.

3-Indian School of Business (ISB) and Department of Mission Shakti signed an MoU to enable women’s economic empowerment and rural prosperity among 20 lakh SHG members through a robust forest economy by organized marketing of NTFPs.

4-The MoU signed between Beauty & Wellness Sector Skill Council (B&WSSC) and Department of  Mission Shakti focuses on transforming SHGs into SMEs. The main objective of this partnership is skilling and handholding of 15,000 SHG members in setting up enterprises in beauty and wellness sectors.

5-The Rubber, Chemical and Petrochemical Skill Development Council (RCPSDC) and Mission Shakti entered into a partnership for promotion of women-led micro enterprises, transforming SHGs into SMEs. This project aims at supporting 2,000 skilled SHG members in the field of footwear manufacturing to set up their own micro-enterprises.

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