The Women on Wings Annual Report and Accounts FY 2022-2023 is out! It writes about the impact Women on Wings has realized in 15 years, on social enterprises and state government institutions in India, on its Dutch volunteer experts and how 333,400 jobs for women in rural India have been co-created. In 2022, Women on Wings celebrated its 15th anniversary, and a number of milestones feature in the Annual Report & Accounts FY 2022-2023.
Volunteer experts contribute to one million jobs
Women on Wings’ mission is to co-create one million jobs for women in rural India. In FY 2022-2023 a network of 55 volunteer experts from the Netherlands contributed a total of 601 working days on realizing this mission.
Ronald van het Hof, joint managing director at Women on Wings: “Without our experts’ investment in time and talent we would not be able to achieve our goal. After a dip due to the pandemic, we luckily witnessed a strong increase last year in the time spent by our experts. They support our business partners and the Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS) in India in their growth, sharing their business expertise with them both in online sessions and on-site workshops. In the past 15 years, our volunteer experts contributed a total of 71,486 hours, or 8,936 days towards realizing our mission. This is equal to 24 years and is valued in over 8.9 million euros of pro-bono support.”
Scaling social businesses to create impact
In 15 years, Women on Wings provided consultancy and mentoring services to 79 Indian social enterprises which are working in women centric sectors. Over the years, some of these enterprises found investors who brought their own consultants, and some stopped their business. Today, 53 are still business partners. Also two state government institutions have selected Women on Wings as their partner in scaling their women entrepreneurship programs and to co-create sustainable livelihood for women in rural India; JSLPS and Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal (MAVIM).
It was expected that with the end of the pandemic, Women on Wings’ business partners would go back to on-site workshops as the preferred mode of delivery. But instead, they continued to request for online consultancy sessions as those provided greater flexibility in scheduling and planning. It is clear now that the online mode is here to stay, not as a side offering to Women on Wings’ traditional on-site workshops, but as a distinct offering in its own right.
In FY 2022-2023 Women on Wings’ volunteer experts conducted 38 on-site workshops and 227 consultancy sessions with its business partners and JSLPS. Also, 2 on-site CEO Summits, and 4 online CEO meet-ups were organized. In these Summits and Meet Ups, Women on Wings brings together CEOs with the purpose of peer-to-peer communication and engagement.
Listening to feedback from business partners
Ronald continues: “We invite our business partners to share their feedback after our workshops, our CEO Summits and CEO meet-ups, which we use to improve our work. The online CEO meet-ups showed a decline in participation in 2022. After the lock-down situation was removed, and physical movement restored, business partners expressed a desire for on-site CEO Summits instead. After four online CEO meet-ups in FY 2022-2023, we discontinued them. We can conclude that they were of immense value during the pandemic, but our partners prefer on-site CEO Summits.”
Funding partners enable Women on Wings’ work
Women on Wings is grateful that it can count on the sustained trust of long-term funders in its 15 years of existence. Shilpa Mittal Singh, joint managing director at Women on Wings: “We always aim for a mutually beneficial partnership. We not only collaborate with our business partners, but also with our funding partners. Thanks to our funders’ long-term commitments we were able to continue our work with our business partners and build on our new strategy, working with state governments on women entrepreneurship programs.”
Most of the funding partners are successful entrepreneurs and corporate executives who understand the Women on Wings approach. They underline the need for business knowledge, expertise and mentoring for any entrepreneur to grow their businesses, especially the social entrepreneurs and the state initiatives in rural India so that more jobs for women may be created. Most funding partners requested anonymity.
Shilpa concludes: “Our funding partners are all extremely valuable. Some support us for 1 year, some for 3 years, some even 8 years. In FY 2022-2023, we welcomed two new funding partners, one being the L’Oréal Fund for Women. And one existing funding partner decided to extend its long-term funding partnership. Thanks to these partners who believe in our approach and want to contribute to our mission, we are yet another step closer to our ever-challenging goal.”
Read more about Women on Wings’ approach and results of FY 2022-2023 in the audited Annual Report & Accounts 2022-2023.