Recently, Women on Wings facilitated a workshop for a team of Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal (MAVIM) with the aim to develop its rural women empowerment program called Tejaswini. This first workshop with the MAVIM team covered how to build a business model for their Tejaswini brand.
Rural women benefit from MAVIM’s Tejaswini brand
Tejaswini provides job opportunities for a substantial number of rural women in Self Help Groups (SHGs) who are often too busy with household and caregiving duties to work outside their homes. It is common in rural India for women to organize themselves in SHGs which are village-based financial intermediary committees usually composed of 10-20 local women. SHGs earn income from home-based activities such as traditional handicraft and farming activities.
The Tejaswini brand combines training and skill building efforts at the grassroot level to improve the marketability of SHGs’ products to enable a regular income for more rural women in the Maharashtra state.
During a workshop, everyone participates
The MAVIM and Women on Wings teams worked two days on co-creating a business strategy for Tejaswini, set goals, analyzed gaps and defined actions and next steps. Shilpa Mittal Singh, joint managing director at Women on Wings: “It was wonderful to see MAVIM’s team getting aligned on how to reach the target and reinforcing the belief that community development happens alongside revenue generation.”
Workshop participants said they had never attended a similar session where everyone participated, learned from one another and felt ownership. They said it was true co-creation of a strategy and a roadmap. All the district managers are enthusiastic about attending further workshops to achieve the job generation target in the next three years.
Eager to build the brand successfully and impact large numbers of rural women, MAVIM’s management has requested that Women on Wings facilitates monthly workshops on all aspects of the value chain. “We look forward to steadily working toward the goal together with MAVIM, and we will plan monthly workshops in the typical Women on Wings approach: tailor-made and practical,” says Shilpa.
Focusing on a target to tackle poverty and empower women
If revenues are up, then more rural women are doing work upon which they can regularly rely. An income reduces poverty and increases a women’s agency in her home and community. Studies show that a woman with a job gives her family a better chance in life and positively impacts her surrounding community. Contributing an income to the family household is empowering and improves gender equality.
Joining forces to co-create sustainable livelihoods
In January 2023, MAVIM and Women on Wings signed an MOU to co-create sustainable livelihoods for rural women in Maharashtra over a minimum of three years, from January 2023 to January 2026.
Women on Wings shares MAVIM’s mission to advance opportunities for women by moving families in rural India out of poverty through economic development. Women on Wings’ aim to co-create one million jobs for women in rural India by 2030, dovetails nicely with the intention of many state governments to build their women entrepreneurship programs.
Focused on the target: further workshops
Further workshops facilitated by the Women on Wings team and its volunteer experts will focus on strengthening and scaling the Tejaswini brand. There will be a strong focus on target markets, cost pricing, organizational structure and streamlining the supply chain to meet the need: incomes for rural women producers.
“State Government women entrepreneurship programs have done a phenomenal job building communities, training and skilling. A regular income for women producers is a task that MAVIM must focus on,” states Shilpa. “That is why Women on Wings is there. We believe in the difference a regular income has for women. We will work towards that through economic development by providing business consultancy and mentoring to the MAVIM team which is keen to create impact and livelihoods.”