Over forty years, there have been gains in health and education for women, but they continue to lag behind in economic participation

In 2019, female labour force participation went down by 6 percentage points, to 20.3%, and steadily declining since. 95% of women-owned businesses exist only as informal enterprises and have turnovers of less than 50 lakhs per annum. 

Micro Finance

98% of beneficiaries are women,
but 95% of the employed staff are men


Women do 75% of the farm labour, 2X the amount of work as male farmers, while owning only 12.8% of the land


Less than 3% cooperatives and farmer producer companies have women on their Boards

Chosen Enterprises
Average Revenue Growth
Women Impacted

When women are recognized and grow as economic actors – workers, producers, economic actors – it transforms communities

SEWA aims to support the broad aim of women’s economic empowerment by addressing the practical need of women for more income-generating work. Our work has consistently shown that when a woman enters the economy and starts earning money, it transforms their position not just in the household, but transforms their local communities and markets, and initiates their involvement in state affairs. This is even more powerful when women are not just workers, but also owners of their businesses.

Cohort 2020-2023


According to NSS 2015 data, 20% of all enterprises in India are owned by women, but only a mere 2.7% of these employ 3 or more people, and over 78% are home-based.

SEWA Bharat has worked extensively with its vast membership base to both redefine who a microentrepreneur is, as well as create an enabling environment that can meet the specific needs of women microentrepreneurs.

Read more

Collective Social Enterprises

A novel way is when women come together, pool resources, and set up collective businesses, where Women are Owners, Women are Managers and Women are Users.

Over 50 years, members of SEWA have promoted 150+ collective social enterprises across different industry sectors.

Read more

Women’s Enterprise Support System

Since most of our members have never been business owners themselves, SEWA supports women in organizing in groups, pooling resources, registering collective businesses, and developing these as financially sustainable businesses, which are Women-Owned and Women-Run.

The WESS is designed to provide holistic services, along with handholding support, for grassroots women in business: any sector, any stage, any place.

Read more

Get in touch with a representative