Microentrepreneurship (What We Do)2022-04-19T04:05:29+00:00

Who are the Microentrepreneurs SEWA Aims to Support?

The majority of enterprises in India are very small with investments varying between Rs. 10,000 to a few lakhs. These tiny or nano enterprises generally employ only the labour of the individual and at most, of the family. The needs of such small enterprises are often different from larger microenterprises but due to their small size, this range of microentrepreneurs have not received attention, are significantly underreported and support that could go to them to scale up and expand India’s economic footprint is severely lacking. These microentrepreneurs are increasingly vulnerable to external shocks such as the pandemic, with low levels of resources to cope with disruptions or crises.

We therefore identify entrepreneurs as those who add value to the production process and organise multiple factors of production (land, labour, capital) while making decisions bearing financial risk, in the active hopes of earning a profit, or the cost of living for most enterprises at the lower rung of our economic ladders. These microentrepreneurs run a multitude of small businesses from both inside and outside their homes – they are fruit and vegetable vendors, thrift clothes sellers, bangle makers, tailors and weavers, and agri-based workers such as those engaged in animal husbandry, bamboo products, among others.

New & potential microentrepreneurs reached
Microentrepreneurs trained on digital and financial literacy
Microentrepreneurs linked with formal credit

SEWA’s Work with Microentrepreneurs

They are also particularly vulnerable to a series of factors that impede their entrepreneurial pathways, including but not limited to market fluctuations, changes in socio-economic policy, external shocks to the ecosystem, and internal family crises. In tailoring our approach to support such women workers, we draw on both SEWA’s long history of building solidarity networks as well as its decades of experience in cultivating women’s entrepreneurial skills.
Identity building remains at the core — it transforms mindsets from being passive recipients of services into active agents of change.
Enable access to build their resilience via healthcare, insurance, childcare and social security schemes, infrastructural provisions and linkages
Capacity building for ease of access to financial, digital and technical skills
Enable enterprise growth by easing up access to capital and market linkages
Nurture microentrepreneurs and enterprises to thrive by creating an enabling environment

Microentrepreneur Development

Women microentrepreneurs require a thorough understanding of every step of creating a successful product or service that sells in the market and in turn, helps generate better income for them. To this end, SEWA’s work involves enabling access to capital, understanding market demands, procurement of raw materials, learning the product design and development, its pricing for both online and offline markets. Through forward linkages, women microentrepreneurs are supported in connecting directly with the customers via selling on both offline and online market channels.

Moving women up the agricultural value chain by Skilling and Microentrepreneurship Support

Let’s Pickle is an inaugural initiative that creates a sustainable income source for the marginalized women farmers of Naki (Munger District) in partnership with Bihar Agricultural University and SEWA. This initiative backs rural livelihood and the purchase of this pickle aids aspiring microentrepreneurs.

  1. The cluster of women farmers was provided guidance on elements of entrepreneurship
  2. Technical services were offered on business setting and upscaling, compliance and product design, marketing etc.
  3. Linked with experts and mentors to provide strategic guidance throughout the enterprise cycle.
  4. Financial linkages are also extended as per the need of the enterprise.


Case Studies

Aarifaben, Lac Artisan

Traditional lac jewellery is crafted in fire with the original lac extract of a Kusum tree, and is a speciality of Rajasthan. The market share of this artform has shrunk visibly due to the rising demand and supply of chemical lac products.

Rupaliben, Tant Weaver

Rupali behen, is a Tant weaver from Phulia, West Bengal, which is known for its high quality sarees throughout Bengal and the world. A typical day in her life means spending long hours at her loom, sometimes 7-8 hours at a stretch.

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