Nurturing Women-led Grassroots Enterprises
Accelerators and Incubators have been recognized as useful inputs for entrepreneurship support globally, but none yet are designed for the needs of grassroots women-run businesses.
Given the specific challenges of grassroots women, there is a need for handholding and longer-term support, proximate to enterprises. We have developed this as a Women’s Enterprise Support System (WESS). It has been imagined as a hub that caters to women-in-business at the grassroots: in any sector, at any stage, and in any geographical location.
The Women’s Enterprise Support System works with a selected cohort of enterprises, with the goal of putting them on the path of financial sustainability. Our core strength is in the ability to nurture the leadership of informal women workers to self-govern and self-manage.
The Women’s Enterprise Support System
SEWA’s Women Enterprise Support System (WESS) is a branch of the SEWA movement, with the purpose of incubating and accelerating more women-run collective enterprises. The focus group of the ESS is women workers in the informal economy, both urban and rural, and their micro and collective enterprises. Since most of our members have never been business owners themselves, SEWA supports in organizing groups in a community, building their operational capacities and then registering collective businesses.
Intervention Methods of the WESS
SEWA ESS has been designed as a holistic Women Enterprise Support System, which works with grassroots women-run enterprises across sectors, geographies, and any stage of business growth. The approach undertaken is in-depth business support integrated with mobilising and social protection.
An Innovation Lab
Unlocking opportunities by continuously adapting market developments for and with women in the informal economy
The gains of innovation are often last to reach poor, informal women workers. The Innovation Lab bridges this gap and brings new opportunities to these women, designed as per their needs and by developing sustainable models.