The inclusion of four lakh women in more than 48,000 Self Help Groups (SHGs) under the Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission (UMEED) with easy access to capital has revolutionized women’s entrepreneurship at the grassroots level in Jammu and Kashmir.
J&K government under the stewardship of Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, is committed to providing access to capital, quality mentorship for re-skilling, new skilling and helping women entrepreneurs from SHGs reach new markets.
“Government has adopted a holistic approach towards developing a women entrepreneur ecosystem to connect, collaborate and invent for scaling up business and building a strong women workforce”, says an official spokesperson.
The bottom-up structures are being strengthened for women and youth to create empowered individuals in Jammu and Kashmir, he said adding that “They have resources available to create smarter enterprises and shape the community around them in extraordinary ways.
”The initiatives like Saath, Umeed, Mumkin, Hausla and Tejaswini are making women socially and economically independent. Besides, JKRLM programmes are transforming the lives of rural women of Jammu and Kashmir. The Lieutenant Governor launched one of the flagship programmes ‘SAATH’ on September 1, 2021, to help rural women become self-reliant.
JKRLM had initiated a comprehensive mentoring programme under the “SAATH programme” for selected SHG members, who have set up enterprises under the SAATH Programme.
Under the programme, SHG members are being exposed to various marketing processes which would enable them to transform their existing enterprises into well established big business houses. SHG entrepreneurs are being facilitated on value additions, marketing, branding, forward linkages, sales and business management in order to upscale their production and sales.
After extensive observations, out of 5000 SHG members, 100 women entrepreneurs have been identified who are being supported in developing higher-level enterprises through one to one mentoring help for enhancing their competitiveness and stake in the specific trade sector.
These initiatives have played a pivotal role in poverty alleviation by federating about 5 lakh rural women into over 60000 SHGs, out of which, 1 lakh rural women have been federated into SHGs during the financial year 2021-22.
To provide a market linkage platform for about 5 lakh rural SHG members to exhibit their products and to connect directly with consumers as well as buyers, first of its kind, UMEED women’s Haat was set up by JKRLM.
UMEED women’s Haat is a women empowerment initiative by JKRLM to bring the rural women SHG members under one platform where they can showcase their skills, sell their products and build connections with potential market players.
Speaking on the launch of the scheme, Lieutenant Governor observed that the specifically tailored platform ‘SAATH’ will be a major contributor to the socio-economic uplift of women in rural and semi-urban areas.
Apart from making business ecologies thriving in rural areas, J&K will nurture existing enterprises into sustainable, high productivity ventures through skilling, mentoring and market linkages under the Rural Livelihoods Mission, he added.
Terming the economic independence of women as a key indicator of women empowerment, Lieutenant Governor observed that the goal of the UT Government is to make women of J&K job creators instead of job seekers and increase the contribution of women entrepreneurs to UT’s GDP.
‘We are witnessing a steady rise of women entrepreneurs in J&K, youth entrepreneurs are transforming society in many ways and are ensuring economic security and prosperity for others’, said the Lieutenant Governor.