The Jammu & Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission (JKRLM) and Meesho, India’s fastest-growing internet commerce company, on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support the growth of 1,800 Self-Help Groups (SHGs) by providing them with an online platform to launch and grow their business and empower the rural women entrepreneurs.
The MoU was signed and exchanged in the presence of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha here at Raj Bhavan. Congratulating women entrepreneurs of Self-Help Groups and Meesho officials on the occasion, the Lt Governor said that the partnership will help in building lives and livelihood for rural communities and provide greater access to economic activities, financial independence to rural women entrepreneurs.
The partnership of Rural Livelihoods Mission and E-commerce giant Meesho is a significant step in making niche products of Jammu and Kashmir available to the wider customer base, providing SHGs global market to grow their business, and making them Atma-Nirbhar, he observed.
From shawls and carpets to Phulkari, Jammu & Kashmir’s arts and crafts have earned global recognition for their uniqueness. Going online with Meesho will allow these women to sell such products to all corners of India and benefit from higher visibility and additional income.
Digital inclusion will help them become self-employed entrepreneurs and fulfill their aspirations of achieving financial independence. JKRLM Umeed and Meesho have already identified products created by these SHGs that can be sold on the online platform, such as Chabhari and Bina grass items, papier-mâché, essential oils, woollen and crewel embroidered products, made across J&K.
The Lt Governor said the partnership will also provide an opportunity to both JKRLM and Meesho to scale up rural enterprises from grassroots to large scale and bring the change in rural women’s lives. The Lt Governor also highlighted the efforts of the government for promoting women entrepreneurship by building strong grassroots institutions that can foster enduring transformation.
For the last two years, we have been working towards re-imagining the rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir and providing a strong market linkage and e-commerce platforms to exploit the potential of artisans. About 5.5 lakh women are associated with more than 64,000 SHGs and almost every Panchayat has two women entrepreneurs today, added the Lt Governor
Sanjeev Barnwal, Co-Founder and CTO, Meesho, said that women entrepreneurs are a key growth engine of India’s economy and Meesho has empowered lakhs of them to succeed in the online world.
Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, asked the JKRLM to devise a comprehensive system for product certification to create a brand value. E-Commerce is the way forward and more focus should be given on showcasing our products in virtual showrooms, he added.
Mandeep Kaur, Administrative Secretary, Department of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj briefed about the initiatives taken to link local products with e-markets.
Indu Kanwal Chib, Mission Director, JKRLM, said that the partnership with Meesho will not only give the SHG women good prices for their products, but also a new identity to their entrepreneurship development. Through this association, women artisans will get access to a potentially wider market.