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‘Swabhimaan’ as a program enables women and men to adopt sustainable livelihood opportunities by building a conducive business environment. PCI through this project would capacitate 15,000 individuals (primarily women) from across Kolkata metropolitan area, four districts of rural Karnataka, Pune, Pimpri & Chinchwad region to help them become successful micro-entrepreneurs. The project specifically would target low-income households in urban slums & rural areas. PCI India with its focus on developing 15000 micro-entrepreneurs, has designed a robust ‘entrepreneurship awareness & development program’ that supports gradually empowering low-income households towards their entrepreneurial journey. It adopts a 360º intervention comprising of a bundle of services, ranging from, entrepreneurial capacity building to on-site business coaching and handholding. The unique design also focuses on business support services to assist in the creation of viable and sustainable micro and small enterprises – either individually or as a group to align them with the larger ecosystems of market, finance and supply chains.

Through this well-planned entrepreneurial journey, the project would mitigate the increasing crisis of unemployment, income loss and multidimensional poverty specifically prevalent among urban & rural women. The program’s uniqueness is attributed to its design of providing training to business coaching and facilitating support services, along with ensuring forward & backward linkages over the project period. The optimal approach of the project’s design would focus on independent as well as group learnings through fundamental sessions on counselling and micro planning.

One of the major distinguishing factors of the project would be enabling access to finance. This would involve facilitating seed grants for identified beneficiaries in the form of monetary grants, cash liens for easy bank loans, and/or SHG-supported micro loans. Versatility in the approach of financing would be observed through direct purchase of capital assets, inventory, and/or specialized equipment assessing individual entrepreneur’s need.

The project owing to the above strategies would have successfully created 15000 entrepreneurs operating independent or collective viable businesses.