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An initiative to help women become self-reliant

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An initiative to help women become self-reliant

Vanita Vishwanath started Udyogini in the year 1992 with the aim of training semi- literate and illiterate women in rural India to turn them into micro entrepreneurs. Today Udyogini runs projects across 5 states and takes grass root businesses to the market, helping rural and tribal women become self-reliant.

Before Udyogini  Vanita worked with the World Bank in Washington DC during which time she was instrumental in conceptualizing and spearheading the World Bank Institute-promoted Women's Enterprise Management Training Outreach Program in Philippines, Bangladesh and India.

Empowering  the the lives of over 5600 lakh cultivators in Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh, Udyogini manages farms for supply of Lac and also provides them with market contacts. This has enabled 700 additional producers to benefit from the chain in just over a period of six months.

Udyogini trains the farmers on scientific methods of Lac farming for increased output; the better sales network also enables them to sell the products at a better price. Similar changes have been seen in Uttarakhand where Vanita and her team have helped women grow medicinal plants and herbs while in Bihar women have been introduced to the business of making incense sticks.

Udyogini has even created a school of entrepreneurship in Jharkhand and MP to institutionalize training for entrepreneurs. Vanita is now hoping to create a hybrid model which could see the launch of a cooperative venture under the Udyogini brand.

Image Courtesy:  Development photography pool

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