Publications

Building Collaborative Philanthropy to Strengthen Women’s Entrepreneurship in Urban and Peri-Urban Areas

Sharon Buteau, Preethi Rao, Diksha Singh, Mridulya Narasimhan | September 20, 2022

Entrepreneurship development is an important pathway for enabling women’s participation in the economy and can be a catalyst for change by providing income-generating opportunities. However, India ranks 57 out of 65 countries in women entrepreneurship. While several challenges faced by entrepreneurs are universal, women entrepreneurs continue to face a host of gender-specific barriers. In recent years, there has been increasing emphasis on advancing women’s entrepreneurship by the government, private sector and nonprofit organisations. In addition, private sector and philanthropic initiatives

Insights from a Survey of Common Service Centres (CSCs) in Chhattisgarh

Sampurna Basu, Abinaya Rengarajan | August 23, 2022

Established under the Government of India’s Digital India programme, Common Service Centres (CSCs) are local access points for the delivery of essential public utility services, social welfare schemes, and other B2C services to citizens in rural and remote areas of the country. As part of an ongoing study of an agent-based model (Haqdarshak) for delivering access to welfare schemes in Chhattisgarh, we surveyed 115 CSC operators to understand how agents interface with CSCs, and promotional activities undertaken by operators to

Connections: How Social Interactions Shape Growth Stories of Women-led Enterprises

Aishwarya Joshi, Mridulya Narasimhan | August 3, 2022

India has an estimated 14.9 million women-owned enterprises, which hold the promise of job creation and improved agency for the country’s working-age female population. While positive spillover effects of these women-led businesses have been documented, women own only 20.4% of the micro, small and medium enterprises in India. Understanding the social interactions between women entrepreneurs and their business ecosystem, and how these interactions intersect with their social and economic backgrounds, can shed light on the gender-specific issues in the field

Digital Solutions for Empowering Women’s Collectives in Chhattisgarh

Tanushree Bhan, Deveshi Chawda, Aditi Priya, Vysakh D. Satheesh, Fabrizio Valenti | July 25, 2022

LEAD at Krea University, through its gender initiative IWWAGE, has partnered with the State Rural Livelihoods Mission in Chhattisgarh to train female SHG members on a mobile application that provides them with an opportunity for paid work by facilitating welfare enrolments in their communities. This mobile application is developed by the implementation partner, Haqdarshak Empowerment Solutions Private Limited. This report is based on an ongoing evaluation of the model within the state of Chhattisgarh and presents findings from a baseline

Barriers and Opportunities For Aspirational Women Entrepreneurs

Neelanjana Gupta, Preethi Rao | June 21, 2022

Historically, in India, household gender norms and restrictions on women, along with lack of education and mentorship among women, have proven to be significant obstacles to nurturing women entrepreneurs, thereby inhibiting women’s advancement. This study was undertaken by IWWAGE to serve as a needs assessment to help support the design and implementation of skill training programmes for existing and aspirational women entrepreneurs, in partnership with the Delhi Skill and Entrepreneurship University and the Government of NCT of Delhi. The sample

Multidimensional Impact of Finance on Microenterprises

Sharon Buteau, Abhishek Gupta, Sanjana Vijay | June 10, 2022

The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector in India has consistently contributed more than 30% to the country’s GDP over the last decade. The significance of MSMEs in India’s economy also arises from both its scale in the country (over six crore enterprises) and employment generation (more than 11 crore direct jobs). Since lack of optimal access to formal finance has been identified as one of the key binding constraints faced by microenterprises in the literature on enterprise growth,

Calling the Shots: Determinants of Financial Decision-making and Behavior in Domestic Migrant Households in India

Vinith Kurian, Shashank Sreedharan and Fabrizio Valenti | April 6, 2022

Households, like individuals, rely on a variety of financial products and services: they use cash and credit cards to make payments and they make investments to finance future expenses, buy insurance to manage risks to themselves and their assets, and borrow money to finance large expenses or in times of emergency. Migration constitutes one of the most widely used household financial strategies. There is a critical need to understand what factors drive financial decision-making in migrant households and how these

Scoping Meso-Level Insurance in Agriculture in India

Sabina Yasmin, Vinith Kurian | March 13, 2022

Farmers in India suffer high variability in yields, as a result of uncertainty due to numerous natural and manmade factors. In this context, insurance appears to be a particularly effective means to reduce losses to individuals and communities. It also enables farmers to obtain credit and financing for investment in new technologies and better inputs to enhance/sustain their productive capacity. Published with the support of CIIE.CO under the Bharat Inclusion Initiative, this study conducted explores the potential of meso-level insurance,

Innovations for Women’s Empowerment Collectives in Chhattisgarh: Digital Solutions and Institutional Models

LEAD at Krea University, IWWAGE | December 15, 2021

This infographic offers a snapshot of the different ways in which three innovative digital and assisted approaches being tested by LEAD and IWWAGE in Chhattisgarh (along with the State’s Rural Livelihood Mission Bihan, supported by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), are driving women’s collectives to reach their full potential and attain social and economic empowerment.

Roadmap for Digital Technology to Foster India’s MSME Ecosystem—Opportunities and Challenges

Sharon Buteau | December 13, 2021

Digital technology can significantly enable India’s MSME segment, provided the emerging infrastructure has joint buy-in from the government, solution providers and importantly users. The digital landscape catering to micro and small entrepreneurs has drastically changed in recent years. The challenges reside in addressing a complex and heterogeneous MSME segment, dominated by micro-enterprises at different stages, and different levels of digital readiness. This article highlights a combination of policy interventions by the government and innovative practices by private players that can