Swashakt: Empowering Women through Collective-based Approaches

LEAD is the grants management partner for 3ie’s Swashakt evidence programme, which is supporting interventions to strengthen women’s collectives and group-based models for women-led businesses.


India has one of the lowest female labour force participation rates in South Asia. Women in rural India face additional barriers such as conventional social and gender norms, and poor mobility. The Government of India has launched several programmes and initiatives, such as the National Rural Livelihoods Mission, to support and enhance women’s livelihoods and their economic and social empowerment. Under the Swashakt evidence programme, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) is funding the implementation of a portfolio of nine pilot and at-scale projects that support women’s collectives and group-based models for women-led businesses, including non-farm and service enterprises that are operating in partnership with state rural livelihood missions.


As the grants management partner, LEAD is carrying out the following activities in close collaboration and consultation with 3ie:

(i) monitoring implementation of the 9 funded projects keeping in perspective their gender-responsiveness

(ii) conducting research to examine the models of the four pilot collectives and assess their viability

(iii) supporting evidence uptake and sharing learnings from the evidence programme.

Thematic area

MSME & Entrepreneuership

Project Leads

Mridulya Narasimhan, Sujatha Srinivasan