Financial inclusion, particularly of women, is seen as essential for growth. Further, with a realization that development projects cannot be held in isolation and require livelihood and economic development to create a larger impact, we operate in this space to economically empower and ultimately facilitate women to create their own enterprises through Self-Help Groups (SHG) and microfinance.
The Self Help Group programme is considered to be the foundation for other activities in the community as it provides a platform and entry point for accessing other community needs.
A Self Help Group (SHG) Model of Microfinance to promote job creation entails a five-step process that includes social mobilization and SHG formation, capacity building through training, access to credit and related services, enterprise development and market linkages.
Within one year of group formation, after conducting due diligence, loans are provided as required to SHGs on a rotational basis. This is done either through the banks or through our own resources for investment in microenterprises. These loans are provided free of collateral. With a commitment to customer centric and innovative loan products, diverse options of loan products are also made available to SHG women including loans for education of children, water connections, toilet construction etc.
Gowri is a successful entrepreneur from a tiny village called Avallur, in Tamil Nadu, India. She runs her own pro-tray nursery unit and supplies hybrid vegetable seeds to farmers. After initial training, Gowri approached Hand in Hand India for a start-up loan along with infrastructure investment to produce hybrid seedlings of aubergine, tomato and chilly. She started in 2012 and produces 400–1,000 trays of seedlings every month, resulting in her net monthly income increasing three times! Gowri has an ambitious plan for the future, of expanding her nursery to produce ornamental plants and fruit trees and of marketing to a larger urban audience.
Gowri is proud to state “I have not only started my own enterprise, but I have also provided employment to others”!