Last Updated:  01/12/2020

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Project Pitch By: Friends of WWB, India


Proposed Project Title

Women Entrepreneurship Support Program


Thematic Area

Gender equality, women empowerment , senior citizens and economically backward groups

Sub Thematic Area

Women Empowerment

Project Synopsis

The Women Entrepreneurship Support Program of FWWB provides capacity-building support to promote the livelihoods of poor women through micro-businesses activities thus making them financially independent. They work with community-based institutions, undertake a holistic approach to entrepreneurship development by incorporating financial education, digital literacy, business management, local livelihood skills, and leadership training. Their approach aims to make the enterprises sustainable by locating them in the socio-economic milieu of the respective areas, provide skills that utilize local knowledge and resources and leverage technology as an enabler to scale up operations, to provide training sessions covering all aspects of Entrepreneurship Development including an elaborate livelihood scoping study to evaluate all the livelihood activities in the area, potential activities that can be explored on basis of availability of raw material and market demand are undertaken, customized capacity building interventions in collaboration with partner organization empowers these institutions to bring in significant socio-economic transformation amongst deprived communities in these areas.

Overview of the Proposed Project

Estimated Budget
INR 1.0 Cr - INR 5.0 Cr
Proposed Location
Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnatkaka

Key Project Partners

Project Status
Already Implemented-Replicable


Beneficiary Type (Primary): Women
Beneficiary Type (Secondary): Women
Estimated No. of Beneficiaries: above 10000 Individuals
Status of Baseline Survey: Already Done

Proposed Project Description

FWWB (Friends of Women’s World Banking, India) has been in the financial inclusion space for more than 3 decades through its various credit and capacity programs for the low income households across India. Specifically through its women entrepreneurship support program initiated 7 years ago, they have been able to reach out to more than 19000 women micro entrepreneurs across various states of India. It has successfully, implemented the project in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Manipur and continues to expand its outreach to various states with support from various funders namely HSBC, ICRA, Moody’s and many other funders.


Some of the key challenges faced by the women micro entrepreneurs are:

  • Limited comfort on adoption of digital technologies - most of the customers of these small businesses are daily wage workers and people from low socio-economic background and therefore they seem to be more comfortable to deal with cash on day by day basis. There is also hesitation to adopt digitization due to lack of knowledge, low levels of awareness and confidence on the digital instruments available.
  • Inefficient record keeping - the recording of financial transactions is done in a rudimentary and traditional way with limited scope to track previous transactions or business performance. In very small ventures, record keeping is even not done regularly.
  • Lack of access to credit - financial institutions often have a good understanding of the credit needs of the entrepreneurs but often lack the adequate credit or transaction data to develop underwriting tools for assessing credit worthiness.
  • Limited formal savings - for these entrepreneurs reaching to the nearest bank branch for money deposit or withdrawal as per convenience is a major challenge that contributes to the need to store savings in cash due to social mobility issues.
  • Lacks of business management skills - most of them divert their profits to household expenses, rather than re-investing their business. This is due to lack of enterprise management skills and financial literacy to run their business operations effectively. At times, it is challenging to understand the emerging needs of the market and take up required expansion and diversification in the business.

FWWB envisages to create an enabling ecosystem for the Women Entrepreneurs across various states of India. FWWB shall bring in its past experience and knowledge base to create a model which is scalable and replicable in other locations of the country. Their initiative also focuses on training and mentoring of existing women entrepreneurs with specific focus on adoption of digital platforms at every level of the intervention. It builds capacities of women so as to help them establish and run sustainable micro businesses. It works towards enhancing the most critical knowledge and skill requirement on financial education, adoption of digital payment modes and business planning and management so as to help them run sustainable businesses - increase their revenues, adopt technologies and increase their credit worthiness.


FWWB's proposition aims at providing complete hand holding support through a cadre of master trainers. A cohort of selected women entrepreneurs shall be provided mentorship and training support across the project duration. Customised curriculum and hand holding support shall be provided to the entrepreneurs, hence capacitating them towards taking informed decisions for financial wellbeing of her business & her family and developing her competence in technology, building additional skills for managing and growing her business, etc. Here, their focus would be to build their confidence by providing one to one practical session and helping them to take up the digital route to boost their micro-businesses. Through this, they would be able to adopt digital platforms available to take their business online, using internet enabled smart phones, social media, online banking, digital payments, online marketplaces, mobile technology driven business management tools, customer tracking and delivery of services. They shall be provided required support to pivot from traditional models of business and tap into technological advancements.

Monitoring and Impact Evaluation - To measure the project impact, FWWB shall use its robust inhouse technology- “FWWB-Udhyami” an android based mobile application to capture the beneficiary information in order to provide mentoring to women members on real time basis. The application supports pre and post data capturing and impact evaluation by usage of business intelligence tools. It captures detailed information of women entrepreneurs in this application through mobile phone/tabs, covering economic indicators like savings, debt, income, expenditure and investment, borrowing behavior, usage of technologies and much more. Over and above this, the intervention is thoroughly monitored throughout the project to keep a track on the effectiveness of the trainings and hand holding support.


Salient Features

  1. All its programs are designed keeping women at the center of the interventions
  2. The one to one approach with the women entrepreneurs encourages awareness, literacy and adoption thereby creating a positive implact on the women entrepreneurs.
  3. Encourages adoption of digital payment modes and adopt technology solutions for communication, transactions, ecommerce and enhancing business operations

About Friends of WWB, India

FWWB India was promoted in 1981 by Ms. Ela Bhatt (Founder of SEWA), as an affiliate of Women’s World Banking, a global network created to focus on the need for women’s direct access to financial services and recognizing women’s role in building a nation’s economy. FWWB aims at providing financial and capacity building services to organizations promoting livelihoods of poor women. Initially started as a capacity building institution focusing on women empowerment, FWWB has diversified into provision of credit support to institutions such as SHGs, Cooperatives, FPOs, NGOs and startup NBFCs that are in the space of Financial Inclusion, Women Empowerment, Agriculture and provision of Water, Sanitation and Solar Energy in rural areas.


Through their Entrepreneurship Support Program, they have provided capacity building on Financial Literacy, Enterprise Development and Business Management for building sustainable enterprises to more than 19000 women entrepreneurs in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Manipur. Their experience of over two decades has proven that an intervention with a combination of loan support, capacity-building and collective action creates a lasting impact on the lives of the women beneficiaries. Over time, FWWB has reached out to more than 10 million women, 370+ institutions across 17 states of India.


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