German government agency – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmBH – in partnership with Dhriiti has announced an initiative ‘seeding grampreneurs’ to promote village and township enterprises (VTEs) across rural India, including in Assam.

A press release said seeding grampreneurs initiative is a conversation, a call-to-action, and a movement that was triggered by the recent mass migration due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the alarming rise of unemployment among the migrants from rural India.

The initiative seeks to address the glaring realities: “What opportunity do the migrants now have to sustain themselves in their home base?”
Seeding gramprenuers will work as an overarching theme for many projects that promotes enterprises that are rural-focussed and rural-based, in the near future.

Starting with ‘Seeding Grampreneurs Seeders Fellowship 2020’ that was recently announced, the fellowship calls for rural professionals from Assam, Jharkhand, Manipur, Nagaland, and Odisha to provide business support to self-help groups (SHGs) that are managed and run by women entrepreneurs.

In the initial phase, the fellowship will train 50 individuals from these five states – out of the trained individuals, 10 will be selected as fellows who will identify, train, and provide business support to 300 rural women entrepreneurs of different SHGs.

The overall objective is to create village and township enterprises which will act as an impetus for inclusive growth to address migration and unemployment issues. The fellowship will run for three months.

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“Seeding grampreneurs is a much-needed initiative to boost rural livelihoods and in turn, the local economies. The seeders fellowship is an innovative step in this direction and will help catalyse women entrepreneurship. Project Her&Now is committed to supporting women entrepreneurship at the village and town level to play a crucial role in driving these local economies,” said Julia Karst, head of project, Her&Now, GIZ India.

“The seeders fellowship in a unique initiative to train rural professionals to become promoters of village and township enterprises in the district and block economies. We at Dhriiti look forward to seeding grampreneurs across the country and this is just the start,” said Anirban Gupta, co-founder at Dhriiti.

GIZ and Dhriiti are already collaborating through Project Her&Now to provide support to women entrepreneurs from the Northeast region. In partnership with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MoSDE), Government of India, and supported by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Project Her&Now aims to improve the overall framework conditions for women-led businesses in India.

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