Technology-based models towards the improvement of Spoken English Skills

Technology-based models towards the improvement of Spoken English Skills

The time for EdTech is here.

Join Sattva and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation for a discussion on ways of scaling up EdTech in India for social good.

We will also present findings from our study on – Evaluating Effectiveness of Technology in Improving Spoken English: https://bit.ly/2Yrik9B

This two year, large-scale pilot assessment was conducted covering ~ 14,000 students across 9 states in India and the sample set included 18-22 year old students from the urban poor segment, in their pre-final or final year of study.

Date: Tuesday 23 June 2020
Time: 3 – 4:30 pm
Register: https://bit.ly/2YmkMhq

We hope to see you there!

charcha 2020

charcha 2020

Sattva hosted the Financial Inclusion track at “charcha 2020” – a platform for the Indian development sector to come together and chart a course for the country’s resurgence from the COVID-19 crisis, launched by The/Nudge Foundation. The platform brought together practitioners, thinkers, enablers, community leaders, policy makers to take on the challenges ahead with conviction and clarity.

As part of our Financial Inclusion track we had a range of sessions. Key insights and takeaways from these sessions can be accessed below.

14 May 2020:

Click here for the video link for Day 1

15 May 2020:

Click here for the video link for Day 2

16 May 2020:

Click here for the video link for Day 3

About charcha 2020:
The whole world is in lockdown now, grappling with the full impact of Covid-19. According to some estimates, 200 million people will be pushed into poverty in India this year, and the development sector will undergo an unprecedented resource crunch. There is an urgent need for the sector to come together and strategize in a timely manner on charting an agile course at a time when the country needs us the most.

The leading nonprofits, foundations and industry experts came together for charcha 2020 – bringing together practitioners, thinkers, enablers, community leaders and policymakers across 14 parallel events to take on the challenges ahead with conviction and clarity.

More here: charcha 2020 – Sattva and Financial Inclusion

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Sattva has been working with various non-profits and social organisations as well as corporate clients to help them define their social impact goals. Our focus is to solve critical problems and find scalable solutions. We assist organisations in formulating their long-term social impact strategy by strategically aligning with business to provide meaningful solutions to social issues.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Do write to us: impact@sattva.co.in

Matching Contributions in India

Matching Contributions in India

Background

Over the last decade, individual volunteering, societal awareness on development issues, and large-scale citizen engagement with social causes have grown rapidly in India. While giving has been largely informal in India, formal giving is slowly evolving on the back of innovations in digital giving, crowdfunding, e-commerce based giving, payroll giving, and online volunteering platforms. This growth in formal giving to NGOs, also known as everyday giving or retail giving, is likely to become a significant contributor to philanthropic efforts in India in the next 3-5 years.

Retail giving offers NGOs and donors innovative ways to fundraise, and one such innovation is the use of ‘matching contributions’. The concept of a matching contribution, in which a donor extends a grant as a match for the NGO to leverage it to fundraise from other sources, stands to further boost formal everyday giving in India.

Sattva_publications_ATECF-image

About the Report and Toolkit

With the support of the A.T.E. Chandra Foundation, Sattva Research has endeavoured to create evidence, an actionable toolkit and document case studies that exemplify the practice of matching contributions in India.
The report and toolkit are structured into a 2-part publication that aims to drive the usage of matching contributions for the development sector in India. While the toolkit is an easy-to-follow guide for NGOs to kickstart or enhance their fundraising journey by leveraging matching contributions, the report strives to present a strong case for the current and potential impact of matching contributions on individual giving in India. Together, the report and toolkit aim to motivate platforms, funders, and NGOs alike to take up matching contributions significantly as part of their strategy and fundraising design.

Key Takeaways

1. For corporates: Employee matching programs can enable corporates to: a) create a vibrant culture of volunteering across levels b) encourage employees to give to causes of their choices and c) reinforce their commitment to the country’s development. By offering both structured matching programmes as well as one-off matching campaigns in times of need, corporates can multiply the impact of their funds towards social causes manifold. Moreover, the availability of multiple online platforms offers a great opportunity to automate systems and processes towards linking payroll giving, and employee volunteering.

2. For private donors: Donors across segments and motivations stand to accrue a range of benefits by strategically leveraging matching campaigns. These include a high social return on investment, an opportunity to build grantees’ fundraising capabilities and expand their donor base, and a tool to encourage retail giving Donors must explore the different use cases of matching campaigns, and look to include the same as part of their overall giving model.

3. For independent platforms: Platforms have an important role to play in promoting the potential of matching campaigns, supporting the fundraisers and enhancing the givers’ experience through the journey of the campaign. Platforms must consistently work to identify new ways to personalize the giving experience and celebrate giving. Platforms could also collaborate with NGOs to run pilots to increase ease of giving by working on documentations, engagement with givers, data analytics, and digital storytelling. Lastly, platforms must also look at piloting collaborations with mainstream businesses/ e-commerce/ digital wallets and other offline outlets to build a case for matching.

The full report and toolkit can be accessed below.

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On 18 April 2020, we launched the report and the toolkit with a webinar and a panel discussion among key stakeholders in the giving ecosystem. The presentation from the webinar can be accessed below.

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Sattva has been working with various non-profits and social organisations as well as corporate clients to help them define their social impact goals. Our focus is to solve critical problems and find scalable solutions. We assist organisations in formulating their long-term social impact strategy by strategically aligning with business to provide meaningful solutions to social issues.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this topic. Do write to us: research.advisory@sattva.co.in

Shaping the Design of the Social Stock Exchange

Shaping the Design of the Social Stock Exchange

Background

Hon’ble Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her budget speech in July 2019, called for the creation of a Social Stock Exchange (SSE) to help non-profits and social enterprises unlock a mainstream pool of impact capital and resources to support their work; a pioneering initiative which promises to take capital markets closer to the inclusive growth agenda.

Envisioned as an electronic platform, an SSE will bring together social purpose organisations and investors on a common platform. On this platform, investors, like in any other stock exchange, will be able to buy shares (trading of securities or potentially debt, in the form of bonds) of listed entities — in this case of a social purpose organisation which has a mission aligned to their interests. On the exchange, a listed entity’s value will be linked to its social impact.

Sattva worked with Mr. Amit Chandra (A.T.E. Chandra Foundation), official member of the SEBI working group, to incorporate the experience and feedback of institutional funders and foundations into shaping the design of the SSE.

Sattva consulted institutional funders through an online survey (responded by 52 funders across archetypes – CSR, domestic foundations, global foundations) and qualitative consultations (in-depth theme-based discussions with 16 organisations). To capture retail donor insights across the country, Sattva conducted computer aided telephonic interviews across 3 Tier I and 5 Tier II cities and circulated an online survey campaign through social media. Sattva collected 400 responses stratified across 8 cities and income levels on attractiveness of the proposed SSE.

Key Findings

1. Massive opportunity in unlocking convenient capital from the institutional funders. Incentives for adoption by institutional funders are critical to figure out. To enable adoption and pool in diversified capital, ‘alignment with existing laws’ is critical.

2. 73% of respondents seem keen on adopting the SSE and over 60% active retail donors were willing to shift to the SSE.

3. SSE is perceived to play a critical role in unlocking capital through diverse financial instruments and to increase outcome accountability of both funders and non-profits. In addition, 62% CSR and 83% HNWIs mentioned the platform has a significant role to play to reduce Individual Funder due-diligence efforts.

4. 82% CSRs felt alignment with existing laws is the most critical enabler, while 79% domestic foundations identified sustainability of the SSE business model as the most critical enabler to SSE.

5. 97% CSR’s identified ‘Challenges with legal structures – CSR law, Tax law, legal structures of SPOs’ as a high-risk barrier.

6. Almost all institutional and retail donors called for the inclusion of financial statements, compliance metrics and independent impact evaluation for social purpose organisations registered on the SSE portal.

The full report can be accessed below.
Shaping the Design of the Social Stock Exchange

In addition to these findings, the final recommendations had additional inputs from social enterprises, non-profits and from a roundtable on innovative finance instruments. With the first level of recommendations submitted, the next steps which are underway, are specific task forces to deliberate on various design aspects such as the credibility framework, impact reporting framework etc. We hope to have an update about these deliberations in a few months from now.

Would you like to partner with us to further the conversation around the potential of social stock exchanges? Write in to impact@sattva.co.in.

Gender Equality in India – Women and Digital Solutions

Gender Equality in India – Women and Digital Solutions

– By Angad Bagai, Priyanka Cardoz and Atul Sukumar

Women in India are very often concentrated in certain specific types of industries- about 30% of women-owned enterprises are involved in the manufacturing sector and 18% are involved in retail trade. Looking at the services sector, 24% of women owned enterprises are personal/household service enterprises, 16% are in the education sector and 14% are food service enterprises like restaurants. As discussed in our previous post, there are a variety of barriers faced by these women, and there are multiple approaches that have been used to promote and address these, ranging from programmes driving financial inclusion to the provision of skilling initiatives.

Of the plethora of approaches, the advent of digital technology is one that has brought a range of solution models to the table for creating new, scalable pathways to potentially solve for some of these issues, and generate economic opportunity for women. Internationally, models such as Taobao (Alibaba) and Grab have shown results in linking women to improved livelihood opportunities and markets, while in India, nascent platforms such as Amazon Saheli and GoCoop are looking to do the same and show high potential for market linkages. This piece will look to nuance the understanding of the true potential of digital solutions for women, and how they could be advanced further in India.

You can read the full blog, here.

This is the second in a series we are doing on Gender Equality in India. In this series we intend to look more closely at some specific approaches adopted by stakeholders in the ecosystem to solve these challenges. The first three pieces will focus on promising approaches to how the private sector and corporate interest can engage with the barriers, and the final piece will look at the government and its role in building an enabling environment through policy.

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Priyanka Cardoz is part of our Research Advisory team and is based in our Delhi office. Prior to working with Sattva, she worked as a Consultant for the Evaluation Office, at International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie). Priyanka holds a MDes (Social Design) from Ambedkar University and BA (Philosophy) from St Stephens College, New Delhi.

Angad Bagai is part of our Research Advisory team and is based in our Delhi office. Before Sattva, Angad worked with Cankids…Kidscan, and had a stint as a short-term consultant at the World Bank. Angad has a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and English Literature from Tufts University and a Master of Laws from the University of Law in London.

Both Priyanka and Angad have been involved with the BMGF Gender engagement since it started, working to establish a Gender Secretariat for strategic research, advisory and knowledge management support for Gates Foundation.

Sattva has been working with various non-profits and social organisations as well as corporate clients to help them define their social impact goals. Our focus is to solve critical problems and find scalable solutions. We assist organisations in formulating their long-term social impact strategy by strategically aligning with business to provide meaningful solutions to social issues.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this topic. Do write to us: impact@sattva.co.in

ECCE CSR Landscape in India and it’s Potential for Impact

ECCE CSR Landscape in India and it’s Potential for Impact

Background

Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), encompassing the inseparable elements of care, health, nutrition, play and early learning within a protective and enabling environment has long been underfunded by CSR programmes, owing to a lack of awareness on its importance in child development. The Draft National Education Policy (NEP) 2019, which defines the early learning needs in the age group 0 to 3, and the age group 3 to 8 as a single learning continuum called the “foundational phase”, has added to this with a lack of clarity on the modality of achieving the infrastructural and institutional changes required by the policy.

‘ECCE CSR Landscape in India and Potential for Impact’ is a study by Sattva and DHFL Changing Lives Foundation aimed at raising awareness on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) in India and developing a guide to CSR funders to consider ECCE in their portfolio.

The study plots the current landscape of funding and solutions for ECCE enabled by CSR, explores trends and evolution of CSR in ECCE funding over the last three years and maps the solution landscape of ECCE interventions enabled by CSR funding to plot areas of interest, types of funding, gaps and challenges.

Key Findings

ECCE Needs and Trends in India:
1. Nutrition, health and early childhood education are deeply interlinked. A child’s development potential cannot be fully realised unless these interlinkages are incorporated in intervention design.
2. About one fourth of children in the age group 3 to 6 do not attend any form of pre-school in India. Amongst those who attend some form of preschool, almost 50% are not ready for formal schooling.

Policy Landscape:
1. The Draft National Education Policy (NEP) 2019 defines the early learning needs in the age group 0 to 3; and the age group 3 to 8 as a single learning continuum called the “foundational phase”. However, there is a lack of clarity on the modality of achieving the infrastructural and institutional changes required by the policy.
2. The Indian government spends about 0.3% of GDP on ECCE, which is much lesser than the OECD countries’ average of 0.8%.

Interventions by ECCE implementers:
1. ECCE implementers have been instrumental in executing innovative ECCE interventions through contextual approaches on the ground. However, these innovations remain largely localised, with very few translating to systemic change.
2. The implementer landscape has certain white spaces like early stimulation, responsive care, parental capacity building, children with disabilities. There is also a felt need by implementers to increase the focus on the 0 to 3 age group.

CSR funding for ECCE:
1. Despite education and health being top funded areas for CSR funders, only 17% of top education funders and 22% of top healthcare funders make some contribution to interventions related to ECCE.
2. There is little data available on CSR expenditure towards ECCE due to lack of standardised reporting practices. However, aligning schedule VII of the Companies Act to SDGs has the potential to change this
3. Interventions pertaining to health and nutrition are better represented than other components of ECCE in CSR funding.

Opportunities to unlock capital and promote collaboration:
1. Investing in ECCE has far reaching impacts ranging from improved economic growth, creating responsible citizenry, to low crime rates.
2. To enhance their ECCE impact, CSR funders can facilitate collaboration at three levels:

  • a. Collaborate with government authorities/institutions to complement the efforts
  • b. Collaborate with multiple non-profits towards comprehensive ECCE outcomes
  • c. Collaborate with other funders working on addressing ECCE or non-ECCE outcomes

 

The full report can be accessed below.

ECCE CSR Landscape in India and Potential for Impact – Full report

A factsheet for the report can be accessed below.

ECCE CSR Landscape in India and Potential for Impact – Factsheet

This is a first attempt at mapping the landscape of funding and solutions in ECCE in India. We deeply appreciate your feedback, comments, and suggestions. Write in to research.advisory@sattva.co.in.

Water Solutions: Leveraging Impact Through Smart Philanthropy

A Report on Water Solutions: Leveraging Impact Through Smart Philanthropy

Background

Organised by Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies and curated by Arghyam, ‘Water Solutions: Leveraging Impact Through Smart Philanthropy’ was a day-long ecosystem convening held on September 21, 2019 in Mumbai, in order to bring together like-minded philanthropists and practitioners to deep-dive into solutions and opportunities for action at scale in water.

Designed as a follow-on to an India Philanthropy Initiative (IPI) Thematic on water challenges held earlier this year, the event kept in mind a strong solutions focus; with information and interactions that forged a positive bias for action in supporting scalable pathways to the water crisis. It highlighted the work of innovative water solutions, working on the themes of Community and Technology, and Governance and Policy, through three distinct lenses of access, quantity and quality of water.

Event

24 water innovators and practitioners were shortlisted from a long list of water innovations in India based on key parameters such as theme relevance, credibility, innovation, collaboration and impact potential. Of these, 12 presented their organisation’s solutions at the event through a crisp showcase followed by audience Q&A.

Keynote speakers at the event included Rohini Nilekani, Founder-Chairperson, Arghyam, Dr. Mihir Shah, Distinguished Professor, Shiv Nadar University and former Member, Planning Commission of India, and Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India.

Ahead of the event, Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies, Arghyam and Sattva curated a report that focuses on water solutions, and the role philanthropy can play in their acceleration. The report features solutions that focus on community empowerment, technology-enablement and effective governance, which are critical levers for achieving scale and sustainability in improved water access, safety and security. It also profiles the 24 water innovators and practitioners.

The full report can be accessed below.

A Report on Water Solutions: Leveraging Impact Through Smart Philanthropy – Full Report

Click here to access videos and presentations of the water innovators.

Would you like to partner with us to further the conversation around philanthropy and corporate social responsibility? Write in to research.advisory@sattva.co.in.

Female Work and Labour Force Participation in India – a Meta Study

Female Work and Labour Force Participation in India – a Meta Study

Background

The Indian government has actively pursued labour market policies to increase the female Labour/Workforce participation rate (LWFPR) in India for several decades. The policy-based approach has evolved from educational scholarships, reservations/quotas, to self-employment through self-help groups, and more recently to capacity building through skill training programmes. Challenges in effective implementation coupled with deep-rooted social norms have constrained the impact of these policies on female LWFPR which continues to dwindle. There have been numerous research projects and writings in the academic and public domain analysing the various factors affecting female labour-force participation in India. However, there has been little by way of meta studies to take stock of these public programmes, data, and research across disciplines to motivate further policy development.

This study undertakes a meta-analysis by methodically and comprehensively scanning, documenting and analysing datasets and national policies as well as theoretical and empirical literature surrounding female workforce participation relevant to the national context. In total 13 national level databases, 58 research papers and 53 national level policies were reviewed, documented and analysed to derive policy implications.

Key Insights

1. Basic quantitative labour market indicators are well measured in existing datasets, but indicators related to the quality of the labour market such as terms of employment, job search methods and so on, are rarely documented. Metrics related to gender inclusion and workplace conditions such as access to transport, toilets, childcare and others are equally rare. Another important aspect missing from national databases are behavioural and perception-based data such as career aspirations and expectations from course/job.

2. There is an increasing trade-off between education and employment choices today. The trade-off is primarily driven by a lack of employment for the moderately educated and by non-alignment of job opportunities with the aspirations of women. This is coupled with weak secondary sector performance in job creation for women, and challenges in migration for work for women.

3. Across the landscape of empirical literature, the efficacy of the self-help group (SHG) movement and peer effects have been duly highlighted for their potential to further the cause of women empowerment. Productive asset transfer and ownership has also been documented to have a positive impact of women’s economic participation. Vocational training has been noticed to improve women’s non-cognitive abilities, agency and bargaining power.

4. Competing outcomes of the household and labour market have resulted in women forgoing their employment. Further, deep-rooted social norms, lack of agency and gendering of occupations often leads to women having little choice in their employment and work decisions including care and domestic work.

5. While several policies exist to enable financial support, training, placements and other quantifiable outcomes, few national polices focus on providing support services, such as lodging, safe and convenient travel, migration support and childcare, that enable women to access skilling programmes or be part of the workforce. Budgetary focus on such programmes is comparatively low.

6. Studies are favourable towards the potential of gender quotas and reservations while discussing the need to prevent tokenism and enable inclusion actively through policy design. Of the total policies analysed, 35 percent of the schemes seek to achieve inclusion by setting targets on the total beneficiary composition, 18 percent by ear-marking funds, and 29 percent by “encouraging” inclusiveness as a policy mandate, but without actively designing policy components to bring about change. While 56 percent of the policies analysed are exclusive to women, these policies do not dive further to identify more disadvantaged groups of women.

The full report can be accessed below.

Female Work and Labour Force Participation in India – a Meta Study

Would you like to partner with us to further the conversation around inclusive labour market indicators and policiest? Write in to solutions@sattva.co.in.

India’s Private Giving: Unpacking Domestic Philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility

India’s Private Giving: Unpacking Domestic Philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility

Background

Since private philanthropic funding is not regularly identified and no data is being collected by States or the federal government, there is an absence of data on domestic philanthropy in India.

In order to shed light on how private domestic organisations provide financing to development in India, to examine how these private resources are allocated, and to identify the issues and geographical areas that are being targeted, OECD Development Centre undertook ‘India’s Private Giving: Unpacking Domestic Philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility’, a study that identifies the scope and scale of domestic philanthropy in order to assess how to unleash the potential of further partnerships in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As survey partners, Sattva helped in designing and contextualising the study for the Indian philanthropic ecosystem and carried out secondary research, data collection, interviews and data validation for the report.

The study sampled 50 private organisations in India comprising of CSR, corporate and family foundations.

Key Findings

  • While the OECD invited 178 of the largest CSR and philanthropic organisations in India to be part of a survey to map India’s domestic giving sector, family foundations and corporate foundations were reluctant to share financial data, so domestic funding has been partially identified for only 50 large organisations by type of funder, target sector and the Indian States and Territories in which it is carried out.
  • Domestic philanthropic funding has at least matched international philanthropic funding in recent years, with close to USD 1.8 billion in domestic spending between 2013 and 2017.
  • An analysis based on comparable data covering domestic philanthropy, international philanthropy and ODA in India shows health and education as two main priority areas for philanthropy and CSR in India. There is scope for more coalitions and to explore how to achieve impact at scale when it comes to these areas.
  • Sattva-Research-OECDSector spending

  • Education, health and rural development attracted the largest funding. Other areas, like gender equality, receive very limited funding.
  • For water supply and basic sanitation, there are important overlaps in funding amongst ODA, international and domestic philanthropy, as well as CSR and public spending. This suggests potential for more large scale partnerships between ODA donors, private donors and the public sector.
  • Sattva-OECD_table

  • Domestic philanthropic giving is highly concentrated in the States of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Comparing funding from private giving with poverty rates reveals that domestic philanthropic giving in India focuses rather on populated areas than those with high poverty incidence.
  • Increasing domestic philanthropic flows pose a new challenge for the non-profit sector. Additional resources from mandatory CSR and larger voluntary donations from individuals and foundations are becoming available, so it is urgent to strengthen the ability of the non-profit sector to further absorb those resources and transform them into positive development outcomes.
  • The full report can be accessed below.

    India’s Private Giving: Unpacking Domestic Philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility- Full Report

    Event

    OECD launched ‘India’s Private Giving: Unpacking Domestic Philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility’, a study on the scope and scale of domestic philanthropy and CSR in New Delhi on 9th August.

    The event featured a presentation of the report followed by a panel discussion on the key findings. ‘Private financing for development in India: New ways to achieve Agenda 2030?’ examined the role of private philanthropy, Corporate Social Responsibility and corporate philanthropy in contributing to the economic and social development of the country.

    Would you like to partner with us to further the conversation around philanthropy and corporate social responsibility? Write in to knowledge@sattva.co.in.

    5 insights on the potential of e-commerce in growing women entrepreneurship

    5 insights on the potential of e-commerce in growing women entrepreneurship

    A lack of access, skills and business acumen often prevent women and women-owned enterprises from being able to participate in markets or scale their economic participation. The numbers reflect this—46% of women-owned enterprises in India classify their business as stagnant, and only 20% earn more than INR 5000 (~US$71) a month (compared to 73% of men-owned enterprises). Addressing this disparity is essential to improving economic empowerment outcomes for women, and stakeholders across sectors, be it government, private sector or civil society, have a vested interest in solving for the barriers to women entrepreneurship.

    Sattva_Insights_ecommerce women entrepreneurship

    A recent solution that has shown promise in improving the type of work and market opportunities available to women is the advent of e-commerce. Internationally, models such as Taobao (Alibaba) and Grab have shown results in linking women to livelihoods and markets, and in India, nascent platforms such as Amazon Saheli and GoCoop are looking to do the same. Aside from market linkages, these platforms often provide a basket of different enablers in order to allow these small entrepreneurs to participate in online value chains, such as access to digital finance, support with logistical services, and flexible work opportunities.

    The Potential: What can e-commerce bring to the table?

    E-commerce platforms have the potential to improve gender outcomes

    These platforms can potentially increase the revenue share available for women producers by eliminating middlemen and reducing barriers to entry. They can use the data generated on consumer preferences to enable better production choices as well as help women achieve visibility and discoverability for their businesses. For example, the Saheli storefront on the Amazon India website directs traffic to products from their partner women-owned enterprises to provide greater visibility. Finally, they can make the process of procurement and purchasing gender blind, thus addressing any normative barriers associated with women participating in traditional value chains.

    However, digital platforms are not a silver bullet solution

    They may provide market linkages and end to end support, but they cannot guarantee demand for products, or insulate enterprises from global competition. They are also often not able to directly provide credit, inputs or physical infrastructure, but multiple models provide tie-ups and support addressing these issues.

    While competition is a major concern, models based around service provision are better suited to mainstreaming through digital platforms

    E-commerce platforms can create market linkages for niche products (such as handicrafts), but small enterprises producing in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market with mainstream players will often have issues competing on price, quality etc. On the other hand, enterprises based on service provision are more insulated from global competition as service provision is limited to local geographies, while manufacturing products can be easily replicated in other markets where production and prices may be cheaper, crowding smaller players out.

    Is the ecosystem ready?

    There is a need for money, skills for business, quality and timely production and quality production services to drive efficiency of enterprises and enable them to compete on a global scale

    There is a need for handholding, additional services and solutions such as clustered service centers, common branding across enterprises to create product awareness, and business consulting services to aid first time entrepreneurs survive in mainstream markets. Experiences from companies like Rangsutra and Industree show that in order to achieve the quality and compliance expected on such platforms, technical capacity building and support is often needed, along with some level of guaranteed and predictable revenue for these risk-averse entrepreneurs. Other necessary pre-requisites to work with women entrepreneurs include buy-in from the men in a household, and of course, basic internet access.

    The viability and scalability of e-commerce as a route to women’s economic empowerment needs to be further explored by stakeholders across sectors

    While the potential exists, and some stakeholders are exploring this as a solution; it is important for further research and discussion to explore which types of digital solutions are most relevant in addressing the barriers plaguing women and women-owned enterprises, how feasible these models are, and their potential for scale in different contexts.

    Finally, it is important to keep in mind that while these solutions could solve for barriers faced by enterprises, these entrepreneurs may not have the access or ability to engage with digital solutions. Solving for this will require a tri-sector approach, and stakeholders from civil society, government and the private sector must come together at platforms like AVPN and identify a way forward both in terms of potential and for readying the ecosystem to take up these solutions at scale.

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    REFERENCES:
    [1] Data from the 73rd NSS and 6th EC in India.
    [2] Taobao is a Chinese online shopping website, owned by Alibaba.
    [3] Grab is a transportation, food delivery and online payment provider founded in Malaysia.
    [4] The Saheli store is a dedicated storefront on Amazon India to display women entrepreneurs’ products and facilitate sales.
    [5] GoCoop.com is an online marketplace that enables handloom and handicraft co-operatives and artisans in connecting directly with buyers (both consumers and other businesses).
    [6] Rangsutra is a craft company in India that produces a variety of textile handicrafts, collectively owned by over 2000 artisans.
    [7] Industree works to create ownership based, organised manufacturing ecosystem for artisans and micro-entrepreneurs, and runs 2 producer-owned enterprises that employ over 1400 women.
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    This article was originally published by AVPN and can be accessed here.

    You can find more Insights from Sattva here.

    To talk to us for collaborations or partnerships, you can write to us: impact@sattva.co.in