GIZ’s Her&Now Project Partners With Mann Deshi Foundation To Support Maharashtra’s Women Entrepreneurs


New Delhi: In its silver jubilee year now, the Mann Deshi Foundation has been working for the empowerment of women in rural as well as urban areas. The Foundation works towards making women entrepreneurs financially literate and provides them business training in order to help them start their own businesses. The Foundation’s new partnership with GIZ aims to help women entrepreneurs grow their businesses. The initiative is called “Her&Now (Empowering Women Entrepreneurs)”, with multiple support programmes already running in other parts of the country. GIZ is a Germany headquartered development aid agency that is implementing the Her&Now project in India, on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and in partnership with the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Government of India.

The programme was launched through an online zoom meeting and graced by the presence of esteemed guests from GIZ and the Founder of Mann Deshi Foundation, Chetna Sinha.

Under this initiative, women entrepreneurs will be assisted to monitor their business growth needs. Along with Mann Deshi, business leaders who have graduated from the Foundation’s Business School and the Chamber of Commerce will also be guiding the collaboration. Sharing further information about this initiative, Chetna Sinha, Founder President of Mann Deshi Foundation, said, “The Mann Deshi Foundation works for grassroots women at the local level, while the GIZ works at the international level. With the support of the Indian Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, it is like a confluence of three rivers and I am sure that this Triveni Sangam will create history in the field of women entrepreneurship in the country.” Through this programme, Mann Deshi will help 100 women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. The women run varied businesses that range between food products manufacturing, providing services such as clothing store, blacksmith, cold-pressed oil, catering, ladies shop, leather belt making, bag making, poultry farm, phenyl handwash making, and so on. The women will be assisted in terms of identifying and retaining customers. The women entrepreneurs will also be guided to prepare legal documents such as GST, personal loans, guidance on increasing sales, increasing use of digital media for business advertising, digital finance tools, manpower building and planning, revenue growth, market growth, etc, said Chetna Sinha.

Adding to this, Ullas Marar, Head of Project Her&Now, GIZ, said “The Her&Now project has been committed to creating an enabling infrastructure for women entrepreneurs of our country to thrive. Our partnership with Mann Deshi Foundation is going to empower the women in Maharashtra and we are excited for the programmes to begin.”

Giving additional information, Vanita Shinde, Chief Administrative Officer, Mann Deshi Foundation, said that “Women entrepreneurs from Chiplun, Pune, and Satara in Maharashtra will benefit from this program. Mann Deshi has received support from institutions such as Facebook, WhatsApp, FICCI, Srishti Institute of Arts and Design, Invest India, Peabody Soft MeraBills, and financial institutions like State Bank of India, Mann Deshi Mahila Bank. Through this collaboration, entrepreneurs will be trained to use digital tools like WhatsApp for Business, Facebook, MeraBills to make it easier for them to advertise their business and keep track of their financial transactions. Business workshops for women will be organised through FICCI, Invest India and there will be support for making modules from Srishti Institute. Overall, we want to equip the women to run and scale their businesses in a holistic manner, and the launch is only just the start.”