Delhi: Learning Links Foundation organised a conclave in Delhi to celebrate the success and showcase achievements of SASHAKTI – a programme powered by Mastercard. Aimed to equip women entrepreneurs from low-income backgrounds with knowledge and skills required to build and run their businesses efficiently, SASHAKTI has empowered 38,000 women entrepreneurs across seven States – Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Telangana in the last year.
The Conclave was attended by Hon. Shri Narayan Rane, Minister of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Government of India, as the Chief Guest and the keynote speaker. During the event, Shri Rane launched the SASHAKTI mobile application, a technology-based solution for fueling the growth of women entrepreneurs with features like social networking, best practices sharing, skill development, repository of content and inspiring success stories of women entrepreneurs.
Shri Rane along with other dignitaries distributed a grant of INR 5,000 each to 760 women enrolled under the program from across the seven States where the programme is currently operational.
In line with Mastercard’s vision to drive inclusive growth for a digitally empowered India, SASHAKTI is working towards empowering budding women entrepreneurs across India to become financially and digitally literate by leveraging unique digital offerings and training support.
Under the SASHAKTI programme, women are provided technical training around legal and compliance matters involved in starting or expanding a business. Additionally, women were made aware about the government schemes designed and available for micro entrepreneurs. The program focuses on enhancing the digital expertise of women entrepreneurs, so they can reach a larger consumer base and join collectives such as self-help groups and cooperatives to leverage better bargaining power.
“The SASHAKTI will accelerate the growth of female entrepreneurs in India. The Government of India fully supports this collaborative project by Learning Links Foundation and Mastercard as it is aimed at furthering financial inclusion and entrepreneurship,” said Hon. Shri Narayan Rane, Minister of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise, Government of India.
On the occasion, Dr. Anjlee Prakash, Chairperson, Learning Links Foundation said, “The Learning Links Foundation recognises the importance of entrepreneurship in ensuring financial independence of women and development of the national economy. In India, only 13.5 percent of businesses are owned by women. Initiatives like SASHAKTI are needed to give them the comprehensive support they need to become long-term actors in the world of entrepreneurship.”
She further added, “We are grateful to Mastercard for coming forward to not only support this initiative but also help in conceptualising this model which today is delivering impact at scale.”
Mastercard focuses on connecting small businesses in the country to networks that helps them succeed and thrive in the digital economy. The company is committed to supporting Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs), women entrepreneurs and farmers across the country through in-person skill-building and interventions that enable market access via digitisation and adoption of digital financial services.