In India, women in general and poor women, in particular, are relatively powerless with no control over resources and little share in the decision-making process. Self-Help Groups (SHGs) came into existence to challenge the position of existing relations, gaining the greater benefit of development and to contribute towards the socio-economic growth of women in particular.
Empowering women through skill training and handhold in building sustainable entrepreneurship will ensure regular and sustainable income. Most of the humble residential colonies in Mumbai have economically challenged families’ due to low income. In most cases, men are the only bread earners in the family and women are homemakers or engaged in petty jobs.
Almost two-thirds of India’s population does not have access to proper financial services one of reason why women’s self-help movement emerged, as an important strategy to facilitate financial inclusion and generate social capital. Women SHGs are also the tools to address larger issues like health, hygiene, education, cleanliness, poverty eradication, social inclusion and empowerment.
EDREST works with the SHG women to build their entrepreneurship to ensure sustainable financial and non-financial development. In entrepreneurship development, we handhold in conducting team building, skill assessment, skill training, feasible venue identification, licenses for operating, installation of required machinery, product development, pricing, establish the supply chain, quality management, marketing, administration and handhold to handover and signoff. In fact, we believe the ownership transfer begins right from the day the idea starts, and we work accordingly. We work from idea to impact community-entrepreneurship-development service.
Vijima Baker’s is a Bakery Enterprise of three Self Help Groups comprising 30 members of Mahul Village. It is Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, Mumbai Refinery CSR initiative project conceptualized and executed by EDREST (Entrepreneurship Development and Resources Support Trust). These women are being trained to bake Cookies, Muffins, Tea Cakes and other bakery products which are of most favorable quality and taste. The core purpose of developing an entrepreneurship model in the community was to ensure regular steady income to the 30 women and many more to join as the Business and the Brand gets established.
BPCL wanted a CSR initiative for Mahul SHG women; they approached EDREST for ideation and execution. EDREST conceptualized the bakery project through workshops with the SHG members and then proposed BPCL on the project viability. EDREST engages with women to make them economically independent and self-reliant business women.
These women are trained on entire bakery set-up and each one has gone through the process with EDREST as one team to establish Vijima Bakery enterprise. The Women SHG Enterprise has received required license to operate in a rented venue. EDREST proposal is to make this SHG Group Enterprise sustainable in a span of one year. The business turnover of Vijima will take over the entire cost of Vijima’s operations, profitability and market expansion in a span of six month to one year maximum.
The enterprise has been formally inaugurated on 7th December, 2017 by Mr. CJ Iyer, Executive Director of BPCL Mumbai Refinery; Mrs Sujata Chogle, Executive Director HR, Senior Management Team of BPCL was present along with Local Community Representatives and Community Members of Mahul, Village.