The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) have joined forces in a collaborative partnership aimed at empowering women and enabling them to make informed career choices in the field of entrepreneurship. This partnership will provide crucial support to women who aspire to start or expand their own enterprises in various sectors, fostering entrepreneurship development and accelerating enterprise growth.
Supporting Women Entrepreneurs in Key Sectors:
The UNDP and DAY-NULM partnership will particularly focus on empowering women in sectors such as the care economy, digital economy, electric mobility, waste management, food packaging, and more. Recognizing the potential of these sectors in driving economic growth and sustainable development, the project will span over three years, with the possibility of extension beyond 2025. Initially, the project will cover eight cities, leveraging UNDP’s experience in connecting over 200,000 women with better employment opportunities.
National-Level Capacity Building:
One of the core aspects of the partnership will be the provision of national-level capacity building support by UNDP to DAY-NULM. This support will involve knowledge generation and management, including the compilation of compendiums of best practices related to urban poverty. These resources will enhance the implementation of national-level schemes, ensuring that women entrepreneurs have access to valuable information and tools to succeed in their ventures.
Piloting Innovative Solutions:
UNDP and DAY-NULM will collaborate on piloting innovative solutions, particularly in the care economy domain. Drawing on their extensive sectoral expertise, both organizations will work together to develop and test new approaches and strategies that address the unique challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in these sectors. By fostering innovation, the partnership aims to create an enabling environment for women to thrive and succeed in their entrepreneurial pursuits.
On-Ground Mobilization and Business Development Support:
The partnership will involve on-ground mobilization activities, including identifying areas of urban poverty and potential entrepreneurs. UNDP and DAY-NULM will facilitate access to Business Development Services, providing handholding support to help women formalize their businesses, establish bank linkages, secure access to finance and markets. These comprehensive support services will play a vital role in empowering women entrepreneurs and ensuring the sustainability and growth of their enterprises.
As part of the initiative, UNDP will contribute by developing community business mentors called Biz-Sakhis in selected project locations. These mentors, who possess valuable business knowledge, will serve as a resource for DAY-NULM and provide support to new and existing enterprises. The Biz-Sakhis will play a pivotal role in mentoring women entrepreneurs, sharing their expertise, and guiding them through the various stages of business development.
DAY-NULM’s Commitment to Empowering the Urban Poor:
The Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) aims to uplift the urban poor by enhancing sustainable livelihood opportunities through skill development. The mission’s coverage extends to all 4,041 statutory cities and towns in India, encompassing a significant portion of the urban population. Through its grassroots initiatives and extensive outreach efforts, DAY-NULM has mobilized over 8.4 million urban poor women across India, forming more than 831,000 Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in over 4,000 towns. By empowering marginalized sections of the urban population, including SCs/STs, minorities, female-headed households, street vendors, and rag pickers, DAY-NULM contributes to economic empowerment and amplifies their voices.