Jammu-  Jammu and Kashmir rural livelihoods mission (Umeed) and e-commerce firm Meesho have signed an agreement to support the growth of 1,800 self-help group (SHG) members by providing them an online platform to launch and grow their business and empower rural women entrepreneurs.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed and exchanged in the presence of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha here at Raj Bhavan on Thursday.

Congratulating women entrepreneurs of self-help groups (SHGs) and Meesho officials, the Lt Governor said the partnership will help in building lives and livelihoods for rural communities and provide greater access to economic activities, and financial independence to rural women entrepreneurs.

The partnership of rural livelihoods mission and e-commerce giant Meesho is a significant step in making niche products of Jammu and Kashmir available to the wider customer base, providing SHGs global market to grow their business, and making them Aatmanirbhar, he observed.

From shawls and carpets to Phool Kari, Jammu & Kashmir’s arts and crafts have earned global recognition for their uniqueness, officials said.

Going online with Meesho will allow these women to sell such products to all corners of India and benefit from higher visibility and additional income, they added.

Digital inclusion will help them become self-employed entrepreneurs and fulfil their aspirations of achieving financial independence.

JKRLM Umeed and Meesho have already identified products created by these SHGs that can be sold on the online platform, such as Chabhari and Bina grass items, papier-mache, essential oils, woollens and crewel embroidered products, made across J&K, they said.

JKRLM Umeed on its part will provide all necessary support to boost the digitisation of these women entrepreneurs through access to the internet and financial services.

The Lt Governor said the partnership will also provide an opportunity for both JKRLM and Meesho to scale up rural enterprises from grass root to large scale and bring change in rural women’s lives.

“For the last two years, we have been working towards re-imagining the rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir and providing a strong market linkage and e-commerce platforms to exploit the potential of artisans.

“About 5.5 lakh women are associated with more than 64,000 SHGs and almost every panchayat has two women entrepreneurs today,” Sinha said.

Meesho co-founder and CTO Sanjeev Barnwal said, “We are privileged to work with Umeed-JKRLM and the J&K Government to further our mission of democratising e-commerce. Women entrepreneurs are a key growth engine of India’s economy and Meesho has empowered lakhs of them to succeed in the online world”.


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