- “Womaniya” initiative seeks to encourage the participation of women entrepreneurs and SHG on GeM
New Delhi. ; A function was held to commemorate the success of “Womaniya on Government eMarketplace (GeM)” today at Constitution Club in New Delhi. Smt. Savitri Singh, Deputy Chief Executive, NCUI was the Chief Guest, and was accompanied by Guests of Honor Dr. R.K. Singh, Chief General Manager, Small Industries Development Bank of India, and Dr. Ishita Ganguli Tripathi, Additional Development Commissioner, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Government of India.
The event was held by GeM in partnership with Self-Employed Women’s Association, Bharat (SEWA Bharat) and attended by women entrepreneurs and participants from stakeholder organizations and associations. Highlights of the event included presentations on financial literacy by Smt. Piya Bahadur, Co-founder & CEO, MeraBills, presentation by Smt. Sanchita Mitra, National Coordinator, SEWA Bharat on the new opportunities created for women entrepreneurs within the informal economy through digital inclusion, short film on GeM seller testimonials, “Voices from the Ground” by SEWA Bharat and informal discussion by policy experts on “Womaniya in public procurement”.
Launched in 2019, the “Womaniya” initiative has sought to encourage the participation of women entrepreneurs and self-help groups (SHG) from the informal sector on the GeM portal and facilitate the sale of their products directly to various Government buyers, sans intermediaries. Generic product categories were created for listing of handicrafts and handloom, accessories, jute and coir products, bamboo products, organic foods, spices, home décor and office furnishings to facilitate ease-in
product catalogue listing and procurement from women entrepreneurs.
Presently, 1.44 lakh+ Udyam-verified women micro, small enterprises (MSE) known as “Womaniya” are registered as sellers and service-providers on the GeM portal and have fulfilled 14.76 lakh+ orders worth INR 21,265 Crore in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV). The ratio of the order value is 74 percent (%) in products to 26 percent (%) in Service categories. Top five (5) product categories in which women have registered their presence include Desktop Computers, Smart Phone-IS:13252, Special Purpose Telephones (Smart Phone For ICDS), Smart Phone and Hopper Tipper Dumper, and top five (5) service categories include Manpower Outsourcing Services – Minimum Wage, Custom Bid for Services, Human Resource Outsourcing Service, Monthly Basis Cab & Taxi Hiring Services, and Manpower Outsourcing Services – Fixed Remuneration.
Speaking at the event, the Chief Guest Smt. Savitri Singh, Deputy Chief Executive, NCUI emphasized the contribution of women as entrepreneurs in the society and shared the initiatives of NCUI Cooperative Education Field Projects tailored towards the socio-economic growth of women through advocacy, outreach, mobilization and capacity-building of women from SHGs to Cooperative Societies in North East and underdeveloped areas of India. Guests of Honour Dr. R.K. Singh, and Dr. Ishita Ganguli Tripathi, also addressed the audience and briefed the attendees about the various Government schemes available through SIDBI and the Ministry of MSME for the benefit of women entrepreneurs.
ACEO & CFO, Shri YK Pathak, highlighted social inclusion as the core value at GeM and complimented all women entrepreneurs on the stellar success of the “Womaniya” initiative with Government buyers. He thanked members of the business community, emerging and aspiring entrepreneurs, especially; women, tribal and SC/ ST MSEs, SHGs, artisans and weavers, and Startups, among others for their unbound enthusiasm and participation on the GeM portal.
The objective of “Womaniya” is to develop women entrepreneurship on the margins of society who face challenges in accessing public procurement markets, and work towards achieving gender inclusive economic growth of under-served seller groups such as such as women-owned and led MSEs, tribal entrepreneurs, Divyangjan, Startups, SHGs, artisan and weavers. “Womaniya” neatly aligns with the Government’s initiative to set aside a target of three (3) percent (%) in public procurement for women-owned and led MSEs.
GeM has taken a series of steps to develop and roll-out new business processes and functionalities for the promotion of “Womaniya” on GeM. Notable steps include; the development of dedicated product categories for the seamless listing of handicraft, handloom, khadi, and innovative products, creation of GeM Outlet Stores to promote products from the under-served seller groups, marketplace filters to distinguish products made by “Womaniya” and SC/ ST entrepreneurs and market icons to help Government buyers identify products made exclusively by “Womaniya”, launch of a new service vertical “Stitching and Tailoring Services” on the portal to provide women seamstresses in urban and rural areas with excellent hyper-local “access to markets” opportunities for delivering office décor/ accessories to Government offices and dress uniforms for ASHA/ Anganwadi workers, schools, hospitals, state police and para-military forces, central/ state public sector enterprises and others, sans intermediaries.
GeM has inked memorandums of understanding (MoU) with Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) to train, assist and enable women-led micro and small enterprises, women entrepreneurs and SHGs in public procurement, and with Usha Silai School to train and upskill women seamstresses as service-providers in public procurement. Last-mile stakeholders such as Local Bodies, Cooperative Societies, Panchayati Raj institutions, among others and stakeholders’ such as corporates, private companies, colleges, scientific and technical research institutions, and universities, among others in public procurement will benefit from the growth and the success of the “Womaniya” initiative.
The “Womaniya” initiative seeks to address the triple challenge of “access to markets”, “access to finance” and “access to value-addition” faced by women entrepreneurs and strives to align the untapped entrepreneurial energy of last-mile producers and service-providers in India with local Government buyers. This will spur hyper-local procurement thereby integrating local value-chains through “Vocal for Local” and “Make in India” initiatives of the Government, thereby furthering the aim of ensuring a self-reliant “Atmanirbhar Bharat”.