How women from rural India are becoming entrepreneurs, with a little help from Saheli
From helping women learning to make incense sticks, to teaching them basic computer skills to helping them learn how to stitch - I Village has gone above and beyond to help women from villages empower themselves with the unique skills they have, fine tune them to such an extent that they can actually earn from it. The various products that I Village showcases are all manufactured in villages of Bulandshaher, Uttar Pradesh, skillfully crafted using traditional techniques, skills and hand-based processes. And the people behind these amazing crafts are all women!
Saheli and I Village
Today, all these amazing products find themselves available online, thanks to the association of I Village with Amazon India. Roopa, who handles online sales for I Village, recalls how this association came about. “I came across a video that spoke on Amazon Saheli. We soon applied for a spot and soon the team at Amazon reached out to us and within a month we had started our online sales. Right from helping capture quality images and to cataloguing they helped us set up our online store,” Roopa explains, adding, “Amazon Saheli helped us reach out to areas which otherwise were only a distant dream. They made our goals much easier and faster to reach. We couldn’t ask for more from them.”
Roopa loves that the global giant has a platform that supports women-driven businesses. The platform has surely increased the visibility of I Village in the market and has helped them procure large orders. She recalls one particular order that required 500 handcrafted units. The women at I Village worked hard to complete the order within a week and earned 1.5 lakh rupees by doing so. This amount for them was huge! Roopa also mentioned the support team at Amazon Saheli is highly responsive! She can call them at any time to get help and they get things fixed in a jiffy. This is of great help to their online presence. The social enterprise is doing so well that their products are being featured on the buy box. This means that their products are gaining popularity and customers can easily purchase them at the click of a button.
I Village vision
The vision of I Village, which Arya Singh, the founder is “To establish and grow a social enterprise for women empowerment in India that offers high-quality products and services and contributes to the general upliftment of society, specifically by generating employment for rural women and empowering them through social and financial independence.” And coming on to Amazon Saheli is helping fulfill that vision in many ways. Through the training modules that they provide, I Village continues to do a great deal in educating the masses on the benefits of empowering women and encouraging them to earn a living. Their efforts have helped many women become first-time bread earners and provide for their families.
Made by women
I Village has products of contemporary use in soft furnishing, home decor, clothing and gifting, fused with a classic Indian vocabulary. Its essence is rooted in Indian designs, motifs and colors, inspired by our rich culture and heritage. They even makes fabric jewelry from scrap material. This means that they're making use of every bit of resource! Little bits of fabric that would otherwise be thrown away and wasted, are used to make beads, bows and other parts of accessories.