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UNDP and DAY-NULM for Women Entrepreneurs

  • 23 Jun 2023
  • 6 min read

For Prelims: United Nations Development Programme, DAY-NULM, Biz-Sakhis, Care economy

For Mains: Women Entrepreneurs in India, Challenges Faced by Female Entrepreneurs in India, Facilitating Women Entrepreneurship in India

Why in News?

Recently, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) have joined hands to empower women entrepreneurs in India.

What are the Key Highlights of the Partnership?

  • Aim:
    • The partnership aims to provide support for women looking to start or expand their own enterprises in various sectors, such as care economy, digital economy, electric mobility, waste management, food packaging and more.
    • To enhance the implementation of national-level schemes for urban poverty alleviation and livelihood promotion by providing capacity building support to DAY-NULM.
    • To pilot innovative solutions, particularly in the care economy domain, to address the challenges and opportunities faced by women entrepreneurs.
  • Coverage and Time Span:
    • The project will cover eight cities in the initial phase and will span over three years, with the possibility of extension beyond 2025.
  • Role of UNDP:
    • UNDP will offer national-level capacity building support to DAY-NULM, focusing on knowledge generation and management, such as compiling compendiums of best practices related to urban poverty.
    • UNDP and DAY-NULM will jointly engage in on-ground mobilization activities that involve identifying pockets of urban poverty and potential entrepreneurs, as well as facilitating access to business development services.
    • UNDP will also contribute to the initiative by developing community business mentors called Biz-Sakhis in selected project locations.
      • These mentors can support new and existing enterprises and serve as a resource for DAY-NULM at a later stage.
  • Importance:
    • Women entrepreneurship is a proven strategy for poverty alleviation, financial independence, and reshaping gender norms.
      • Today, women account for only 15% of the total entrepreneurs in India. By increasing this number, the partnership not only empowers women, but also accelerates economic growth and ensures a happy and healthy society.
    • The partnership leverages UNDP’s experience in linking over 200,000 women with better employment opportunities, and DAY-NULM’s mandate of uplifting urban communities through sustainable livelihood opportunities.

What is Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission?

  • The mission was launched in 2014 and is being implemented by the Urban Ministry of Housing & Poverty Alleviation.
  • It aims to uplift urban poor by enhancing sustainable livelihood opportunities through skill development.
  • It is Centrally Sponsored Scheme. Funding will be shared between the Centre and the States in the ratio of 75:25. For North eastern and Special Category – the ratio will be 90:10.
  • DAY-NULM has mobilized more than 8.4 million urban poor women across India, forming over 8,31,000 Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in over 4,000 towns till 2023.

What Challenges do Women Entrepreneurs Face?

  • Lack of female mentors and role models.
  • Difficulty in maximizing the value of business networks traditionally dominated by men.
  • Gender stereotypes and biases regarding logical and empathetic capabilities.
  • Societal barriers imposed by patriarchal constructs and familial constraints.
  • Challenges in raising finance and lack of creditworthiness.
  • Limited avenues for financial management and reliance on others.

What are the Initiatives Related to Women Entrepreneurship in India?

  • The Government of India and many state governments are running schemes to improve financial inclusivity for women. Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana is one such high-potential scheme for women because it offers collateral free loans.
  • The Dena Shakti Scheme provides loans up to ₹20 lakh for women entrepreneurs in agriculture, manufacturing, micro-credit, retail stores, or small enterprises.
    • The scheme also provides a concession of 0.25% on the rate of interest.
  • The Government of India also launched the Stand Up India Scheme to leverage the institutional credit structure to reach out to the underserved sector of people such as SCs, STs and Women Entrepreneurs.
  • Stree Shakti Yojana and Orient Mahila Vikas Yojana support women who have majority of ownership in the business.
  • Women who want to enroll themselves in catering business can attain loan via the Annapurna Yojana.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q.1 “Empowering women is the key to control population growth”. Discuss. (2019)

Q.2 Discuss the positive and negative effects of globalization on women in India? (2015)

Q.3 Male membership needs to be encouraged in order to make women’s organization free from gender bias. Comment. (2013)

Source: PIB

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