The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) is taking significant strides to empower women in entrepreneurship through its ‘Skill Upgradation & Mahila Coir Yojana’, under Coir Vikas Yojana. This is an exclusive training program which is aimed at enhancing the skills of women artisans in the Coir industry. The Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma gave this information in a written reply to the Lok Sabha on August 10, 2023.
The program focuses on providing a comprehensive two-month training in coir spinning. During this period, all the candidates receive a monthly stipend.
Moreover, the Ministry also drives the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP). It is a major credit-linked subsidy initiative designed to create self-employment opportunities by establishing micro-enterprises in the non-farm sector. This program helps traditional artisans, unemployed youth in both urban and rural areas. Higher subsidy is given to beneficiaries belonging to special categories such as Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, OBC, minorities, women, ex-servicemen, physically handicapped individuals, and NER, Hill and Border areas, etc.
The trained artisans who have undergone the “Skill Upgradation & Mahila Coir Yojana” are encouraged to leverage the PMEGP scheme to establish coir units.
The government is further bolstering its commitment to empowering women-owned micro and small enterprises through policy amendments. All Central Ministries/ Departments and Public Sector Undertakings are now mandated through an amendment to procure a minimum of 3% of their annual procurement from such enterprises. This will enhance their visibility and contribution to the economy.
Apart from these initiatives, the Ministry also implements several other schemes for promotion and development of MSMEs, including women owned MSMEs, namely, Micro and Small Enterprises Cluster Development Programme (MSE-CDP), Tool Rooms & Technology Centres, Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI), Procurement and Marketing Support Scheme, Entrepreneurship and Skill Development Programme (ESDP).
This approach aims at empowering women artisans/entrepreneurs, fostering economic growth and creating a more inclusive and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.