Several studies show that training women micro entrepreneurs especially in skill development helps in moving them away from employment as unskilled agricultural labour and labour intensive, high drudgery work. It is therefore important that women be introduced to skills that go beyond the existing gender norms. These would not only change mindsets about women’s competence and abilities but also open up several new livelihood choices. It would demonstrate that women can contribute to local and national economy and earn status and self respect in homes and in the society.
Available data also shows that most women tend to develop businesses in food processing activities and in tailoring because of lack of exposure and skill to other income generating options. However as this space is getting increasingly crowded, there is need to diversify livelihood opportunities for women.
Aligning with these facts and findings, TIDE has created a niche for itself by training women in innovative, technology based livelihood options. Broadly, we have focused on inducting women into production based enterprises and marketing based enterprises:
Women entrepreneurs in production
Through its WTP TIDE offers training programs in
a) Solar cum biomass drying – visit http://tidemanini.com/ for more details
b) Eco friendly products from Areca leaf sheaths
c) Value added products from millets
d) Sarala stove construction
e) Vermi composting
It is notable that women led drying enterprises (trained by TIDE) are already functional and successful in Kerala (fish) and Karnataka (vegetable). At our WTP, infrastructure is provided for training as well as for initial production and stabilization till the women are ready to move out. About 5 areca leaf sheath enterprises have already been spun off from WTP and about 10 women are involved in value added products from RAGI.
TIDE has been successful in inducting women into marketing activities also, particularly in rural marketing. Some of our successful ventures are:
- Women marketing energy efficiency lighting for households
- Women solar entrepreneurs
- Women in low carbon technology adoption
In July 2016, five of our women entrepreneurs have opened a shop called ECO STORE at KB Cross, Gubbi-Shimoga Highway, Tiptur taluk, Tumkur district to market eco friendly products including solar products, areca products, ragi products, etc
TIDE has also worked more than 100 SHG’s all over Karnataka for TIDE sarala cook stoves program and about 25 SHGs for Dissemination of low carbon Technology products in Tumkur district and Ramanagarm district of Karnataka states. Around Aralaguppe, we have reached out to more than 50 SHG trained women to involve in our Women’s Technology Park (WTP) activities