AWARE: Contributing to an enabling environment for women-led enterprises
Financial freedom is one way for women to stand up for themselves. All Women’s Association of Rising Entrepreneurs (AWARE) is a social enterprise founded to equip women entrepreneurs with critical business skills, customised support through mentorship, access to market opportunities and linkages to financial institutions.
AWARE is a community of solidarity for women entrepreneurs in Rajasthan, comprising over 100 female entrepreneurs that have been trained and mentored by Start Up Oasis in Jaipur. The enterprise also works in partnership with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH to implement the project ‘Economic Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs and Start-ups by Women’ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), to support aspiring and existing women entrepreneurs in India.
The project aims to contribute to a more enabling environment for women-led enterprises in select verticals like Healthtech, Fintech, Edutech, Agritech, Craft &Textiles, Jewellery and certain novel products and designs.
AWARE connects women entrepreneurs with professionals for potential collaborations. By building peer networks, these entrepreneurs strengthen their self-image as business owners. Its Community Representative, Meeta Mathur, explains how the visibility they provide is key for its beneficiaries: “We provide maximum visibility to our members through our marketing and media channels.”
Circular Economy Catalyst Replicator workshops in Jaipur
AWARE professionals joined the Circular Economy Catalyst Replicator workshops in Jaipur, implemented by Karon Shaiva and Thryza Dow from Idobro Impact Solutions. Meeta Mathur shares how their expectations were, in part, to see how the SDGs can be applied while also being profitable. Another key reason for them to join the trainings was to understand the different areas where innovation can take place to create value for all stakeholders.
As Meeta Mathur underlines, their main take-away from the workshops has been how the lean model can be replicated in the local context using local artisans thus providing employability and using locally available raw material.
Three highlights from the support received
“Our trainers were extremely patient and provided valuable insights owing to their experience of working in circular economy.”
“The workbook makes the entire exercise actionable and assigned to memory. It was incredibly well researched.”
“The group exercises that were assigned after every module also enabled the participants to brainstorm and come up with best solutions and presentations.”
To increase the impact AWARE has on female entrepreneurship in India, they plan to conduct outreach programmes and exhibitions biannually in Jaipur and other towns of Rajasthan, like Jodhpur, Kota, Udaipur. Five years from now, Meeta Mathur envisions AWARE being able to provide a learning and development platform to more deserving women to push the glass barrier.
Visit AWARE's website to learn more about the enterprise.
About Meeta Mathur, Director at TAANYAKRAFTS EXPORTS, Founder & Chief Coach at BIG LADDER, and Community Representative at AWARE – All Women’s Association of Rising Entrepreneurs:
“I see myself as a leader, enabler and a representative of women’s rights. I work for advocacy for policies and regulations made for women. I coach women to stand up for their rights and be assertive and vocal about their views and opinions. Financial freedom is one of the ways that we women can stand up for ourselves. Therefore I, work for education and enterprise for women.”