GeM and SEWA sign Memorandum of Understanding to enable engagement of women last mile entrepreneurs

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New Delhi: GeM and SEWA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for advocacy, sensitization, mobilization and capacity building of women-led last mile micro and small enterprises, women entrepreneurs, SHGs, associations, cooperatives, collectives, Section 8 non-profits and various voluntary organizations as vendors and service providers in public procurement.
GeM will train members of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) to assist and enable women-led micro and small enterprises, women entrepreneurs and SHGs, among others, to apply GeM processes related to registration and the onboarding of sellers on the platform, the uploading/updating of product/service catalogs, the acceptance of orders, the participation in offers launched by government buyers, the fulfillment of orders and the generation invoices to receive payments directly to their bank accounts through the unified national e-procurement platform.

A vernacular-based training program in print and digital media for women entrepreneurs and SHGs, based on the needs of participants, will be developed by GeM in consultation with SEWA. The training sessions will be conducted through in-person and virtual training modes for SEWA members at district and block level, who will train women entrepreneurs and last mile SHGs with the various buyer and seller on the GeM portal.

GeM sought to address the twin challenges of “access to markets” through the GeM Factory Outlets and “access to finance” through the GeM Sahay app for these underserved seller groups.

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Marketplace filters and icons on the Women MSE Entrepreneurs product display page have been enabled on the portal to help government buyers meet the 3% women-led MSE sourcing target as part of the public procurement policy for MSEs. [PPP-MSE] for the promotion of micro and small enterprises run by women. In addition, GeM has created more than 200 categories of handicrafts, handlooms and office accessories, as well as eight dedicated outlet stores to showcase and promote products made by women entrepreneurs in the informal sector. .

The creation of tailoring and dressmaking, canteen and catering, and housekeeping service categories tailored to generate employment and business opportunities for women in urban and rural areas is also available on the portal.

The MoU will align the untapped entrepreneurial energy of rural India’s last mile producers and service providers with local government buyers.

GeM is a Section 8 company established under the administrative control of the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Trade and Industry, for the procurement of goods and services by Central Ministries, State Departments, EPEs and autonomous bodies.

SEWA is the first women’s organization in India that aligns women’s organizations with government agendas, facilitating business linkages for informal women workers to develop their livelihoods and strengthening the collective bargaining power of women workers by providing them with new opportunities subsistence, among various other objectives.

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