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Mission Kudumbashree – Livelihood Opportunities for Women Empowerment*

CASE STUDY, ENTREPRENEURSHIP & STARTUPS
ET Cases - GSMC, 26 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Vijaya Bandyopadhyaya - Professor, Chandragupt Institute of Management Patna

Case Preview

Mission Kudumbashree – Livelihood Opportunities for Women Empowerment

 

In the couple of spare hours he had in the flight while returning back to Thiruvananthapuram from Kolkata on May 10th 2016, Mr. A. Shahjahan, Executive Director,  Kudumbashree, was thinking about ways to address the challenges faced by thousands of poor women and their families whose conditions his organization pledges to uplift.

The Kerala State Poverty Eradication Mission, better known as Kudumbashree, aims to eradicate poverty by empowering poor women socially, economically and politically so that their empowerment translates to prosperity of their families. Social empowerment happens when women, once confined to the limited circle of their  household, is enabled to be actively involved in issues affecting their family and society at large. Economic empowerment happens when women have opportunities  to work for their livelihood while political empowerment is possible with active participation of women in the local self governance process.

Mission Kudumbashree

Kudumbashree, formally registered as the Kerala State Poverty Eradication Mission (SPEM) under the Travancore Kochi Literary, Scientific and Charitable Societies  Act 1955, was launched on May 17th 1998, as a joint programme of Government of Kerala and National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD).  Kudumbashree, meaning prosperity for family, is implemented through community network of poor women who work in tandem with local self governments for  poverty eradication and women empowerment.

The vision of Kudumbashree is to develop the model of a micro finance-led financial security process into a more comprehensive model of local economic development under the aegis of local governments that would sustain the transformation of the local governance agenda from welfare to entitlement. Such transformation requires reframing of established administrative and development practices by institutionalizing processes for peoples’ participation and meaningful contribution. To achieve the vision, the Mission of Kudumbashree3 is to eradicate absolute poverty in ten years through concerted community action under the leadership of local governments, by facilitating organization of the poor for combining self-help with demand-led convergence of available services and resources to tackle the multiple dimensions and manifestations of poverty, holistically........................

Organization Structure

The SPEM, Kudumbashree, reaches to all 14 districts of the State through its organized district offices headed by the District Mission Co-ordinator. The district offices report to the state level Executive Committee. This official structure supports and facilitates the activities of the community networks across the state (Exhibit I). The topmost in hierarchy is the Governing Body chaired by the State Minister of Local Self Government (LSG). The Executive Director, Kudumbashree is the Convener of the committee and members include Director of Panchayats, Director of Urban Affairs, Commissioner for Rural Development and a representative from Finance Department............

PRI-CBO Convergence

The Panchayati Raj System needs to be more responsive towards the needs of the society, particularly women. This requires strengthening of women’s participation in local self governance processes, so that the benefits under various entitlements and schemes accrue to the members of SHGs under National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM). Kudumbashree developed a model for institutionalizing the process of convergence of PRI and CBO by developinga cadre of community professionals to work with community institutions and local governments..........

Micro Enterprise Development

Micro-enterprises are self-employment optionsthat can help to enhance the income of poor by creating sustainable livelihood opportunities. Thrift and credit operations, the cornerstone of Kudumbashree, helped to meet the working capital needs of poor women who desire to start new enterprises as well as carry out economic activities on a small scale. Even though the concept of micro-enterprises or small-scale enterprises is not new to Self-Help Group (SHG) movements, Kudumbashree developed a unique strategy of setting up micro-enterprises by integrating micro-enterprise development with local economic
development agenda of the government..........

Women Empowerment

Women lie at the heart of Kudumbashree’s efforts at development. Providing the right opportunities to women towork in groups not only empowers them economically and socially but alsohelps to strengthen their families and enables them to improve their living standards.15 Kudumbashree, right from its inception, identified economic empowerment of women as a major objective. Real empowerment occurs only when rights can be legitimately claimed and are universally acknowledged. It is the endeavour of Kudumbashree to bring the discussion on women’s rights and issues into the heart of the development debate.........

Samruddhi Blossom Nutrimix Unit, Vizhinjam, Nenganoor

Amrutham Nutrimix19 is an innovative Kudumbashree programme that was launched in 2006. When the government of Kerala, under instructions from the Supreme Court of India, decided to launch the scheme of Take Home Ration (THR), a feeding programme for little children aged zero to three years, from below poverty line (BPL) families, through anganwadis. Kudumbahree offered a home-grown enterprise model to procure orders for the supply of the food supplement. As it was baby-food, hygiene, quality and a regular supply had to be ensured while maintaining the calorific value directed by the Supreme Court........

Aishwariya Kudumbashree unit, Pallichal

The Aishwariya Kudumbashree unit at Pallichal Gram Panchayat in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala was started in the year 2006 to make medicinal hair oil. The unit currently makes 21 value-added herbal products from Brahmi. The micro-enterprise formed by a five-member team, was headed by Bindu Pallichal, a member of Aishwarya NHG unit. She has struggled her way through to make her enterprise unit a success............

Cloth Bag Making Unit, Kalliyoor

The Kaliyoor Bag Making Unit started in the year 2006. Kudumbashree District Mission selected two women from every ward of the Kalliyoor Panchayat and formed a team of 50 women who were trained at the block level to make paper bags and cloth bags. The women were divided into two groups to start two units – the marginalized (SC) group and the general group, each having 25 members...........

Managerial Issues

The major areas of concern are difficulty in procurement of raw materials,inability to get advantage of economies of scale in production, quality constraints, insufficient funding and inadequate working capital, use of obsolete technology, improper pricing, lack of proper marketing strategies and Human Resource (HR) issues.........

Financing

Kudumbashree provided subsidies to entrepreneurs, interest subsidy schemes for Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) and second dose assistance for working capital. Innovation fund for innovative ideas, technology fund for technological enhancement, revolving fund and crisis management fund are provided to entrepreneurs who need working capital to meet urgent needs............

Training for Capacity Building

Capacity building of Kudumbashree CBOs is essential for successful development and implementation of micro enterprises. Even though specific roles are assigned for the different activities, the persons involved are sometimes unsure of their roles and responsibilities. The mission has made great efforts to build capacity among CBOs, LSGs and entrepreneurs so that the best opportunities can be exploited by delivering the best products and services............

Marketing

When Kudumbashree realized that marketing was a serious issue faced by entrepreneurs and major reason responsible for closing down many units, it decided to explore various ways to solve this problem. Entrepreneurs who do not have a solid educational background or any business exposure are unable to identify factors affecting their market such as price............

Increasing Reach

Kudumbashree is doing substantial work in empowering women socially, economically and politically to achieve its aim of poverty eradication in the State of Kerala. It is largely achieving its objectives with respect to number of women involved, their levels of engagement and increased ability to earn a livelihood..........

Assignment Questions

I. What are the issues and challenges faced by micro-enterprises? How can these issues be addressed?
II. How government support for poor women help them to improve their livelihood opportunities? Explain in the context of Kudumbashree’s model of micro-enterprise
development.
III. .............

Exhibits

Exhibit I: Micromax – Revenues

Exhibit II: Model of PRI-CBO Convergence

Exhibit III: Convergence Project Process

Exhibit IV: Enterprises Project Process

Exhibit V: Stages in Enterprises Project

Exhibit VI: Samrudhi Blossom Nutrimix Unit, Vizhinjam

Exhibit VII: AmruthamNutrimix (Branding)

Exhibit VIII: AishwaryaKudumbashree Unit, Pallichal

Exhibit IX: Kalliyoor Cloth Bag Making Unit

Teaching Note Preview

Mission Kudumbashree – Livelihood Opportunities for Women Empowerment

 

Synopsis

The premise of this case study is to enable discussion about the role of government in the development sector and how government can eradicate poverty in the State through focused efforts towards social, economic and political empowerment of women. The discussions can highlight the two broad ways in which Kudumbashree strives to achieve its objectives – by engaging women in revenue generating activities of micro-enterprises and involving them in the local governance process. The two models of Kudumbashree namely the Micro-Enterprise Development Model and the PRI-CBO Convergence Model can act as role models that can be adapted elsewhere and can have far-reaching impact on poverty alleviation and overall development of a State.

Prerequisite Conceptual Understanding before the Classroom Discussion

The students/Participants should be encouraged to read a basic text book on development management and entrepreneurship to have meaningful discussion and proper analysis of the case study. Conceptual understanding of community based organizations and the Panchayati Raj System of local governance in India, as well as micro enterprises is required before discussion.

The following text books may be recommended for reading:

• Rasure, K. A., Understanding the Sustainable Development, 2012, Oxford Book Company
• Roy, R. Entrepreneurship, 2011, Oxford Higher Education

Case Positioning & Setting

The case can be used for Post Graduate Management or Post Graduate Rural Management Programs for Entrepreneurship Development and Development Management courses. It can be used for Management Development Programs, specially designed for managers or government officials working in the development sector. It can also be used in Entrepreneurship Development Programs conducted by technical institutions, both engineering and management.

Entrepreneurship Development and Development Management courses:

1. Development of SHG-based micro-organizations through effective government support for development of marketable products thereby empowering the women and improving their living standards.
2. Developing confidence in women from grassroots level by politically empowering them by institutionalizing the process of involving in local self governance.

Assignment Questions

1. What arethe issues and challenges faced by micro-enterprises? How can these issues be addressed?
2. How government support for poor women help them to improve their livelihood opportunities? Explain in the context of Kudumbashree’s model of micro-enterprise development.
3. How political involvement from all strata of society be ensured? Explain in the light of Kudumbashree’s model of convergence of Panchayati Raj Institutions and Community-based Organizations.
4............................

Preamble

This case study is expected to sensitize the participants about the role of government in the development sector and how social, economic and political empowerment of women can help achieve government’s mission to eradicate poverty in the State. It explains the Kudumbashree models for micro-enterprise development and PRI-CBO convergence and how the models became successful [Exhibit (TN)-I]. The common issues faced by micro-enterprises and how Kudumbashree addresses them through financing, capacity building and marketing support are discussed from managerial perspective.................

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Abstract

This case study is meant to introduce the students/participants to the role of government in the development sector and how social, economic and political empowerment of women can help achieve government’s mission to eradicate poverty in the State. While economic empowerment may be achieved through support for establishment, production and marketing of micro-enterprises, political empowerment may be achieved through effective convergence of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) and the Community Based Organizations (CBO). Social empowerment is linked to the other two, when women can be actively involved in issues affecting their family and society. The concepts are explained through the case of Kudumbashree – a joint programme of the Government of Kerala and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), which aims to eradicate absolute poverty in the State through Community Development Societies of poor women, under the leadership of local governments. Three micro-enterprise units supported by Kudumbashree are chosen to illustrate how economic, social and political empowerment of women has been achieved – Samrudhi Blossom Nutrimix Unit at Vizhinjam, Aishwariya Kudumbashree Unit at Pallichal and Cloth Bag Making Unit at Kalliyoor. The common issues faced by micro-enterprises and how Kudumbashree addresses them through financing, capacity building and marketing support are discussed from managerial perspective. This case explains Kudumbashree models for micro-enterprise development and PRI-CBO convergence and how the models became successful. Students may assess the possibilities of customizing and adapting the models in other States as well.



Pedagogical Objectives

  • To understand how government support for poor women by providing them livelihood opportunities can lead to their economic and social empowerment
  • To understand how institutionalizing the convergence process of Panchayati Raj Institutions and Community Based Organizations can help in political empowerment of women
  • To understand the issues and challenges faced by micro-enterprises and how to address them
  • To understand how women empowerment can lead to prosperity of their families and society

Case Positioning and Setting
The case can be used for Post Graduate Management or Post Graduate Rural Management Programs for Entrepreneurship Development and Development Management courses. It can be used for Management Development Programs, specially designed for managers or government officials working in the development sector. It can also be used in Entrepreneurship Development Programs conducted by technical institutions, both engineering and management.


* GSMC 2017, IIM Raipur

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- Case Study
- Teaching Note (**ONLY for Academicians)
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