GIZ’s Her&Now, in collaboration with Empower Foundation, supports 80+ Skill-Certified Women Entrepreneurs in Uttar Pradesh through Entrepreneurship Support Programme

GIZ’s Her&Now, in collaboration with Empower Foundation, supports 80+ Skill-Certified Women Entrepreneurs in Uttar Pradesh through Entrepreneurship Support Programme

Uttar Pradesh: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is implementing the project “Economic Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs and Start-ups by Women (Her&Now)” in various parts of India, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and in partnership with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Government of India. In tier II and tier III cities of Uttar Pradesh, Project Her&Now is running in partnership with Empower Foundation — the not-for-profit arm of renowned private sector social enterprise Empower Pragati.

Over the last 4 months, the Her&Now Project in Uttar Pradesh has trained and supported 80+ aspiring and/or early-stage skill-certified women entrepreneurs who belong to low-income families; these women are based out of 4 districts in the state — Saharanpur, Moradabad, Hapur and Bulandshahar. The women entrepreneurs who have been part of Her&Now’s 3-month-long entrepreneurship support programme in Uttar Pradesh, have graduated recently.

Through the programme, they learned:

How to set up their own small business unit based on their unique skillset

Importance of financial and digital literacy by exposure to modern financial tools available for the general public like

UPI payment and digital bookkeeping apps

Gender sensitivity and a gender-positive approach to entrepreneurship

Speaking about the initiative, Ullas Marar, Head of Project, Her&Now, GIZ says, “The Her&Now support programme in Uttar Pradesh has been playing an instrumental role in capacity building, mentorship and providing customized support for a large number of existing and aspiring entrepreneurs in Uttar Pradesh. In our first cohort, we onboarded 80+ micro-entrepreneurs, most of whom were already running an informal enterprise or were previously part of a group enterprise; after the programme, many of them are now willing to start-up, or have already started-up, and are looking to grow their business.”

Among the trainees of Her&Now support programme was Jyoti Sharma, owner of a local chocolate shop in Hapur, who says that through the programme, she was able to understand the right steps and strategies to grow her existing chocolate business. Another entrepreneur from Hapur, Pooja Arora, Owner, Poshak Creation says, “I was running my boutique on an online portal. While I always dreamt of opening a physical boutique in my own name, I lacked the confidence to do so. Through the programme, I came to know about the modalities of business operations in the market, as well as various ways to get financial assistance. The mentorship given to me has made me so confident that I am now going to launch my own boutique soon.”

Manju Devi from Dohali village in Bulandshar, who has been in the women’s tailoring space for the past 13+ years, had never thought of pursuing her own business. “But after joining Her&Now programme, I came to know of so many Government schemes for women-led enterprises. I am now thinking of starting up my own boutique and taking up additional sewing jobs as well like like making masks, jute bags, etc. thereafter.”

37 year old Babi Kumari from Saharanpur reminisces finding her calling during one of the Her&Now mentoring sessions! Even though she had been a professional beautician for the past few years, it was her love for sewing that made her switch thinking to starting up a bag making business.

These are just a few examples of the many women who are ready to take the leap in pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams after receiving support from the Her&Now programme in Uttar Pradesh, as in other states of India like Telangana, Maharashtra and North-East.

On 26th and 27th August, GIZ and Empower Foundation will be launching the second Her&Now cohort in Uttar Pradesh, wherein they will be onboarding and supporting another cohort of 80 women entrepreneurs. To learn more, visit

Rekha Nair

Rekha Nair

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