In the pursuit of creating a more inclusive future, the workshop titled “Create Women Entrepreneurs for an Inclusive Future” served as a pivotal platform for SoochnaPreneur Business Mitras (SBMs) from Assam and West Bengal. The aim was clear: to delve deep into the concept of Digital Rural Women Entrepreneurs (DRWEs) and to equip participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to champion the cause of rural women entrepreneurship.

At the heart of the workshop was a commitment to understanding the roles, responsibilities, mission, and vision of SBMs in building a robust and sustainable environment for Rural Women Entrepreneurs (RWEs). It was recognized that SBMs, as Business Development Executives and facilitators, play a crucial role in delivering digital-based solutions and platforms to enhance the businesses of RWEs engaged in targeted value chains such as Handloom, Livestock, Agriculture, DRE, and Tea.

The workshop provided a comprehensive overview of the sustainable model of digital-based solutions delivery, emphasizing the cross-cutting nature of ‘Digital’ (Information, Communication, and Technology) across various value chains. Participants were enlightened about the vision of building collective enterprises at the district level, with SBMs envisioned as flag bearers spearheading this mission. This collective endeavor aimed to amplify the voices of RWEs and influence ecosystem players to support and strengthen them, thereby demonstrating a sustainable model of rural business entrepreneurship led by women.

Moreover, the workshop served as a platform for SBMs to recognize their critical role as trustees of information in combating the spread of fake news, misinformation, and ensuring data protection. Recognizing that participants were first-generation technology users, the workshop embraced an activity-based and peer-learning approach. Practical exercises were designed to enhance understanding of concepts such as end-to-end encryption, misinformation, fake news, and functional digital literacy, along with media and information literacy.

The comprehensive agenda of the workshop covered various aspects essential for empowering RWEs and building a conducive business ecosystem. It contextualized the declining female labor force participation and elucidated the goals and objectives of UDYAMINI, shedding light on the Theory of Change and the role of SBMs as business enablers. The Results Framework, characterized by the 6 A’s (critical indicators), guided participants in planning and implementing service delivery.

In addition, the workshop addressed pertinent issues such as preventing the spread of misinformation, combating fake news on the ground, and ensuring data protection and privacy. By equipping SBMs with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to navigate the digital landscape and empower RWEs, the workshop laid the foundation for a more inclusive and sustainable future.

In conclusion, the workshop exemplified a collective effort towards empowering rural women entrepreneurs and fostering an inclusive ecosystem where their voices are heard, their businesses thrive, and their contributions to the economy are valued and celebrated. As SBMs embrace their roles as champions of rural women entrepreneurship, they pave the way for a brighter and more equitable future for all.