Partners learn from each other

On a cold December morning six people from social enterprises Unnati and SBMA came all the way from Uttarkashi in the Himalayan mountains to the Women on Wings office in Gurgaon. They had come by bus for a three day-workshop on marketing communication and social media.

No mountain high enough
Usually the Women on Wings team travels to the partner’s office to moderate a workshop. Since the Himalayan region in this time of year is hard to travel, it was decided the teams would take the journey to Gurgaon instead. Also so they could buy food and household appliances that are hard to find in Uttarkashi during the winter months. The Women on Wings team was impressed to learn what journey the team had taken to participate in the workshop. Obviously these were very dedicated and committed people who choose to live in a harsh region to make a difference to the lives of the farmers that grow crops for Shri Bhuvneshwari Mahila Ashram (SBMA).

10,000 farmers
SBMA is currently working in more than 2,400 villages in 7 districts of Uttarakhand state. Among the many development programs it runs, SBMA also works on food security, agriculture-based livelihood promotion and gender empowerment. It is engaged with more than 10,000 – largely female – farmers through 500+ farmer’s producer groups, 600+ micro finance groups and 16 Cooperatives. Unnati is one of the 16 Cooperatives. Of the 16 Cooperatives, some have graduated to business enterprises, like Unnati. SBMA and Women on Wings collaborate in growing three of these business enterprises so more farmers can be engaged.

Understanding 5 Marketing P’s
Unnati was the first of the thee Cooperatives to gain more understanding about the 5 P’s in their marketing mix in an out of the box thinking interactive workshop which is the typical Women on Wings methodology. Ronald van het Hof, joint MD at Women on Wings: “It was really amazing what a lot of knowledge and ideas the team had on the different topics. It was inspiring to see that thanks to this new way of working for the Unnati and SBMA team, they really opened up and also learned a lot from each other.”

Quick wins for Unnati
Danielle Pels, expert in social media at Women on Wings: “Day two was all about their social media strategy. We focused on Facebook and a little bit on Instagram. We brainstormed a lot about the content which could be shared. In the afternoon Unnati’s website builder joined us and we reviewed their new website. We tweaked it here and there on the spot and choose pictures which are the best for the look and feel of Unnati. The last day we made a content calendar and a concrete action plan with quick wins. Then we waved them goodbye before they stepped on the bus to take the long journey back to the mountains.”