ACT and Shalom in top-10 best social enterprises

Two Women on Wings’ business partners have been selected a position in the 10 best social enterprises in the Sitaram Rao Livelihoods India Case Study Competition 2020 under the non-farm sector. The Case Study Compendium was released during the Livelihoods India Summit on January 30, 2021, New Delhi.

Sitaram Rao Livelihoods Competition
The two Women on Wings’ partners selected in the competition’s top-10 are Shalom (ranked 9th – see picture) and Action Center for Transformation (ranked 5th). The Sitaram Rao Livelihoods India Case Study Competition, a pioneering initiative by ACCESS Development Services (ACCESS) was established in 2009. The competition aims to identify and collate models and practices that have significantly contributed to livelihoods promotion and poverty reduction. It is organized annually around a specific theme and the 10 best case studies are brought together into a Case Study Compendium. This year’s theme was Sustainable Community Based Enterprises in the non-farm sector.

About Shalom
Shalom started as a Self Help Group (SHG) in 2005 to help women who have the full-time responsibility of running a household to earn an income. The SHG started its life with just a few sewing machines in a small room. Women from the Toda community began joining the SHG which sparked the idea of using their traditional talent in exclusive hand embroidery on mainstream products such as cushions and bed spreads. Today, Shalom has turned into a social for-profit enterprise which enables women from the Toda community to strive for increased financial freedom. Since early 2019, Shalom and Women on Wings are collaborating on their joint mission of empowering women economically and creating a better future for the next generation. Shalom operates its business from Ooty, a resort town in the Western Ghats mountains, in southern India’s Tamil Nadu state.

About Action Center for Transformation
Action Center for Transformation (ACT) is a non-profit registered organization conceptualized by social development professionals in the year 2010. It aims to achieve sustainable livelihoods by providing skill training and employment to women artisans, largely in the recycling and upcycling of newspapers. One of ACT’s initiatives is ‘Kaagaz ke paankh’, Hindi for Paper Wings, a community owned company of women from villages in the Indian state of Haryana. Next to providing the women skill training and employment, ACT also markets their products such as paper baskets, various home décor and stationary. Women on Wings and ACT have been collaborating since January 2019. It operates its business from Gurgaon, which is part of the National Capital Region, a central planning region which encompasses Delhi and several districts surrounding it from the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

About Livelihoods India
Livelihoods India Summit was initiated by Women on Wings’ partner ACCESS Development Services in 2010 as a national level initiative to bring together diverse stakeholders on a single platform to discuss critical issues that impede and afflict the livelihoods of rural and disadvantaged communities. Since then, Women on Wings has participated in many panel sessions at Livelihoods India Summits and was partner of the annual event in 2018, responsible for the creation of a 64-pages glossy magazine with ten successful stories of social businesses from the Women on Wings and ACCESS network.

Picture: Sheela Powell, founder of Shalom, receives the Award on January 30, 2021