Young entrepreneurs awarded for innovative solutions

Women on Wings’ partner Shweta Thakare, co-founder of GramHeet Private Limited, is being awarded as “Entrepreneur of Bharat’ on the National Entrepreneur Day Awards 2022. She is one of twenty young entrepreneurs from eight states who were awarded for their contribution to India’s development and representation of their innovative ideas and solutions on the global stage.

Understanding farmers
GramHeet Private Limited (GramHeet) as a social enterprise, is committed to a ‘farmers first’ approach. It offers a holistic bundle of services to farmers with a mission to make farming a profitable business for them. Having grown up in a smallholder farming family, Shweta Thakare was all too familiar with the plight of the farmers. That made her determined to help farmers increase their incomes and bring dignity to their work. After receiving the award, Shweta said: “I am extremely honored to receive this award. This is an encouraging moment for us to continue our entrepreneur journey and impacting the lives of millions of small holder farmers.”

Farmer-friendly platform
GramHeet proposes an integrated model that aims to provide a one-stop marketplace for farmers at the village level called GramHeet Mandi (Village Trade Center). In this GramHeet Mandi, farmers have diverse choices such as to sell their produce or store it till occurrence of favorable market conditions or even add value through primary processing for multifold returns. To further bring in transparency and efficiency in the deliverance of these services, the social enterprise also has a digital platform called GramHeet Mandi App. Through this farmer-friendly digital platform, farmers avail services like selling the produce to the buyers/processors, storing produce in a safe environment, or receiving post-harvest credit against their stored produce.

Job creators
This innovative solution to farmers was selected by the jury of the National Entrepreneur Day Awards 2022, which was celebrated in an online event on Sunday January 16, organized by Lemon Ideas and Vidarbha Industries Association. The day prior to the Awards event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India will celebrate January 16 as National Startup Day. This Day is a validation of the role of startups and it aims to encourage young talent from seeing entrepreneurship as a primary career option. This acknowledgement is a big morale booster for young entrepreneurs – India’s new job creators.

GramHeet and Women on Wings
GramHeet is on a mission to build an ecosystem where every farmer cultivates with dignity and feeds the world with pride. This goes beyond ‘just’ creating livelihood opportunities. Since June 2021, Women on Wings and GramHeet partner in bringing women farmers back into the value chain thereby improving their financial independence resulting in higher respect and dignity in the household. Ultimately, this will result in improved income for rural households improving their livelihood and living standards.

Photo credits @Upaya Social Ventures – Shweta is seen second from right with women farmers who work with GramHeet