Women on Wings and Jharkhand government join hands

Women on Wings and the Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society have agreed to collaborate on a program which aims at creating livelihood opportunities for the women in Jharkhand by developing an implementable plan to co-create a sustainable brand, Palash. Palash will become the umbrella brand of various products which are handmade by rural women in the state of Jharkhand.

Creating large scale impact
The National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), a poverty alleviation program implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development – Government of India, focuses on promoting self-employment and organization of rural underprivileged women. Each state has its own State Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM) which are autonomous institutions that provide opportunities to create large scale impact. In 2021, Women on Wings was introduced to the Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS) through NRLM. A series of conversations to collaborate in a rural women entrepreneurship program, led to a two days’ field assessment in Jharkhand which defined the scope for collaboration. During the assessment both, Women on Wings and JSLPS, were jointly able to identify the areas of concern and reconfirm the need of business consultancy in order to scale the brand.

Building a partnership
Shilpa Mittal Singh, joint managing director at Women on Wings: “During our assessment in December we identified the gaps, the opportunities to scale and the risks associated. We identified the steps needed to be taken to make the partnership successful. Detailed financial and human resources requirement planning was undertaken. We asked JSLPS to allocate a dedicated team for the program who will work closely with Women on Wings and will be responsible for scaling up the brand. After multiple rounds of discussions with NRLM and JSLPS team members, we arrived at the final scope of work and drafted the MOU, clearly stating the roles and responsibilities of Women on Wings and JSLPS. We are extremely proud of this new partnership which gives us a huge opportunity to co-create many new job opportunities for rural women and overall have a large-scale impact.”

Expanding team for large scale impact
To make the partnership successful, Women on Wings expanded its team with two new team members: Merijn Heijnen, lead consultant, and Zeenita Patra, program coordinator. Both are fully dedicated to the new women entrepreneurship program. Women on Wings will stay close to the core of its work: providing business consultancy and mentorship to the dedicated team of JSLPS.

Early March, Women on Wings held a first 2 days’ interactive workshop in Ranchi with seventeen participants from JSLPS. After a brief introduction session, all participants contributed to mapping the supply chain of Palash products, and brainstormed on the WHY, HOW, WHAT, and which values would support the Palash brand. Individual and team assignments were given to the participants to further build the brand. Everyone actively contributed in writing down their ideas on sticky notes and pasting them on the wall. In the final session, previous achievements were discussed which served as input to set realistic targets for the upcoming fiscal year. A follow up workshop to complete the outlines of the strategy for Palash will take place by early April 2022.

Picture | Field visit of Women on Wings’ and JSLPS’ teams