Amazon India recently signed an MoU with Kudumbashree, a poverty eradication and women empowerment programme implemented by the State Poverty Eradication Mission of the Kerala Government for its pioneering programme- "Amazon Saheli".
Through this partnership, Amazon India will support, train and empower women entrepreneurs associated with the organisation and provide a marketplace for them to showcase their products to Amazon customers across the country, a press release said.
Kudumbashree is one of the largest women empowerment programmes in the world with more than 1,000 Community Development Societies and reaching more than four million women across 14 districts in Kerala.
The Saheli team will train and support women entrepreneurs associated with Kudumbashree and provide them with a slew of benefits to enable them to start selling online at zero initial cost. They will also be provided seamless onboarding assistance,imaging and cataloguing, product listing, subsidized referral fee and free account management, the release said.
With this partnership, Amazon India will bring in the regional selection and unique products across categories like grocery, home and fashion accessories made by women entrepreneurs from the state.
Amazon has already conducted a pilot workshop and added products in grocery and personal care made by women artisans under the Kudumbashree account.
Within the first three weeks of the pilot, they have started receiving orders from states like Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal,Delhi,Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, to name a few.
Pranav Bhasin, Director, Seller Experience, Amazon India, said participation of women entrepreneurs on the Amazon.in marketplace has been growing substantially over the past few years, especially since the inception of our dedicated program Amazon Saheli.
Kudumbashree was launched by the state government in 1997 to eradicate poverty in rural and urban areas of Kerala through community development schemes, under the leadership of Local Self Governments.
It is now also considered as one of the largest women empowering projects in India.
By supporting women weavers and handicraft experts, this association will change the socio-economic life of women in Kerala, both in urban and rural areas of the state, S Harikishore, Executive Director, Kudumbashree, said.
Launched in November 2017, with SEWA and Impulse Social Enterprise, Amazon Saheli currently has a diverse range of products listed by women entrepreneurs.
The programme offers extensive training and skill development workshops for its partners to help women entrepreneurs understand the nuances of online selling and develop skills and capabilities necessary to grow their business on Amazon.in.
The training workshops comprise sessions on listing of products, imaging and cataloging, packaging and shipping, inventory and account management and customer servicing.
The workshops are free and offer exclusive benefits, including assisted onboarding and mentorship programs.
Amazon Saheli works with 17 partners with the reach of 100,000 women entrepreneurs.
Currently,the Saheli program includes women entrepreneurs like housewives, domestic helpers, artisans etc.with thousands of products across 13 categories like apparel, jewellery and groceries.