Bangalore, February 16, 2023: The Ministry of Rural Development and Meesho, India’s only true online marketplace, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today to drive digital inclusion of all women registered under State Rural Livelihood Missions (SRLMs) and enable them to sell online. The partnership will give impetus to Meesho’s ongoing efforts to onboard rural women entrepreneurs in various states and enable them to launch and grow their businesses online. Over the last few months, Meesho has tied up with several government-run self-help groups (SHGs), such as Sanjeevini – Karnataka State Rural Livelihood Mission and UMEED – Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission.
Meesho will now work with the central government to facilitate this digitisation at scale, organising rural women as community institutions, ensuring their financial inclusion and helping them with market access. The Ministry of Rural Development will support Meesho’s engagement with state-owned and SRLM-promoted enterprises to bring local artisans, weavers and craft producers into the e-commerce fold.
Giriraj Singh, the minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, said, “Uplifting rural women across India by unlocking livelihood opportunities for them has been our key objective. Our constant endeavour has been to support the growth and development of rural communities and the collaboration with Meesho will be instrumental in driving financial inclusion for them. Through market insights and training on product cataloging and packaging, women from these self-help groups will be able to leverage the power of technology in making their products visible and accessible to a wider customer base, thereby increasing their earning potential.
With more than 40% of the women population into non-farming, it is our collective responsibility to build capabilities and unlock wider opportunities for them through online selling platforms. We are hopeful to empower 10 crore women financially through this partnership, thereby making them an integral part of India’s vision of becoming a $5 trillion economy.”
Meesho’s continued commitment towards creating a level playing field for the smallest of sellers and its industry-first initiatives like zero commission will encourage women from across the country to embrace internet commerce and allow them to access a wider market. Aligned with Meesho’s vision to enable 100 million small businesses to succeed online, the move will allow them to become self-employed entrepreneurs and fulfill their aspirations of achieving financial independence.
Sanjeev Barnwal, Co-founder and CTO, Meesho, said, “We are honoured to partner with the Ministry of Rural Development on our mission to democratise internet commerce for everyone. Women entrepreneurship is key to India’s vision of becoming a $5 trillion economy and, over the years, Meesho has empowered lakhs of them to succeed in the online world and achieve financial independence. This partnership will amplify our efforts in that direction, unlocking the power of internet commerce for their social and economic growth. We will provide them with all the tools and guidance they need to grow their business online with Meesho.”
Meesho will provide end-to-end support to SHGs, training them on the various facets of running an online business. From guidance on identifying the right products and creating a seller account to uploading catalogues and packaging, Meesho will organise a host of in-person training workshops in several regional languages. Further, Meesho will impart education and training on features like product and pricing recommendations, besides facilitating logistics tie-ups in the respective states.