In February 2020, GAME along with Buzzwomen India started the peer to peer networking program called “Buzz Vyapar”. The program is targeted at 150 low-income vyaparis or women entrepreneurs (WEs) in Urban Bangalore, Karnataka. These WEs are existing entrepreneurs who earn a business income of at least Rs. 15,000 per month.
The objectives of the program are to increase social capital and access to resources among the community of WEs, provide psychological support to them through peer groups, improve their entrepreneurial mindset, and thereby, increase their business income.
Currently there are peer networks of 15 women each in 10 locations across Urban Bangalore, Karnataka. The WEs meet once every 3 weeks and will meet at least 10 times before the program ends. Further, every 5 cohorts are part of a larger federation of 50 members. Federation members will meet thrice in order to enable larger learning and/or for a training program.
Provide Psychological Support:
Entrepreneurship is often a lonely journey. The hypothesis is that meeting other like minded WEs will provide a psychological uplift to WEs. The meetings will provide a safe space for WEs to share their business and personal problems with each other. The meetings will also provide an opportunity for WEs to share their successes with each other. Additionally, the meetings provide WEs to meet successful entrepreneurs within their community who will act as role models for them.
Increase Social Capital and Access to Community Resources:
The program seeks to increase the social capital of WEs. By bringing together WEs in the similar position and location, the program hopes that that there will be a knowledge exchange amongst the WEs regarding the best resources in that location (such as where to procure supplies more cheaply, where to hire better employees from, etc.).
A person with an entrepreneurial mindset takes risks, has a high sense of agency, resilience, and self-determination. The facilitator of the program will also carry out activities and facilitate discussions to improve the entrepreneurial mindset of the WEs. The mindset of the WEs will be measured at the end of the program through an increase in self-confidence, self-awareness, and persistence.
Increase Business Income:
Additionally, GAME will carry out other interventions to increase the WEs access to finance, markets, technology & tools, etc. Through these interventions, the program seeks to increase the business income of the WEs by the end of the program.