As we recently celebrated International Women’s Day, it’s essential to recognise the extraordinary advances made by women entrepreneurs in spurring economic growth and societal evolution. Central to this advancement is the synergy of collaboration and financial inclusion, which empowers women to surmount obstacles and realise their entrepreneurial dreams. On this occasion of celebration and empowerment, we explore the transformative effects of partnerships in granting access to finance and mentorship for women entrepreneurs, particularly in rural India.

Where economic empowerment opportunities are plentiful yet frequently underexploited, the union of stakeholders is vital in nurturing women’s entrepreneurship in rural India. Our alliance with the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) epitomises such a collaborative enterprise. Together, we are dedicated to the financial emancipation of women entrepreneurs across Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan through the Women Entrepreneur Financial Empowerment Programme.

The NRLM is not merely a programme; it represents a pledge for a brighter future. Aspiring to alleviate poverty and endorse autonomy, the NRLM functions as a bridge, delivering formal financial services directly to women resilient enough to dream. Fortified by robust support from our alliance partners and various State Rural Livelihood Missions (SRLMs), the programme marks the genesis for aspiring women entrepreneurs.

“Our mission is to build a mass entrepreneurship movement that focuses on women entrepreneurs and seeks to create a local ecosystem that supports them by addressing issues with access to finance and assisting them in realising their business growth potential. With this initiative, we intend to co-create a model that can be used across the country.”

Ravi Venkatesan
Founder GAME

Vitta Sakhis: The Harbingers of Financial Literacy

Amidst India’s lush fields and serene villages, a silent revolution ferments. Here, the true agents of change are emerging: women entrepreneurs, bolstered by a pioneering consortium of banks and financial allies known as Vitta Sakhis. Under the NRLM’s auspices, these women are drafting their own sagas of fiscal autonomy and empowerment.

Vitta Sakhis are more than ‘financial friends’; they are the nexus between ambition and attainment. These facilitators, hailing from the same communities as the entrepreneurs they support, are adept at navigating the complexities of rural enterprise. They demystify banking processes, aid with documentation, and often provide a listening ear to concerns that traditional financial establishments may disregard.

Armed with entrepreneurial and financial literacy training, Vitta Sakhis are instrumental in identifying and fostering potential women entrepreneurs. Through targeted training sessions, over 860 Vitta Sakhis are being equipped to offer comprehensive support to these burgeoning businesswomen.

The Ripple Effect of WEFEP

The Women Entrepreneur Financial Empowerment Programme (WEFEP), propelled by the NRLM and our partners, transcends mere statistics; it embodies palpable transformation. Consider Ms Jyoti Arjun Chavhan from Tiware village, Sindhudurg district in Maharashtra, who, with financial and mentorship assistance and considerable courage, transformed her modest cloth, imitation jewellery & cutlery shop into a larger venture by expanding her inventory with the addition of sarees and other clothes. For these tenacious women, loans are not constraints but enablers that lift them into the realm of entrepreneurship.


Despite the optimistic vistas of progress, the shadows of challenges loom. Funding access persists as a barrier, and societal prejudices cast long shadows over these women’s aspirations. Nevertheless, it is the brilliance of possibility that dispels these impediments. The NRLM, committed to cooperative action and enlightenment, is methodically carving a route towards a future where every rural woman can wield her narrative of triumph.

A Narrative of Success – Rekha Sen’s Story

Introducing Rekha Sen, a former local SHG member from Rajmahal village, Tonk district, in Rajasthan, now an emblem of empowerment for her contemporaries. Rekha’s ascension to Vitta Sakhi is a tribute to the potency of conviction and the NRLM’s resolute vision. She empowers her proteges to envisage a life not as mere beneficiaries but as dynamic contributors and architects of the economy.


Within a mere trio of months, Rekha has altered the life stories of 15 women entrepreneurs, aiding them in securing loans that invigorate their ambitions and dreams. Her unwavering dedication has flung open the doors for these hopeful businesswomen, enabling loans between ₹75,000 to ₹5 lakh—a remarkable achievement that underscores her commitment and prowess.

Each loan sanctioned denotes a tale of evolution and enablement, with every sum evidencing the inherent potential within these women’s entrepreneurial spirits. Rekha’s influential role has been crucial; she not only bridges these women to fiscal resources but also instils in them the confidence to stride through the business sphere with renewed zeal.


Rajasthan’s Leap Forward: A Model of Women’s Entrepreneurial Success

Rajasthan’s achievements echo Vitta Sakhi Rekha’s story, resounding throughout the state’s entrepreneurial tapestry. The region has become a paragon of women’s empowerment, with GAME’s initiatives cultivating fertile terrain for women to plant and nurture their business concepts into thriving ventures.

Through cooperative endeavours, capacity-building workshops, and policy interventions, Rajasthan has observed a significant swell in women embracing entrepreneurship. The state’s success rests upon a robust support network that not only provides financial access but also offers mentorship, market connections, and a supportive climate attuned to the challenges women entrepreneurs face.

The statistics are optimistic—a burgeoning repository of success narratives sculpting a sustainable and inclusive economy for the morrow. As the movement burgeons, each statistic becomes a beacon of motivation, casting light on the transformative potency of mass entrepreneurship in altering lives and communities.

Rekha’s chronicle, along with Rajasthan’s overarching accomplishments, epitomise the metamorphosis that GAME catalyses, showcasing what women entrepreneurs can achieve when endowed with suitable tools and openings.

Forging Ahead

As GAME perseveres in cultivating and championing these initiatives, we bear witness to the genesis of businesses and a reimagined depiction of women’s roles within the rural economy of India. This collaborative model, predicated on the synergy between banks and Vitta Sakhis, transcends a mere programme—it embodies a vow for an inclusive, equitable, and affluent India.

In summary, the narrative of the NRLM, the Vitta Sakhis, and the myriad women they empower is one of resilience and solidarity. It’s a collective odyssey wherein each approved loan, each inaugurated business, and each realised dream interweaves into the expansive tapestry of national advancement. Let us pause to salute these unsung heroines—entrepreneurs, Vitta Sakhis, and the supporting institutions—as they jointly weave the fabric of transformative change.