The Kudumbasree Mission in Kerala is all set to try their hands at retail with a plan to open supermarkets across the state.
A consortium for this is being set up. About Rs 20 lakh would be allotted to each district. The consortium will raise more funds and oversee the functioning of the supermarkets. The first supermarket will be opened in Eranakulam and an investors’ meet was conducted recently at the collectorate here to discuss the terms of the consortium.
There are around 4,000 self-help groups under the Kudumbasree unit in Ernakulam. Among these, the groups which function as production units would be included in the supermarket consortium. Around 1,000 such units have made it to this list.
In the first phase, supermarkets would be opened on 2.000 sq ft spaces, with plans for expansion later. Eight women employees including a manager would be appointed in each outlet. The Kudumbasree supermarkets in every district would be constructed in the same design. The first outlet in Ernakulam is scheduled to be opened within the next three months.
The products manufactured by the various self-help units would take up 60% of the rack space in the proposed supermarkets. Experts say the presence of Kudumbasree products in supermarkets would validate its quality and ensure the availability of varied products in attractive prices. This would mark the entry of the women force of Kudumbasree into the corporate world of retailers. From homemade candles to electronic appliances, the Kudumbasree women can churn anything out of their production units.
As part of its mission to empower women, the Kudumbasree assists in making bank loans available, granting subsidies for enterprisers, monetary aids, interest-less short-term loans and technology fund to promote the various production units. The Kudumbasree has adopted extensive policies and schemes to encourage and promote women entrepreneurs. Various training programs are introduced by the Kudumbasree to ensure that the women are equipped with the necessary skills to initiate new enterprises. It will also arrange bank loans with subsidies.
There are many agricultural units and Kudumbasree hotels run by the women members in the district. Baby food, electronic appliances, LED bulbs, locally prepared food products, apparel units, handicrafts, soap, paper bag units, jeweler, clay articles etc are some of the products manufactured by the various Kudumbasree units in the rural and urban areas. The Kudumbasree Mission also operates bus, taxi and auto services. Hundreds of Kudumbasree women are also employed at the various washing and ironing units, animal rearing and construction sites.
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