Our partnership with the Bestseller Foundation has enabled 30 women from low income, urban communities across two states (Bommanahalli in Bengaluru, Karnataka and Mohammadpur in Gurugram, Haryana) to become entrepreneurs.
The intervention was rolled out in the two areas where the i4We, or Invest for Wellness, program (Swasti’s flagship, system innovation and health intervention) is running with approximately 2,500 urban poor households.
We established micro-social enterprises with women from self-help groups for running and maintaining hand washing stations, in areas where there is no running water. It is an innovative solution to promote hand hygiene practices and access to clean water with soap—critical during COVID-19.
The i4We implementation team developed the business model consisting of customer segmentation (community, schools, etc.), value proposition of the product (IEC material, maintenance), key partners, costing structure, revenue streams for the entrepreneurs (by sale, rent, advertisement on the station), activities need to be carried out by entrepreneurs, marketing of the product, etc.
This was presented to the Samiti members and entrepreneurs were identified. Both our intervention areas have registered and functional community institutions called “Samitis”.
A Samiti is a collective of local, self-help groups of women, which work on improving the health and well-being of their communities. Entrepreneurs who were identified from among the Samiti members took ownership of the intervention and 30 handwashing stations were set up. Not only did this provide a source of livelihood for the 30 i4we members and their families, but it also increased the access to these hygiene stations to the 2,500 families living in both the locations.
The handwashing station, developed by Swasti in partnership with the Bestseller Foundation, is a health solution that works because it is attractive, affordable and accessible.