Project - Kudumbashree Projects
The Homeshop project is designed to stimulate local economic development and alleviate poverty by creating a local network (Value chain) of production enterprises, women sellers (that engage in direct-to-home sales), and a distribution agency. Through this project, LEDS attempts to build a local-to-local economy wherein small enterprises established and operated by women of the local community produces goods meant for the consumption of community members. The products are made available to the local consumers through a network of women sellers and a distribution agency (again recruited from the local community).
The Homeshop system is community-owned. It provides livelihood opportunities to poor women producers and sellers; fresh & pure products for the consumers, and strengthens local economic development in the process.
LEDS has established Homeshop value chains in six districts of Kerala which includes:
• Establishment and handholding of sixty microenterprises that make available local produce and value added products (food, hygiene and apparel) to local consumers.
• Recruiting, training, positioning and mentoring 1200 women sellers (of a targeted number of 2400) that engage in direct selling to local households. The women sellers (christened ‘Homeshops’ and one each in every Panchayat ward) sell the products sourced from the production enterprises to 100-150 households in their neighbourhood
• Positioning six distribution agencies that procure goods from enterprises and distribute to women sellers (Homeshops). The agencies comprises of local youth with adequate exposure in sales and distribution.
LEDS has provided professional support to the project on many specialised functions, some of which are:
1. Conducting trade and market surveys for understanding optimal product portfolio and trade terms.
2. Product development of ten products –food, hygiene and apparel.
3. Establishing a network of vendors for supplying materials for the enterprises.
4. Establishing Standard Operating Procedures (SoP)/ production protocols for the enterprises
5. Costing of the products and their pricing
6. Techno-managerial training for the enterprises
7. Developing and training in production planning systems for the enterprises
8. Develop best-in-class packaging for the products
9. Branding of the products
10. Ensuring that all legal compliances are met
11. Establishing IT and MIS systems
12. Establishing warehousing and logistics systems for the distribution agency
13. Capacity building of the distribution agency in sales, supply chain management, IT, finance, HR management, etc
14. Marketing training and handholding for women sellers
15. Review and monitoring mechanisms for the women sellers
2. WOMEN ARTISAN DEVELOPMENT PROJECT WITH KUDUMBASHREE MISSION, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
LEDS has partnered with Kudumbashree Mission for promoting handicraft enterprises run by below-poverty-line women of the Kudumbashree network, and linking them to remunerative markets. The project was initiated in the context of stagnating incomes for women artisans, due to issues related to product quality, product development, production systems and processes and market linkages.
LEDS has been able to make significant contribution to the project, and some of the key outcomes have been:
1. Handholding of 30 craft enterprises in all aspects relating to procurement, production, marketing and support functions.
2. Developing 50 products that conform to international quality standards.
3. Creating the ‘Charutha’ umbrella brand for the products under the initiative.
4. Establishing a network of 60 institutions (including star hotels, corporate companies and other dealers) that buy from the enterprises
5. Establishing operational systems and processes for the enterprises
6. Establishing a distribution agency for the marketing of the products christened ‘Charutha Craft Development agency’