Wadhwani Foundation partners with Frontier Markets to empower 10,000 women in rural India
Bengaluru-based non-profit organisationon Wednesday announced a strategic partnership with last-mile distribution company Frontier Markets to support the livelihood of up to 10,000 women in rural India over the next two and half years.
With this, Frontier Markets aims to increase its presence from two to eight Indian states.
Wadhwani Foundation has funded Jaipur-based Frontier Markets’ initiative Saral Jeevan Sahelis, which aims to recruit women from rural India and provide them with skill training and opportunity to earn a stable livelihood.
The partnership aims to empower the startup’s saleswomen from rural India to earn a monthly salary of Rs 7,000 to Rs 10,000.
“Rural women crave for sustainable livelihoods, but consistent opportunities for them are far and few. The objective is to enhance income opportunities in order to improve rural households' overall quality and enable investments in their children's future,” the foundation stated in its release.
Founded by Ajaita Shah in August 2011, Frontier Markets is a last mile-assisted ecommerce and distribution company that leverages its network of tech-enabled women agents to market, sell, and service products and services across rural India.
Sanjay Shah, Chief Operating Officer of Wadhwani Foundation in India and Southeast Asia, said that Frontier Markets is changing the way villages buy products and services, and how businesses are conducted across the hinterland through an army of rural women salesforce called ‘Sahelis.’
“From selling only clean energy and agri products in 2011, they have managed to add multiple categories, including consumer durables products and essential services, by leveraging their social commerce platform and by simply listening to the pulse of rural consumers. They are driving change, creating an impact while managing to make money and profits,”
Ajaita Shah, Founder and CEO, Frontier Markets, said the partnership with Wadhwani Foundation and the Wadhwani Catalyst Fund validates the startup’s focus on investing in rural women to fulfil the UN Sustainable Development Goals at scale.
“This partnership also becomes one of the first to showcase how blended capital can be leveraged to support social businesses and help drive accelerated scale,” she added.