The Covid-19 Pandemic has affected economies globally. Small and micro businesses have not been the same ever since. Low-income groups, poor families, and people living in the slums who were dependent on daily wages have been the most affected during this period. The continuous lockdowns and the lack of means to make enough profits to run their small businesses have forced them to be shut down.
These families and microentrepreneurs were dependent on their savings to make ends meet during these tough times leaving them with little to no capital to restart their businesses.
The Livelihood Project by AID India is an initiative to help small business owners and microentrepreneurs get back on their feet.
Effect of the Pandemic on Microentrepreneurs
Post-Pandemic, business owners and microentrepreneurs from low-income groups, poor families, and those residing in slums find it challenging to restart their business. All their savings were drenched to make ends meet during the harsh lockdowns and the troublesome times.
Their only means to gain enough capital is by lending money from local money lenders for abnormally high interest rates. The interest rates are most often not sustainable for microentrepreneurs and small business owners who then tend to lend more money and eventually get caught up in an endless debt cycle.
Microentrepreneurs from these sects also find it challenging to approach banking institutions and other lending organizations as most of the business owners lack the provision to claim a loan to restart their business.
Finding means to survive and support their families begins to get harder with the lack of adequate capital or sustainable means to earn a living. This has led several families into starvation and malnutrition. A great intervention to help businesses get back on their feet and sustainable means to gain enough capital was the need of the hour.
A New Beginning with the Livelihood Project
AID India recognized this area and began to find ways to help these microentrepreneurs and small businesses in slums and hailed by poor families. We have intervened with monetary and material aid for businesses and microenterprises owned by farmers, tribals making phenyls, small vendors for vegetables, flowers, fruits, ice sellers, small tea shop owners, and more.
The Livelihood Project by AID India was launched in June 2021. We identified 10 beneficiaries from Tiruttani Block in Thiruvallur District and 5 beneficiaries from Thiruporur Block in Chengalpattu District in Tamil Nadu. The Project Managers, ETs, and EBTs in these districts played a major role in selecting these beneficiaries.
They were chosen from 11 villages in total and were provided with materials and products worth Rs. 5000 or in cash to help them restart their business or even begin a new venture. This has helped the beneficiaries who have diligently used the funds to rebuild their microenterprise and have worked towards making good profits to support their families and sustain their businesses.
Uplifting Businesses with Support and Intervention
AID India believes in consistent efforts and imparting knowledge and training to the inaccessible. We aim to improve their quality of life and enable them to reach greater heights with deep intervention.
With the Livelihood Project, AID India did not just stop at handing out the funds to those in need. The beneficiaries were monitored by our vast network of field teams and volunteers and were evaluated by the Joint Secretary, Project Director, and Project Coordinator of AID India.
The beneficiaries were monitored using specially designed Business Tracking Cards. These cards were used to record and track the Amount Spent on Raw Materials, Sales, Profit, and Loss. This proved to be significantly useful to help us track their progress or degrees which helps us to intervene and help them better.
Deep Intervention to Enhance Livelihood
The field visits by AID India members help the teams assess the beneficiaries and their business operations. We assess factors like overall expenditure on the business, household expenses, income, turnover, and profits. This helps us understand their challenges and help them find ways to strategically manage their livelihood and meet greater profits.
AID India has helped beneficiaries with diverse occupations like petty shop owners, vegetable vendors, idli batter business owners, fish vendors, and also running food businesses run in pushcarts. Our reports indicate that the beneficiaries were able to successfully kick off their businesses with the funds they received in the beginning.
With time and progress, the beneficiaries were able to make more changes and adapt better ways to make more profits. They added new items to their product lists and enhanced their services to welcome and serve more customers.
The Livelihood Project aims to help small businesses and microenterprises not only gain adequate profits. It aims to help those in need with the provision, skill, knowledge, and access to benefits and resources by diving deep into the problem and bringing relief to the downtrodden.
This initiative has helped several businesses step out of the fight against survival, malnutrition, and starvation post-pandemic. We strive to be a ray of hope for more such people in this particular sect.
Get Involved in the Livelihood Project
Take part in this initiative and help us provide more small businesses and microentrepreneurs with aid to restart their business or begin a new venture. Your donation and involvement in the Livelihood Project will help many people begin their journey into building successful businesses and also give them the means to support their families with an adequate income.
An initiative such as this can impact the lives of several people from this particular sect. You can help us by donating monetarily. You can also help by donating materials and equipment that can help small business owners like idli and dosa batter vendors, fruits, vegetables, and flower vendors, people selling sun-dried fish, people owning petty shops, and even pushcart vendors.
Every donation is valued and can greatly impact our initiative to reverse the effects of the pandemic on the low-income groups and those struggling to make ends meet.
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