UNDP partners with Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Urban Livelihoods Mission to empower women entrepreneurs

Thousands of women across eight Indian cities will be supported to become entrepreneurs, access business development services, finance and market linkages to accelerate enterprise growth

June 20, 2023

Ms. Shoko Noda, Resident Representative, UNDP India along with Mr. Manoj Joshi, Secretary, MOHUA and Mr. Rahul Kapoor, Joint Secretary, Urban Poverty Alleviation, MOHUA.

June 20, 2023, New Delhi: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) entered into a collaborative partnership aimed at empowering women to make well-informed career choices in the field of entrepreneurship.

The partnership will provide support for women looking to start and expanding their own enterprises, particularly in sectors such as care economy, digital economy, electric mobility, waste management, food packaging and more. Focused on fostering entrepreneurship development and accelerating enterprise growth, the three-year project, extendable beyond 2025, will cover eight cities in the initial phase.

Speaking at the signing, Mr. Rahul Kapoor, Joint Secretary and Mission Director, DAY-NULM & PM SVANidhi, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India, said, “DAY-NULM has a very important objective of empowering urban communities. We are hopeful that through this partnership with UNDP, we will be able to make our interventions more effective and impactful under the Mission.”

“Women entrepreneurship is a proven strategy for poverty alleviation, financial independence, and reshaping gender norms. Today, women account for only 15 percent of the total entrepreneurs in India. By increasing this number, we not only empower women, but also accelerate economic growth and ensure a happy and healthy society. UNDP and DAY-NULM are coming together to build this inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem,” said Ms. Shoko Noda, Resident Representative, UNDP India.

Leveraging its experience in linking over 2,00,000 women to better employment opportunities, UNDP will offer national-level capacity building support to DAY-NULM. This support will focus on knowledge generation and management, such as compiling compendiums of best practices related to urban poverty, to enhance the implementation of national-level schemes. Drawing on their extensive sectoral expertise, UNDP and DAY-NULM will collaborate on piloting innovative solutions, particularly in the care economy domain.

UNDP and DAY-NULM will jointly engage in on-ground mobilization activities that involve identifying pockets of urban poverty and potential entrepreneurs, as well as facilitating access to Business Development Services. Handholding support will be provided to the cohort to formalize their businesses, establish bank linkages, secure access to finance and markets. UNDP will also contribute to the initiative by developing community business mentors called Biz-Sakhis in selected project locations. These mentors, who possess valuable business knowledge, can support new and existing enterprises, and serve as a resource for DAY-NULM at a later stage.

The DAY-NULM has an aim to uplift the urban poor by enhancing sustainable livelihood opportunities through skill development. The scheme extends its coverage to all the 4,041 statutory cities and towns, thereby covering most of India’s urban population. Through its outreach efforts, DAY-NULM has mobilized more than 8.4 million urban poor women across India, forming over 8,31,000 Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in over 4,000 towns. Their impressive grassroots initiatives facilitate economic empowerment and amplifies the voices of marginalized sections of the urban population, including SCs/STs, minorities, female-headed households, street vendors, and rag pickers.

About UNDP India
UNDP has been working in India since 1951 in almost all areas of human development. Together with the Government of India and development partners, it works towards eradicating poverty, reducing inequalities, strengthening local governance, enhancing community resilience, protecting the environment, supporting policy initiatives and institutional reforms, and accelerating sustainable development for all.

DAY-NULM is one of the flagship Missions of the MoHUA that focuses on reducing poverty and vulnerability of the urban poor households by enabling them to access self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities. The Mission also aims at building strong grassroots level institutions of the urban poor, providing for permanent shelters for homeless men and women in all cities and towns, in a phased manner, and addressing livelihood concerns of the urban street vendors. 
For more information, please contact:

Amrah Ashraf
Head, Communications and Partnerships, UNDP India

Ankita Bhalla
Communications Officer, UNDP India