Thu, 30 Nov 2023

New Delhi [India], November 30 (ANI/NewsVoir): The Work4Progress (W4P) programme of the "la Caixa" Foundation of Spain, concluded its India platform annual workshop at the Indian Habitat Centre.

The programme has been operational in India since the last 5 years to create new employment opportunities that are inclusive in nature and systemic by design and has been led by Development Alternatives (DA) since 2016 and ActionAid Association (AAA) in 2020.

The Work4Progress India Annual Workshop is envisioned as a platform for learning from the 'collective intelligence' of change-makers and experts in the field of entrepreneurship.

The workshop took the audience through the uniqueness of social innovation and a transformational approach to entrepreneurship-led job creation.

Through deliberations at the Annual Workshop, the attendees were able to gain diverse perspectives on the subject of unlocking critical flows for accelerating entrepreneurship and empowering communities through dignified employment opportunities.

The event featured presentations by DA and AAA highlighting the progress made by W4P India, in addition to an address by Ms Prema Gera (External Coordinator, W4P India) on the "opportunities and challenges" faced by the W4P India Platform. Furthermore, two thematic sessions on the topics of "Access to Credit for Inclusive Entrepreneurship" and "Mainstreaming Entrepreneurship through Institutional Engagement and Ecosystem of Growth'' were also held by DA network partners Rang De and Transform Rural India Foundation, TRIF respectively.

The workshop concluded with two roundtables hosted by ActionAid Association and Development Alternatives. AAA spoke on 'Feminist Solidarity Economies for Social Transformation', and explored how women-led collective enterprises can empower vulnerable communities. While DA's '#SAMUDYAM - Unlocking Entrepreneurship for Job Creation discussed the need for a national level 'Collaboratory' to build local entrepreneurship ecosystems.

The workshop saw an attendance of over 150 participants which included entrepreneurs from the programme, representatives from Government departments, financial institutions, skill development agencies, research organizations, and universities.

HRH The Infanta Cristina of Spain, Director of International Programmes at "la Caixa" Foundation, was the keynote speaker for the event. She reminded all present, the principles on which Work4Progress was built: innovation, co-creation and empowerment. She was pleased to see how "la Caixa" Foundation's Work4Progress has grown in India and was happy to note that the programme has stressed the importance of 'Deep Listening' to co-create solutions that have made the ongoing success of the programme possible.

Karma Zimpa Bhutia, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, spoke on the presence of RSETIs across 575 districts of the country, an 80% presence. He took upon the occasion to invite stakeholders to collaborate with the Government in building an inclusive ecosystem for entrepreneurship.

Shrashtant Patara, CEO, Development Alternatives Group, said, "Social innovation processes, used in the Work4Progress initiative result in change that is systemic in nature, making way for more inclusive economic empowerment and sustainable future for people in rural communities."

Dipali Sharma, Director of Organisational Effectiveness at ActionAid Association, said, "The Work4Progress platform provides a great opportunity for a wide range of players to collaborate towards creating sustainable and dignified livelihoods and enterprise for the poor and the marginalised. ActionAid Association sees this as an opportunity to build feminist solidarities that prioritise social and environmental gains and not just financial benefits, and the kind of feminist futures we would like to see in the 21st century."

Launched in India in 2016 and subsequently in Peru and Mozambique by the "la Caixa" Foundation, it seeks to create new employment opportunities that are inclusive in nature and systemic by design. Social innovation is at the core of the W4P approach and brings with its advanced tools and methodologies for key processes of listening, co-creating, prototyping, and accelerating. In India, the W4P programme has two networks.

The network led by Development Alternatives (DA) joined the W4P platform in November 2016 and is currently in the acceleration phase with national-level partners Transform Rural India Foundation and Rang De. ActionAid Association (AAA) and its partner in Spain, Alianza por la Solidaridad joined the platform in March 2020 and have been joined by the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Sai Jyoti.

The W4P India programme is operational in 345 villages across Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bundelkhand and works with socially and economically disadvantaged communities, women, and young adults.

Development Alternatives (DA) is a premier social enterprise with a global presence in the fields of green economic development, social empowerment, and environmental management. It is credited with numerous innovations in clean technology and delivery systems that help create sustainable livelihoods in the developing world. DA focuses on empowering communities through strengthening people's institutions and facilitating their access to basic needs; enabling economic opportunities through skill development for green jobs and enterprise creation; and promoting low carbon pathways for development through natural resource management models and clean technology solutions.

ActionAid Association is an organisation working for social and ecological justice. ActionAid has been engaged with the most marginalized communities in India since 1972. In 2006, ActionAid Association was registered as an Indian organization, governed by an independent General Assembly and a Governing Board. Together with supporters, communities, institutions and governments, we strive for equality, fraternity and liberty for all. ActionAid Association works in 24 states and two union territories, with several partners and allied organizations. ActionAid Association is an affiliate of the ActionAid International, a global federation, that has presence in over 40 countries worldwide.

Alianza por la Solidaridad is a nongovernmental Spanish organization that currently channels the effort and support of more than 50,000 people, amongst them members, volunteers, supporters and workers in order to fight against inequalities and contribute to protecting Human Rights in more than 19 countries in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. It is also a member of ActionAid International.

This story has been provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)

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