Amazon India boost for female entrepreneurs

Amazon India has launched an exclusive online store for women entrepreneurs.

It is rolling out it Amazon Saheli initiative in partnership with non-government social-service entities Impulse Social Enterprise and Self-Employed Women Association (Sewa). The store will enable women entrepreneurs to sell their products online (“saheli” is Hindi for “women’s friend”).

“Through Amazon Saheli we aim to bring a change in the lives of thousands of women entrepreneurs with the help of our partners,” says Amazon India director/GM seller services Gopal Pillai.

Sewa founder and social worker Reema Nanavati says the partnership will not only provide women entrepreneurs access to millions of new customers and become economically secure, but will also generate employment opportunities for many more young women.

The store will feature exclusive products like handicrafts, apparel, handbags and home-decor items made by women entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, Amazon India has been running workshops across the country to familiarise women entrepreneurs with the benefits of e-commerce.

For the Saheli store, the e-commerce firm is offering women vendors such benefits as subsidised product cataloguing, imaging, packaging and courier services, as well as basic online training.

Pillai says he expects the workshop program to reach about 20,000 women entrepreneurs over the next few months.

The program will eventually be expanded to empower women through other programs offered by Amazon India like ATES (Amazon-Trained E-commerce Specialists), IHS (I Have Space,) SPN (Service Provider Network) and Udaan.

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