3ie Project Details

Project: Swashakt- Empowering women through women collectives and groupbased approaches-collective enterprise of Kirana stores-Gramin Bazaar

Implementing agency

Funding agency for the pilot project

Technical support agency

An Initiative of State Government of Bihar for Poverty Alleviation “Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society” (BRLPS) called as JEEViKA in local parlance. State Rural Livelihoods Mission, Bihar

3ie’s Swashakt program is a USD 7.3 million initiative that focuses on addressing the evidence gap around leveraging collective enterprise models to advance women’s socioeconomic empowerment and unlocking benefits for women in farm and non-farm sectors in India. Launched in 2020, the program supports the implementation and evaluation of nine projects— four pilot and five at-scale —that aim to establish and strengthen women’s empowerment collective enterprises (WECs) in nine states.

Institute of Livelihood Research and Training
(ILRT An affiliate of BASIX Social Enterprise Group

Project nature: Pilot project

Project duration: Ten months (February to November 21)

About the project: The GoB (Government of Bihar) has been implementing the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Project through Bihar
Livelihoods Promotion Society (BRLPS) through JEEViKA, which is a World Bank supported poverty alleviation programme since 2007.

World Bank has approved a six-year project in 2016 “Bihar Transformative Development Project” (BTDP) to JEEViKA with a
budget US$ 415 million to diversify and enhance household-level incomes and improve access to and use of nutrition and
sanitation services among targeted households.

As part of the project, JEEViKA has conducted an enterprise enumeration exercise in 2017 and it was found that around 34% of total enterprise in rural Bihar are Kirana and specialised retail shop (e.g. Medicine Shop, Apparel Shop etc.). The survey reveals that many of the SHG women are involved in running the Kirana shops as they are familiar with the business and identified many of these women require capacity building and managing their enterprises. The survey also reveals that the Kirana shops also require a trusted procurement source from the women entrepreneurs can procure quality goods with better margins as individually they don’t have knowledge about markets.

Hence JEEViKA has developed a programme to support women owned and managed Kirana shops through establishment of
Women Enterprise Collective (WEC) and facilitated promotion of the Rural Retail Association (RRA). The RRA is a communitybased institution of rural Kirana store owners in a block that are brought under one unit. With the support from JEEViKA RRA has established Rural Retail Shop (RRS). The brand name of the Rural Retail Shop is Gramin Bazaar.
The Rural Retail Association (RRA) would act as a driver of social impact throughout supply chain and enhances quality of consumption at the rural household. Gramin Bazaar would be the nodal store that would purchase, store and sell products to the rural retail association members while maintaining a margin for the sustainability of the store itself. Gramin Bazaar through the RRA would like to have tie up with companies/ distributers and buy bulk items at source. JEEViKA has initiated the RRS on pilot basis in around 18 blocks.

ILRT (Institute of Livelihoods Research and Training), which is promoted by BASIX Social Group wants to provide TA (Technical Assistance) to JEEViKA in implementation of Rural Retail Shop (RRS) as a pilot project for a 10-month duration. ILRT submitted an application to The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation under its call for Swashakt: Empowering women through collective- based approaches

Key activities of the project:
• Baseline study
• Training module development to train Kirana shop members and Gramin Bazaar board members
• Training and handholding support to Kirana shops
• Digitization of Gramin Bazaar level payments
• Facilitation Credit linkages for Kirana stores
• Market Linkages for Gramin Bazaars including supply chain studies
• Training and handholding support to Gramin Bazaar