Thursday, May 23, 2024

Learning Links Foundation and Cisco Commemorate the Achievements of the Cisco-LLF Women Entrepreneurship Program at a Conclave in Mumbai, Maharashtra

  • The Cisco-LLF Women Entrepreneurship Program has been providing first and second-generation women entrepreneurs with essential knowledge and skills in financial and digital literacy, as well as entrepreneurship.
  • During 2023-24, the Cisco-LLF Women Entrepreneurship Program successfully empowered 12,000 women entrepreneurs across three states in India, namely, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi NCR, and trained over 8,000 women.
  • In the upcoming FY 2024-25, the Cisco-LLF Women Entrepreneurship Program is positioned to empower an additional 12,000 women entrepreneurs in the above-mentioned locations.

Mumbai, Maharashtra, 23rd April 2024: Learning Links Foundation and Cisco hosted the Cisco-LLF Women Entrepreneurship Program conclave in Mumbai, commemorating the accomplishments of the initiative. Aligned with the Government of India’s objective of fostering inclusive growth, the Cisco-LLF Women Entrepreneurship Program is dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs. Its mission is to enable women from low-income households to realize their entrepreneurial dreams by establishing their own micro-enterprises.

Since its establishment in 2023, the program has supported more than 12,000 aspiring women entrepreneurs across three states: Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi. In the ongoing year of 2024-25, the program remains committed to empowering an additional 12,000 women, with a particular emphasis on the states where it has already made a significant impact. Specifically, it has provided training and grants to over 8,000 and 1,200 women entrepreneurs, respectively, in these states.

Smt. Kusum Balsaraf, Project Advisor, Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal (MAVIM), Government of Maharashtra, was the Chief Guest and the keynote speaker at the conclave. In 2023-24, the Learning Links Foundation forged a collaborative partnership with MAVIM, aimed at jointly extending their efforts to provide comprehensive support to women entrepreneurs. Through this collaboration, a total of 1,712 women have been reached and positively impacted. During the event, Smt. Kusum Balsaraf inaugurated an exhibition of stalls hosted by women entrepreneurs from the program, showcasing their products. The Hon’ble Chief Guest also awarded certificates to a few women entrepreneurs who received the micro-grant from Mumbai and Pune under the Cisco-LLF Women Entrepreneurship Program.

The event also featured the digital launch of the Success Stories booklet by Ms. Rohini Kamath, Program Manager, Social Innovation & Investment, Cisco, followed by an address to the participants delivered by Mr. Vinay Inamdar, Director for Strategic Enterprise, Cisco.

The Cisco-LLF Women Entrepreneurship Program provides aspiring women entrepreneurs holistic training and handholding support, including e-knowledge about legal matters and compliance related to micro-enterprises, government schemes designed for micro-entrepreneurs, and digital skills that can help them reach more customers. It also encourages them to join self-help groups (SHGs) and cooperatives so they can get the best price for their products.

“The Cisco-LLF Women Entrepreneurship Program is a highly innovative initiative that must persist in its dedication to supporting women in Maharashtra, as empowering women entrepreneurs will not only enhance economic growth but also foster greater participation of women in the workforce, thereby driving societal progress and gender equality. The Government of Maharashtra extends its wholehearted endorsement to the collaborative initiative between Cisco and Learning Links Foundation, recognizing its targeted efforts to promote financial inclusion and entrepreneurship.,” said Smt. Kusum Balsaraf, Project Advisor, Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal (MAVIM), Government of Maharashtra.

“Women entrepreneurs are instrumental in achieving the Government of India’s vision of a ‘Viksit Bharat,’ signifying a developed and progressive nation. Keeping this in mind, it is crucial to provide women with relevant training and support from the outset, equipping them to thrive in a dynamic and competitive business landscape. Cisco takes immense pride in being part of this program, a focused effort aimed at digitally and financially empowering women entrepreneurs in India.”, said Mr. Harish Krishnan, Managing Director & Chief Policy Officer of Cisco India & SAARC Cisco.

“Learning Links Foundation acknowledges the vital role of entrepreneurship in securing the financial independence of women and harnessing their potential to drive economic growth in the nation. We extend our appreciation to Cisco and MAVIM for their support of this initiative. The Cisco-LLF Women Entrepreneurship Program is poised to have a lasting impact on the lives of women entrepreneurs and their families, fostering long-term empowerment and prosperity.,” said Mr. Sudeep Dube, Senior Vice President, Learning Links Foundation.


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