The objective of the social enterprise projects is to establish a network of small and sustainable enterprises that provide livelihood for the members of AVAG’s Self-Help Groups.
AVAG’s enterprise development constitutes of livelihood training programs and social enterprise initiatives which offer a large number of trainings, and create self-employment opportunities for members of women’s SHGs to develop livelihood in a sustainable manner.
We train the staff and the SHGs in different enterprise activities such as developing linkages with experts in the relevant fields, with banks for loans. We also train concerned unit heads in skill training and marketing. In almost all cases, it is a new experience for the women to enter into joined enterprise ventures.
Some of these ventures were taken up under a central and state government funded scheme called Sustainable Enterprise Development in the Auroville Bioregion (SEDAB).
More on SEDAB:
Sustainable Enterprise Development in the Auroville Bioregion (SEDAB) project is part of a wider Integral Rural Development vision for the bioregion. The goal is to provide sustainable livelihood options for women in villages in and around Auroville. Sanctioned in 2012, it is an opportunity for eco-consciousness, one of Auroville’s leading values, to reach beyond community borders and manifest in the rural life of Vanur and Marakkanam blocks. Auroville’s technical experts provide the new enterprises with the professional experience to assist in troubleshooting and planning further growth. AVAG is one of the principal implementing agencies for the SEDAB enterprises.
For a complete list of trainings offered by AVAG, click here.
AVAL est. in 2013
AVAL, which means “she” or “her” in Tamil, is a range of products for women made by women. It includes a clothing line by our Advanced Tailoring Unit and a product line from our Crochet Unit. Each product is hand-made, shaped with love and devotion to the cause of self-reliance and self-empowerment.
The products are sold through Anjali; a showroom in Auroville dedicated to SEDAB products, exhibitions in Chennai and Pondicherry, boutiques in Pondicherry, and occasionally Saturday Markets and other Auroville events.
To buy our products and contribute to the livelihood of rural women in Vanur Block click here.
Surya Spirulina est. in 2013
AVAG in association with Pitchandikulam Forest created Spirulina production units that employ rural women, and work to support the transition of these into a network of self-managed enterprises. Spirulina is a protein and nutrient-rich algae considered a superfood by NASA.
AVAG trained 10 women and several staff in Spirulina cultivation. The resulting unit called Surya Spirulina sells spirulina supplements to the Auroville bio-region and other nearby cities. Spirulina is sold at half price to local villages to promote health and immunity.
A Spirulina Producers Association meeting is held regularly to discuss organic and inorganic cultivation methods, the value of the product and the processes involved in registering the production units.
By supporting this enterprise you will not only improve the livelihood of involved rural women but also improve your own health and the health of economically disadvantaged residents of the Auroville Bio-region.
Kudumbam est. in 2014
AVAG trained 5 women in making healthy food products using local millets and grains. The preservation of these local millets is essential to improving health of local communities as well as local economies. Being native species, these grains are well suited to local ecology and less energy-intensive to grow. They are rich in essential nutrients and not subject to heavy processing, making them a healthier choice as compared to conventionally consumed rice and wheat.
Examples of these products are Sattamavu (nutritional powder mix of seven grains), Dosa and idli mix and soup powder. This enterprise is marketed by AVAG and a percentage of the profits are shared with the women.
Highlights – results, impact
In the year from April 2014 until March 2015, the three advanced tailoring units continue to be operational and supported by AVAG. Two new units have been started, one unit comprising of seven women, and the second comprising of thirteen women. There are a total of 63 women in the advanced tailoring units, whose incomes each range from 90 Rs a day to 300 Rs a day, depending on their work experiences and the products that they stitch.