Catalysing Grassroot Empowerment: SHGs and Digital Business Transformation

Abstract:   In an era of rapid advancement of digital technologies, the transformative & dynamic change and adaptation to such changes can also be seen in the context of Self-Help Groups (SHGs). Self-help groups (SHGs) are informal associations of people with similar socio-economic backgrounds who desire to perform collectively and find ways to improve their living conditions with collective efforts. These community-based organizations, primarily consisting of women, have emerged as powerful instruments for grassroots development and empowerment. There is a strong belief that technology can be pivotal in enhancing inclusivity and economic growth within these communities.

SHGs are engaged in several activities, such as household food manufacturing, agricultural processing, garment manufacturing, jewelry making, and various service jobs. In addition to training and handholding, NABARD supports SHGs with access to bank loans for livelihood activities and market linkages wherever possible. These activities not only supplement the primary source of income in the households but also empower women, raising their status within the families and society. The women in SHGs have embraced technology platforms for social involvement and financial transactions. Digital technologies can empower SHG members in various ways, increasing income and economic opportunities. The impact of digital technologies on income generation in self-help groups (SHGs) can be substantial and transformative. Their adaptability and innovation capacity, including leveraging digital technologies, make them a valuable asset in a dynamic environment.

This paper reveals the multifaceted ways digital technologies are reshaping the landscape for self-help groups. It seeks to answer critical questions: How do digital technologies empower SHGs to generate income? What are the challenges and opportunities in this transformation process? What implications does this hold for policymakers, development practitioners, and the broader community of stakeholders committed to fostering inclusive growth? The answers to the above questions help to understand the path toward the economic empowerment of self-help group communities, indicating a business transformation and social transformation driven by the combination of grassroots resilience and digital innovation. This research paper titled “Catalyzing Grassroots Empowerment: SHGs and Digital Business Transformation “explores the impact of digital technologies on income generation, financial inclusion, and reducing socioeconomic disparities to bring overall prosperity within Self Help Groups.

       Keywords: SHG, Digitalization, Business Transformation, Women-Empowerment, Self-reliant, Inclusive growth

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