Many women entrepreneurs, especially those living in rural India, continue to lack the business skills, technology, networks, and access to finance that they need to be successful.
To help women entrepreneurs, PCI, in partnership with Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach Initiative, initiated the Connecting India to Disconnect Poverty (CIDP) Project. The project works with two microfinance institutions in the states of Puducherry and Rajasthan, benefitting 1,260 women entrepreneurs to date.
The CIDP Project previously pilot tested a mobile application in five states of India through five microenterprise institutions. The application is designed to help women entrepreneurs by improving their access to business and market information and microfinance services. Currently, the mobile application is successfully rolled out and in use by two partner organizations, Rural Education and Action for Liberation in Puducherry, and Planned Social Concern in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Twenty-five loan officers from these two microfinance institutions are currently using the application.
In October 2013, the CIDP Project began development of an improved version of the mobile application using Android technology. After completing the pilot test currently underway, and after making any necessary modifications to it, the new Android-based application will be disseminated to national-level microfinance institutions throughout India, thereby improving their services to their clients, who are predominantly poor women.
Reducing HIV Vulnerability Among Migrants
Besides its work to strengthen the quality of HIV testing throughout the country, PCI is also working under PRATIBHA to prevent HIV among migrants and their spouses in the State of Bihar. Under this component, PCI is providing technical assistance to DAC and the Bihar State AIDS Control Society to formulate a strategy and develop a program to improve awareness and access to HIV testing, prevention, and other HIV-related services among migrants and their spouses