NEHHDC, Tide join hands to scale and promote small weavers and artisans of North East India
|1. Aims to foster financial inclusion for nearly 2.1 million handloom weavers and 3.5 million handicraft artisans across 800 clusters in North East India and provide them with greater market access
2. To work on training programmes for skill and knowledge upgradation of weavers and artisans as part of their Technology and Innovation drive
In a move to empower and digitise the handloom and handicraft sector in North East India, Tide, the UK’s leading SME-focused business financial platform has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with North Eastern Handicrafts and Handlooms Development Corporation (NEHHDC). During the year-long partnership, Tide will leverage its expertise and knowledge to bolster scalability, promote financial inclusion and enhance market reach for the community of nearly 2.1 million handloom weavers and 3.5 million handicraft artisans across 800 clusters in Northeast India.
The partnership comes at the helm of NEHHDC’s technology and innovation drive, which includes projects for digitalisation of the handloom sector using Artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) and ERP implementation for inventory tracking and mapping, among others. As a part of the MoU, Tide will help in financial and digital inclusion of weavers and artisans from the region and host mentor panels and masterclasses with in-house experts in leadership, marketing, capital investment, hiring and payroll, taxation, and legal, among others. The company will also help the community network and build capabilities through a series of annual national-level SME events.
North East contributes 65 percent of India’s total handloom production and has the highest concentration of handloom weavers in the country with women participation of around 88 percent2. This partnership will also help elevate Tide’s India Chapter of ‘Women in Business’ and enable women handloom weavers across North East India to benefit from the mentoring and knowledge sharing sessions that will help grow their businesses and overcome administrative challenges.
NEHHDC works under the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Government of India and attempts to develop and promote the indigenous crafts of the region by connecting craftsmen to prospective markets and consumers. The organisation is focused on generating economic, cultural and social opportunities for all the eight North Eastern states, namely Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.
Gurjodhpal Singh, CEO, Tide India, said, “Our partnership comes at a time when the Government of India has been pushing digitalisation of handloom and handicraft industry. We are proud to partner with NEHHDC and are confident that our initiative will not only help enhance financial inclusion for these businesses but also create newer avenues to increase business opportunities and boost Indian art and heritage.”
Aimed at digitally transforming businesses in Tier 2 and Tier 3 regions, through this partnership, weavers and artisans in North East India will have access to Tide’s comprehensive financial admin and advisory services, facilitating their inclusion in the formal economy – ensuring timely and adequate access to financial services.
Brigadier Rajiv Kumar Singh (Retd) Managing Director, NEHHDC, “For nano entrepreneurs, lack of access to finance and formal financial knowledge are common challenges for small businesses and startups worldwide. The MoU between NEHHDC and Tide India will be a game changer wherein by providing the aspiring and existing entrepreneurs with the necessary tools, knowledge, and resources to effectively plan and manage their finances, a crucial aspect of their success will be addressed. The collaboration aims to have a positive impact on the Northeast region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”