The Work4Progress (W4P) programme of the “la Caixa” Foundation of Spain, concluded its India platform annual workshop at the Indian Habitat Centre. The programme has been operational in India since the last 5 years to create new employment opportunities that are inclusive in nature and systemic by design and has been led by Development Alternatives (DA) since 2016 and ActionAid Association (AAA) in 2020.
HRH Infanta Princess Cristina, Director of Internationa Programmes at la Caixa Foundation, welcomes the audience at Work4Progress Annua Workshop
The Work4Progress India Annual Workshop is envisioned as a platform for learning from the ‘collective intelligence’ of change-makers and experts in the field of entrepreneurship. The workshop took the audience through the uniqueness of social innovation and a transformational approach to entrepreneurship-led job creation. Through deliberations at the Annual Workshop, the attendees were able to gain diverse perspectives on the subject of unlocking critical flows for accelerating entrepreneurship and empowering communities through dignified employment opportunities.
The event featured presentations by DA and AAA highlighting the progress made by W4P India, in addition to an address by Ms Prema Gera (External Coordinator, W4P India) on the “opportunities and challenges” faced by the W4P India Platform. Furthermore, two thematic sessions on the topics of “Access to Credit for Inclusive Entrepreneurship” and “Mainstreaming Entrepreneurship through Institutional Engagement and Ecosystem of Growth” were also held by DA network partners Rang De and Transform Rural India Foundation, TRIF respectively.
The workshop concluded with two roundtables hosted by ActionAid Association and Development Alternatives. AAA spoke on ‘Feminist Solidarity Economies for Social Transformation’, and explored how women-led collective enterprises can empower vulnerable communities. While DA’s ‘#SAMUDYAM – Unlocking Entrepreneurship for Job Creation discussed the need for a national level ‘Collaboratory’ to build local entrepreneurship ecosystems. The workshop saw an attendance of over 150 participants which included entrepreneurs from the programme, representatives from Government departments, financial institutions, skill development agencies, research organizations, and universities.
HRH The Infanta Cristina of Spain, Director of International Programmes at “la Caixa” Foundation, was the keynote speaker for the event. She reminded all present, the principles on which Work4Progress was built: innovation, co-creation and empowerment. She was pleased to see how “la Caixa” Foundation’s Work4Progress has grown in India and was happy to note that the programme has stressed the importance of ‘Deep Listening’ to co-create solutions that have made the ongoing success of the programme possible.
Shri Karma Zimpa Bhutia, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, spoke on the presence of RSETIs across 575 districts of the country, an 80% presence. He took upon the occasion to invite stakeholders to collaborate with the Government in building an inclusive ecosystem for entrepreneurship.
Mr. Shrashtant Patara, CEO, Development Alternatives Group, said, “Social innovation processes, used in the Work4Progress initiative result in change that is systemic in nature, making way for more inclusive economic empowerment and sustainable future for people in rural communities.”
Dipali Sharma, Director of Organisational Effectiveness at ActionAid Association, said, “The Work4Progress platform provides a great opportunity for a wide range of players to collaborate towards creating sustainable and dignified livelihoods and enterprise for the poor and the marginalised. ActionAid Association sees this as an opportunity to build feminist solidarities that prioritise social and environmental gains and not just financial benefits, and the kind of feminist futures we would like to see in the 21st century.”