Women’s Leadership In Small And Medium Enterprises (WLSME)
WLSME

Women’s Leadership In Small And Medium Enterprises (WLSME)

Women’s Leadership In Small And Medium Enterprises (WLSME)

As an effective means to securing entrepreneurship opportunities for women, CARE India has been implementing the Women’s Leadership in Small and Medium Enterprises (WLSME) Program at Panruti in Cuddalore district, Tamil Nadu in the cashew industry.

Having identified 210 cashew processing SMEs for this purpose, the WLSME program attempts to contribute to research and learnings on the women’s role in the SMEs sector. The key objective of the program is to promote women’s leadership and sustainable growth of 210 women owned and managed cashew processing SMEs.

The project aimed at addressing the following:
1. Fostering knowledge about how to prepare a business plan and use the plan as efficient means of
decision making
2. Encouraging fruitful interactions between the women and market players, thereby improving women’s
business negotiating skills
3. Increasing women’s confidence in their own work that can reflect in their dealings with the wider
network of stakeholders and within their own families and community
4. Encouraging more positive reception of women’s work among men in the families and community
5. Addressing women’s financial management related needs and training them to be able to suitably
address them on their own
6. Helping women be more aware of pricing on the procurement and marketing end
7. Improving women’s perceptions of and dealings with loans
8. Ensuring women’s greater participation in the decision-making processes so that they are recognized
as informed, important members of the SME, their expertise crucial for all investment decisions
9. The above aspirations of WLSME are geared towards increased participation, voice and decision
making by women, leading to more empowerment and enhanced leadership among them. There is
also a realization among the women and the project implementing teams, that cashew processing
has a lot of drudgery involved at various steps, and most often these are done by women, due to
the stereotyping of certain tasks within cashew processing

One of the various interventions undertaken in this project was aimed at reducing drudgery among
women cashew workers and entrepreneurs from SMEs.

Tamil Nadu