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IIM Sambalpur, SIDBI join hands to fuel entrepreneurship amongst small weavers & craftsmen



Indian Institute of Management, Sambalpur and SIDBI have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Tuesday, to strengthen the small business/micro enterprise ecosystem of various weaving and craft clusters across Odisha and the nation. Several strategic interventions will be undertaken under the partnership focused on strengthening the supply-chains, helping clusters become self-sustainable and developing a culture of entrepreneurship.

The MoU was signed by IIM Sambalpur Director Prof. Mahadeo Jaiswal and SIDBI CGM Subhransu Acharya in the presence Bargarh Collector Monisha Banerjee, Sambalpur Collector Ananya Das, and Flipkart Group Director- Government Affairs (East Region) Akash Mishra.

Surendra Meher and Ramkrishna Meher, the master weavers from the Bargarh/Sambalpur handloom clusters also graced the occasion. The event also marked the announcement of IIM’s partnership with Flipkart to facilitate access of these weavers to digital e-commerce platforms.

Briefing about SIDBI’s approach towards development of clusters, CGM Subhransu Acharya mentioned the need for enhancing competitiveness of clusters by identifying and addressing the Business Development Service needs of such clusters. He emphasized on increasing the share of non-local sales from Bargarh handloom cluster from current 25-30 per cent to about 50 per cent by focusing on contemporary design, packaging and leveraging strengths of online platforms. He suggested that IIM Sambalpur may work for promoting the local economy and can even consider setting up a design and craft incubator. He said that today’s MoU shall endeavor to build the capacity of the cluster in its perceived deficiencies like product costing, invoicing, GST, design, market connect etc.

Prof. Jaiswal highlighted the importance of the MoU with SIDBI and the impact it aims to achieve by building capacities of the weavers operating at the bottom of the pyramid to access formal markets. IIM and SIDBI will work on developing solutions for small businesses to help them grow, thrive and compete with the increasingly competitive markets, he added.

Endorsing the SIDBI CGM’s craft incubation centre idea, Sambalpur Collector Ananya Das assured support from the administration for the initiative.

Bargarh Collector Monisha Banerjee lauded the much needed initiative and urged the partners to ensure that the benefits of this partnership reach the last weaver possible and are sustained over the long term.

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