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City-based NGO selected for Harvard project

Bengaluru: A non-governmental organisation (NGO) engaged in the handicraft sector and head-quartered in Bengaluru is among the six social enterprises selected by Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI) to be given grants and support for creating livelihood opportunities in rural areas.

Craftizen Foundation, which functions as the business acumen partner for the Indian handicrafts sector, was chosen along with Women Weave from Madhya Pradesh, Kumaun Grameen Udyog (KGU) from Uttarakhand, Freeset Fabrics from West Bengal, Chitrika from Andhra Pradesh and Raah Foundation from Maharashtra.

The core theme of ‘Livelihood Creation in India’ focusses on three key areas: rural livelihood creation through emphasis on the handicrafts and handloom sectors; educational, social and economic empowerment of women; and science and technology-based social entrepreneurship.

As part of this programme, budding social entrepreneurs and crafts enterprises in India applied for social innovation grants totalling Rs 50 lakh to stimulate interventions and scale up existing initiatives that can lead to greater impact in select geographies, a release said.

Mukti Khaire, faculty chair of the project on rural livelihood creation in the Indian crafts sector, said, “The main outcomes of the project have been to gain a deep understanding of the ecosystem of handicrafts organisations in the country and to foster innovation and collaboration across handicrafts and geographies.”

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