Diageo, United Spirits and British Council launch Phase II of The Young Women Social Entrepreneurship Development Programme

24 Jun 2015 | Press release

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Delhi, 24 June 2015 – Diageo and its subsidiary in India, United Spirits Ltd. (USL) announced Phase II of the Young Women Social Entrepreneurship Development Programme in association with the British Council. At a reception hosted by His Excellency, Sir James Bevan KCMG, the British High Commissioner in India, in the presence of the honorable Chief Guest, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development, the programme was dedicated to the women of India. 

Launched in September 2013, the programme in its second year aims to contribute to entrepreneurship education by training women Master trainers, and through them train a larger group of women to become entrepreneurs.  It will also support and mentor innovative ideas, stemming from the workshops, with the potential to mature as social enterprises.

After the successful conclusion of Phase I earlier this year, Phase II takes forth the partnership with the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode (IIM-K) and over 16 new organisations, to conduct  training workshops across India. This training focusses on practical application and shared learning incorporating content related with management, finance, communication, leadership, marketing and fundraising. A batch of 37 Master Trainers drawn from these organisations will execute this programme.

Speaking about this landmark initiative, Anand Kripalu, Managing Director & CEO, United Spirits Ltd. and Member of the Diageo Global Executive Committee, said, “At the heart of our business model is the ambition to create an impact in the communities where we operate. For us, empowerment stands for a woman’s right to have access to choices and resources which can influence society and the economy. Through the second phase of the Young Women Social Entrepreneurship Development Programme in collaboration with the British Council, we are proud to empower dis-advantaged women through social entrepreneurship by nurturing employability, economic independence and an entrepreneurial spirit.

As part of new2020 sustainability and responsibility targets, which include a commitment to ‘Building Thriving Communities’, Diageo has empowered  115k women globally since 2012 through its initiative Plan W. 

Phase I of the programme in India saw 24 Master trainers conduct 48 training workshops across the country enabling a spirit of social entrepreneurship among 1200+ women. Phase I also gave the programme partners a firm footing in the social enterprise domain. On the conclusion of both Phases of the Programme, a critical mass of 60 Master Trainers in different cities in India will cascade training to 4000 beneficiaries thereby promoting social entrepreneurship amongst the women in India.

Rob Lynes, Director, British Council India said, “Women represent almost half of the population of India, share a greater amount of work than men but get much less compensation, hence making them dependent and disadvantaged. Currently, only 39% of Indian women are formally employed, compared to 81% of Indian men.  It is reasonable to assume that a high proportion of employed women can boost the long term growth curve. To help address this, the programme aims to create a ripple effect and disseminate social enterprise expertise to women in communities across India. They will inspire other women and support more sustainable and inclusive growth.”

The British Council leads the programme by providing Master trainers with innovative tools complemented by insights from the global social entrepreneurship scenario. They also provide support and mentoring through partner organisations to clusters of women, for innovative ideas which have potential to convert into a successful social enterprise. 

Diageo, United Spirits and the British Council are strongly committed to empower women through social entrepreneurship by nurturing their self-worth and ability to create value for society and stronger communities in the world.