Empower Women Micro-Entrepreneurs Through AU Welfare Foundation | Milaap
Empower Women Micro-Entrepreneurs Through AU Welfare Foundation
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  • Varsha

    Created by

    Varsha Bhansali
  • AW

    This fundraiser will benefit

    AU Welfare Foundation

    from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh


ArthUdgam Welfare Foundation (AUW) is a not for profit organization that came into existence in 2015 to cater to the financial needs, particularly access to credit, of the under banked community in India. The foundation began working with under privileged women from rural/semi urban regions of Uttar Pradesh, empowering them to rise and participate in economic activities by offering affordable micro loans.

True to its name “ArthUdgam” meaning “Origin of Money”, the essence of the foundation lies in enhancing the income generating abilities of the less privileged communities and thereby uplift their socio-economic quality of life. AUW is committed to become their partners in the journey of social and economic independence.

Given that women are the core of any family and hence the community at large, empowering women is integral for the overall socio-economic development. Education & economic empowerment are in turn two of the most important aspects for uplifting the status of women in India and as such micro enterprises can play a critical role in creating livelihood opportunities for them. We at AUW understand that and have, therefore, consciously decided to support and nurture these women in their entrepreneurial journey.

Since inception, AUW has reached out to over 12,000 women entrepreneurs engaged in businesses such as pottery, clay idol making, handloom (weaving, zari work, embroidery, etc.) beauty parlor, grocery shop, retail garment shop among many others. As of date, we have 10 branches covering over 525 villages across Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan and over 40 employees.

We currently have two key offerings for our members – Arth Jeevika & Arth Vridhhi:

1) Arth Jeevika is a group-based loan wherein 2 to 5 women come together as a group with each member agreeing to become the guarantor for the others to raise the loan. In this case, the loan size varies from Rs.10,000 to Rs.40,000 per member. The repayment structure is customized keeping the needs of the customers in mind and typically vary from 12 to 24 months.

2) Arth Vridhhi is a first of its kind individual enterprise loan offered to those women members with proven credit history with AUW and requirement for higher loans. In this case the loan size varies from Rs.40,000 to Rs.1 lakh as per their business needs. The repayment structure is customized to suit their business cash flows and typically vary from 18 to 24 months.

Till Jun’18, we have cumulatively extended loans worth over Rs.32 crore to support women in growing their businesses.

While access to finance is important, we believe it is certainly not the only ingredient to ensuring their success. Therefore, our model starts with creating access to and control over finance and continues to provide access to knowledge, practical entrepreneurial and life skills as well as social support. Undoubtedly, access to elements of financial planning, digital literacy and credit decisions strengthens the women community.

Committed to working towards social inclusion of the ultra-poor and marginalized families and encouraging women to expand the boundaries of their activities and aspirations, we are looking to expand into newer geographies of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand as well as Haryana and Rajasthan. In view of the same we are looking for humble support from like-minded institutions and individuals to deepen outreach and intended impact. 

In fact, in this fiscal year itself we are looking to open 15 more branches spread over the identified states and support more women by extending loans for their businesses.

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