New Delhi. 24 November 2023 . In an initiative aimed at supporting women’s entrepreneurship and self-reliance, the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) that has been incubated under Niti Aayog, in collaboration with MakeMyTrip, announces the launch of “Project Maitri”. This unique endeavour focuses on women in the north-east region of the country, by leveraging the untapped potential of homestays as a pathway to entrepreneurship, economic empowerment, and independence.
Launched at the Dorjee Khandu State Convention Center, Itanagar, the event titled ‘Enabling Women-Led Development in Arunachal’ was graced by the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Pema Khandu, signifying the state’s commitment to gender-balanced progress.
Project Maitri is a forward-thinking initiative designed to empower and inspire homestay owners across all the north-eastern states in the country. As part of the project, selected participants will receive specialized training tailored to their unique business needs. This training will cover a wide range of skills, including hospitality, safety, digital marketing, and compliance. Additionally, the top three homestay owners will be recognized with awards, further incentivizing excellence and innovation in this sector.
Speaking about the development, Anna Roy, Mission Director, WEP, said, “The project embodies a strategic approach to bolster women’s entrepreneurship, aligning with national goals of gender equality and economic development. It has the potential to deliver long-term dividends, as homestays in India can evolve into a viable and lucrative business avenue for women seeking financial independence.”
Rajesh Magow, Co-founder and Group CEO, MakeMyTrip said, “We believe in the transformative power of travel, and through this project, we aim to unlock this power for women homestay owners. We are proud to partner with the Women Entrepreneurship Platform in this endeavour and look forward to seeing these incredible women entrepreneurs flourish as they contribute to the vibrancy and diversity of India’s tourism industry.”
WEP, incubated in NITI Aayog, and now transitioned into a public-private partnership is a one-stop solution for information and services relevant to women entrepreneurs, offering a wide range of resources including a SmartMatch based platform for government schemes and private sector initiatives, a knowledge base, a community platform, offering resources such as mentorship and capacity building. Through its collaboration with an industry leader like MakeMyTrip, WEP is spearheading efforts to create an ecosystem conducive to women’s entrepreneurial success.
Applications for this transformative program will open on December 13, 2023, on the WEP website.